After yesterday’s post about the ‘chick-lit’ paperback cover art for Alice Munro‘s The View From Castle Rock, some of you emailed to remind me that the sexing-up of Munro’s short story collections when they move from Knopf to Vintage is nothing new. “I find it interesting that a reader reacted negatively,” came one anonymous response, “given that the Vintage cover of Runaway also was more ‘commercial’ than the hardcover. And given that the bathing suit that the woman is wearing seems to be ’50s style, in keeping with one of the stories, and that Munro undoubtedly had to approve the new cover—what’s the big deal?” I wouldn’t automatically assume that Munro gets jacket art approval, especially not for the paperback, but other than that, fine, it’s a fair question: Is this really a big deal, or just something to notice in passing?
“I’m wondering how successful this tactic is for them,” adds one book publicist. “It must be at least marginally successful if they’re doing it for two books in a row. This really makes me wonder who exactly is reading Alice Munro.”