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LA Times Wonders if Lit Fic Can Be Helped by Sexier...

book review Man titty for everyone, I say. LA Times Book Blog wondered today if lit fic would sell better if its covers weren’t so anemic. If you recall, Stephen King had the same complaint regarding a book he had recommended. Fieldwork was a thriller set in Thailand, but the cover was of . . . blurry foliage.

Man titty clearly sells but can it sell literary fiction?   And would the authors who write literary fiction want something like that?   A friend of mine suggested that this experiment was done for Gore Vidal.   My thoughts? Not enough man titty.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Kimber An
    Oct 08, 2008 @ 20:56:33

    Oh, please, no. Having to rip ‘man titty’ covers off really good Romance novels is bad enough.

  2. Val Kovalin
    Oct 08, 2008 @ 21:05:22

    Stephen King has a point! I remember well his column on this subject. He also asked what the deal is with the current fad in literary fiction with stuffy titles such as The Corrections (awful book, by the way), and Special Topics in Calamity Physics (haven’t read this one — possibly because I find the title somewhat offputting, ha, ha!)

  3. Sparky
    Oct 09, 2008 @ 06:17:34

    I’m in two minds – I can see the attraction of more flashy covers, but I’ve lost count of the times I’ve wished some books were more restrained

    I know it’s silly snobbery, but if I’m on the buss or in the dentist or doctor’s waiting room, or even the office during lunch and coffee breaks, I’d rather not have a book cover emblazoned with cleavage and stiletto heels. “What are you reading?” “Uh… Aristotle’s discourses on Mantitty.”

    It’s true they don’t have to be incredibly dull, but I already take the dust covers off my hardbacks, I’d rather not have to cover my paperbacks in brown paper too :)

  4. Kalen Hughes
    Oct 09, 2008 @ 09:38:39

    So they slag us off for years for having “bodice ripper” covers and now they want to exploit same to draw in readers? Nice.

  5. Anya
    Oct 09, 2008 @ 09:40:25

    Mantitty covers don’t bother me at all, and I like brightly colored covers, and covers with cartoonish drawings (I sound like a complete cover whore now). What I don’t like are these generic, what genre are you? book covers of a flower or a sunset. Bleck. I’ll never forget when I almost missed one of my favorite futuristic romance author’s new books because the covers went from sexy clinches to just fuzzy stars and a title. I suddenly had a sinking feeling she wasn’t writing romance anymore and wanted to cry. Thankfully, the book was a romance, just with a totally blah blah cover.

  6. Michelle
    Oct 09, 2008 @ 14:45:45

    I think it the lit books with the flashy covers would lose their core audience. Primarily Litfic readers wouldn’t pick them up.

  7. we are all shallow when it comes to covers… « Collection Developments @ Sno-Isle
    Oct 09, 2008 @ 17:10:09

    […] (via Dear Author) […]

  8. Laura
    Oct 09, 2008 @ 17:55:21

    Seeing that cover for The Smithsonian Institution, I shudder to imagine what sort of cover I might someday find on Myra Breckinridge.

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