I have to admit when my editor sent me the early draft of the TELL ME A SECRET cover, I was thrilled - the picture is breathtaking and captures the undercurrents of the story.
But what if I wasn't so lucky? What if I hated it? What if everyone hated it?
Little Willow--brilliant blogger at Bildungsroman, writer, singer, dancer, actor, and dear friend--is here to propose something even more outrageous. More breathtaking.
What if...gasp...books went incognito? This is a tantalizing idea to me, and I'm curious what you readers think.
Welcome, Little Willow!
You know what I'd like to see on the YA shelf, or on all shelves, for that matter? Books with plain covers that simply bear titles and bylines. I know the art and marketing departments of various publishing houses would be shocked by this endeavor, but think of the results such an experiment would yield. People would actually have to pick up a book and READ the first few pages in order to discover the premise of the story. Perish the thought!
Really, though. Think about how it would be if book covers were as plain and simple as they used to be years ago. You wouldn't be drawn to (or perhaps not drawn to) a book because of the model on the cover. You wouldn't be upset when you saw a flawless blonde depicted on the cover when the main character is actually a nearsighted brunette. Instead of being repulsed by the awkwardly combined photos and clip art (When Good PhotoShop Goes Bad: Coming up next on the 10 o'Clock News!) you would be curious to discover what the title meant and who was telling the story and why.
The books might surprise you - and you might surprise yourself when you discover what you really look for when you go hunting for a good book!
Here are three wonderful YA novels with titles and covers which may deceive you:
Boy Heaven by Laura Kasischke (LW's review here)
Swollen by Melissa Lion (LW's review here)
The Queen of Everything by Deb Caletti (LW's review here)
Thank you, Little Willow, for coming to celebrate YALSA's Teen Read Week and National Book Month with us!
Readers, what do you think about Books Incognito? Do you judge a book by its cover? I admit I sometimes do, though I primarily rely on friends' recommendations. Comment for a chance to win this week's book prizes! (US addresses only.)