#Meant4Bub: Why So Many Books and Covers Are So Similar

#Meant4Bub

I could hardly believe my good fortune upon finding this image! Even George Romero’s famous sympathetic zombie Bub deserves better than the reading that’s so-often forced on the public.

Last year, people began to notice that most books about Africa, written by African authors, or set in Africa looked about the same. This is the original article which notified those “in the know” of what was obvious on the shelves for years.

Like this:

Knopf art director Peter Mendelsund told writer Michael Silverberg “By the time the manuscript is ready to be produced, there’s a really strong temptation to follow a path that’s already been trod. If someone goes out on a limb and tries something different, and the book doesn’t sell, you know who to blame: the guy who didn’t put the acacia tree on the cover.”

So, not joking, I put a few simple search terms in Amazon Book Search and notated the results.

Popular Topics for Books on Amazon

26,604 books about zombies 56,669 books about vampires 53,007 books about dead girls 28,560 books about celebrities 28,862 books by celebrities 13,286 books about dystopias 76,512 books about child abuse 115,075 books about murder

Less-Popular Topics for Books on Amazon

1,899 books about heal the planet 9,057 books about endangered animals 4,879 books of love poems 7,391 books about world peace

Because my Big Data Auto Ad of the day was for Greg Iles’ awesome sequel The Bone Tree, I put “When the nude body of a young female is found …” (in quotes) into Google and came back with 410,000 results. (Note: The Bone Tree features a murdered African-American nurse, no mention of nude body of a young female as in Iles’ other work).

So Now We Have The Infographic For Teachers and Classrooms

The Hashtag #meant4Bub

Seems to me that if people find something that fits comfortably into everything they’ve seen before, like rows and rows of Insurgents and Divergents, they can just give it a good old shout-out and hashtag it #meant4Bub. So everyone will know what they’re supposed to read and what’s good for them.

Why Do You Think So Many Books and Covers are So Similar?

Ask Bub.


Originally published at www.amysterlingcasil.com on April 24, 2015.

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