Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sabotaged by its Cover

Even having worked for a publisher at one time, I'm still flummoxed by how editors and art directors can undermine their own products by using completely subversive covers.  My review of Deirdre Martin's Hip Check running on the front page of AAR today gets into this problem a little bit.

I mean, look at the cutie with the hockey jersey used as a dress.  She's having a lot of fun, right?  And then there's the veteran hockey player, not a scar visible, who's holding his stick like he's a cut-out.  Sparks are flying, and everything's cool.  (Okay, bad hockey jokes.)

But the book itself?  Martin's story?  Well, that has to do with the death of the happy-go-lucky cover guy's sister.  He's become the single-parent uncle of his niece.  And the woman on the cover?  The no-nonsense nanny. 

Now take a look at the cover again.

Do you see the still grieving Finn?  The playboy turned responsible adult superstar hockey player?  No?  Me either.

How about the responsibility-laden former teacher turned nanny?  The woman who's concerned with a grief-stricken child?  Yeah, I'm missing her too.

So if you're a reader who's looking for a light, fun read, how cheated would you feel picking up this book and getting a story that, while really good, subverts your mood?  Would you venture into Deirdre Martin territory again?  Or would you be very wary?

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