Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Let's Get a New Idea: Books Edition

It's come to my attention that we seem to have no new ideas anymore. The other day whilst perusing the eBook selection at my local library I realized that there were an alarming amount of books that all looked the same and titles that all sounded the same. I know picking a title might be difficult but can't we just make a new set of rules that prevents people from selecting titles that are just variations of the same thing? Why do you want your book to be confused with the 20 other books that have the same kind of title? And can cover designers be banned from using certain image motifs or metaphors or whatever PLEASE?! Come on guys, there has to be another way to portray loneliness.

Now, because I so enjoy proving my point--it is without further ado that I present to you the Gallery of More of the Same. Keep in mind these are just books pulled from the eBook selection at my library so there are probably thousands of others I've missed!

Cover Cliches


For some reason, umbrellas have seen a real uptick in their representation on book covers. Is it because a character standing alone in the rain is the only way to warn people that the book might contain lonely characters? Probably. But then there's also the summer Chick Lit beach umbrella...and the not opened umbrella which means.... the character is always prepared? I don't know! I don't know why umbrellas are so popular someone please explain it to me.

Empty Chairs

Oh I forgot. There IS another way to symbolize loneliness. Empty chairs! Nothing says, I'm worried about never getting married like a pair of empty chairs.

Hold My Hand Small Child

These could also double as ads for laundry detergent.

Mi Reflejo

I can't be the only person in the world to always sing 'Reflection" whenever there is a blatant reflection starring me in the face. Right? 

(Less Frequent but Notable Cliches)


I guess we would call this one the empowered woman pose? Pretty sure those last two are the same stock footage. BUSTED. 


I suppose eggs are a cover designers way to avoid the 'bird' cliche?

Title Cliches 

The Wife

Apparently, the only interesting characters worth reading about are some other character's wife. I'm not denying it--wives lead very interesting lives. But why can't we think of cleverer titles? Also I'm surprised how many different kinds of  people and...things  have wives.

The _____'s Daughter and other Variations

Originally I had marked both the wives and daughters titles under one sub-cliche---family tropes. But then I sadly realized that the majority of these are just wife and daughter references. I found maybe 3 books titled after sons and the only books titled after husbands seem to be creepy romance novels. Oh well women win again.

The Odd Job

OK so not all of these are odd jobs and some of these I suppose shouldn't be classified as actual jobs but hey---we all need to make a living right? Yes even you, the Arsonist. 

So what does it all mean? Why are we out of ideas? I'm sure there's something larger and more sinister at work here. Something about how the vast majority of woman authors whose books get read by certain kinds of women are just marketed in a certain way? Do we need these titles so men can be warned that a woman wrote this book and it will probably be about 'woman' things? I hope not! Man, now I'm depressed about society and the nature of books. 

What book cliches annoy YOU the most?

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I love this post so much! The publishing industry is particularly starved for imagination. I'm now inspired to write "The Arsonist's Daughter": the cover can feature a woman in an empowered pose standing in front of some torched umbrellas and empty chairs.