I've been thinking a lot about covers recently. For one thing The King's Bastard (cover art by Clint Langley) is up for a Ravenheart Award. (See here). YAY!
For another, I've had to prepare a resonance file for Solaris who are getting Clint to do the covers for The Outcast Chronicles. (Have seen a cover rough which I can't flash around yet. Very exciting! Go Clint!).
And then I came across these two posts. Malinda Lo talks about books and characters of colour and whether the covers reflect this. She says:
'A lot of commentary laments the low percentage of books with people of color on the covers (and yes, it is low), especially in comparison to the huge number of YA novels (fantasy and otherwise) featuring slim, attractive white girls.'
Did you follow the ruckus last year about Justine Larbalestier's YA book Liar's cover? The protagonist was coloured and they put a white girl on the cover. The book was re-released with a cover that reflected the character more honestly.
Melinda Lo goes on to say: 'Even if a book cover doesn’t echo the diversity within the book, that doesn’t erase the diversity. It hides it a little, yes, but the cover is not the story. The cover is an advertisement. (And in most cases, it’s removable.)'
And over at the Enchanted Inkpot they do a summing up of winter YA covers, analysing what is appearing from close-ups of pretty girls to iconic images. But these are all YA covers, I hear you say. What about fantasy covers?
Here we have the Orbit 2008 Vs 2009 cover trends. Swords are still big, but I suspect hoods will have made big gains. (I can't find anything for 2009-2010). And here's the Urban Fantasy analysis. Apparently Stilettos are out. LOL
So there you have it. Next time you go into a bookstore, take a look at the covers and see if you can spot the trends. Does it annoy you if the protagonist is coloured but on the cover they appear to be white?