greygirlbeast (greygirlbeast) wrote,

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"The talk of your life, Standing so near..."

Summer has finally come to Providence, and with a vengeance. Right now, the temperature inside and Outside are identical, 82F. Well, that's the temperature out in the middle parlour, where Dr. Muñoz is blasting, vainly trying to combat the heat. It's likely warmer here in my office. The lights are off, to make it at least seem cooler. After I finish this, and get dressed, we're fleeing the House for genuine air conditioning.

Nothing was written yesterday. Nothing was written again.

But I was confronted with the curious proposition that the cover of The Red Tree may be off-putting to some men. It's off-putting to me, but for purely artistic reasons, and because it's not appropriate in tone to the novel. But I'm getting off track. The following comments were made on Facebook (I'm withholding the commentators name), and I quote:

The cover for The Red Tree is well done, but it practically commands, “You, male child, don’t buy me.” I’ll bet nearly all of your male readers will buy it online and consider it a “guilty pleasure.”

I was on the plane the other day, reading a book of the same genre. (You could tell from the cover: pretty young woman in black, looking down and away, full moon and glowing gothic hoodoo behind her.) And I could feel how I was making the man to my left (with the competently written spy/cop novel) uncomfortable. The power of marketing...
(ellipses divide two comments)...It's well done for what it is, I should say. I've seen much worse. But, yeah, it's a "paranormal romance" cover. Men aren't supposed to read those. If you buy one at Barnes and Noble, you need to have an it's-for-my-girlfriend/wife/niece excuse ready in case you get a male cashier (or a female who gives you a curious look).

Now, first off, this all seems awfully sexist to me. Or maybe not necessarily sexist, but certainly smacking of male insecurities. But secondly and most importantly, I spent a good deal of the day worrying whether or not it might be true. Has Roc, by marketing this novel with the generic "paranormal romance" cover (it is not, of course, a PR novel), alienated potential male readers? It seems absurd, but then much of human behaviour seems absurd to me. Most, in fact. So, here's the question: Do you think this cover is geared towards a female readership and is off-putting to male readers? Sort of a two-part question, I suppose.

I'm going to discuss this matter with my lit agent when she returns from her summer vacation.

Spooky has begun a new round of eBay auctions.

Also, there's a new bit of "evidence" up on the website, the addition of Plate XX.

Officially too hot to continue. Maybe I'll go sit beneath a cold shower. Maybe I will spend the day dreaming of icy moons, their oceans safe below the rime.
Tags: cover art, lost days, promotion, readers, summer, the red tree, website
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