For Lit Hub, book designer Jennifer Heuer reflects on sexism in publishing and analyzes “chick-lit” book covers that rely on gender stereotypes to target female readers:
The bigger discussion is the genre itself: light-weight novels aimed at a female audience is a symptom of sexism in publishing. Whether high or lowbrow, the marketing of many female authors ends up with commercial, chick-lit style covers. Emily Harnett’s Atlantic article cuts to this point and centers on the acclaimed Italian author Elena Ferrante’s despised book covers. But within the genre, I want to look at why these covers are primarily created by women designers.