By Eric Ralph
Maureen Johnson caused quite a stir when calling for an end to ‘gendered’ book covers. The differences between the original and ‘gender-flipped’ would be compelling, except for one thing: The covers were deliberately ‘gendered’ to make a point. It made me wonder if covers are truly gender-based. As a quick, unscientific, non-controlled study, I took some covers from the top books listed by Amazon under Science Fiction and Fantasy. Half of these are by male authors, half by female (Note: I did not research the authors, so they could be of the opposite gender and have a non-gender-typical name).
Can you tell without reading the author which is by a woman or a man? Is there a difference in quality?