Monday, December 11, 2006

Fattie Readers Unite!!

Eloisa James is a favorite author of mine. Her books often borrow from classics with a respect only found in a true lover of literature. Recently she concluded her series following the Essex sisters with the story of Josie. I enjoyed Pleasure for Pleasure, the story of Josie and her true love, Mayne. I loved that James gave us a story celebrating a woman with a full, voluptuous figure. I loved reading the transformation of depressed, corseted sausage to liberated, curvy woman in Josie.

I did NOT like the cover. Avon made the deranged decision to completely undermine every word on James' pages by putting an anorexic nude on the cover of this lovely novel. The inside cover features the same twiggy lass in half-turn. If she has breasts they are tucked securely into the pockets of her muscular hero.

While it's true that books should not be judged by their covers (this one was lovely in spite of the serious insult in which it is wrapped), it is also really bad marketing on Avon's part. Fat girls take this stuff seriously. To publish a novel so celebratory of our shapes while utterly undermining its message is... well, stupid. It's also somehow vaguely insulting.

Do read Pleasure for Pleasure. I recommend it wholeheartedly. But maybe we, the realistically shaped of the world, should begin some sort of campaign to cover the book in plain brown wrapping... or festive wrappy, for that matter. Christmas spirit and passive protest united in a small, but heartfelt show of support for poor Josie, so happy with her new attitude and corsetless condition, only to be dissed by that skinny broad on the cover.

9 comments ]:[ Add your comment:

Rhonda Stapleton said...

WOW, great rant. That's so terrible!!!

Amanda Brice said...

That's horrible--I can't believe they'd get the message so totally wrong.

MK Mancos/Kathleen Scott said...

You know I think it's a crying shame that authors don't have more control over their covers. Everytime I see one of those goofy, stiff CGI covers I want to shake my head and ask the question, "Why?"

I remember several years ago, the first book in the Daughters of Merlin series by (I think) Taylor Quinn Evans. The heroine in the story had flame red hair, the cover model on the cover had platinum blonde. Just like the cover for "Pleasure" this one was so glaringly different from the character inside. Kind of makes you wonder if the cover artists are even given any kind of character description on which to go on. It irritated me so much I almost put the book down and refused to read it. The thought that kept going through my head was, "This is a big New York publisher and they didn't even care enough to get it right." - Maybe that wasn't the case, but that's how I percieved the mistake.

-Great post.

-Kat (from Romance Divas)

Anonymous said...

Never having been twiggy shaped myself, I would have a hard time envisioning the heroine as being the one on the cover. It's a shame they so missed the mark.

Kristen Painter said...

Sigh. What a shame a more curvy model didn't make the cover!

Chrissy said...

Thanks for chiming in, ladies!

I'd love to hear more, particularly from anyone inside the industry who understands the cover approval process.

Eva Gale said...

Monica Jackson gets shafted with her covers all the time. I wihs authors did have more say. I'd like to see thier interpretations actually.

Bernadette Gardner and Jennifer Colgan said...

I can think of a similar situation with a book I read last year. The heroine is voluptous, and the story revolves a bit about her body image and the hero of course loving her just the way she is...the picture on the cover is nice, but the model is wearing a slim black dress and cocking a shapely leg.

I know why they do this. Because it sells books, or so I'm sure the industry believes. My guess is, the marketing departments think no one will buy a book with a big girl on the cover.

Anonymous said...

I recently read a book set outside of Houston TX and there were mountains on the cover. Mountains near the arm pit of Texas? Please.

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