How to Pose Like a Man

 Author Amanda Filipacchi on Gender, Book Covers and Author Photos

“The cover my publisher chose for my new novel, “The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty,” was indeed very beautiful, but more feminine than I would have ideally liked. It was mostly white, but all the way at the top were the gorgeous chin and red lips of a young woman. Not wanting to be a “difficult author,” I decided not to ask my editor to find a new cover. (She had already been kind enough to change it once.) Instead, I decided to counteract the cover by other means, starting with my author photo.”

The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty

“I decided that I wanted to pose like a man. I also thought: No wonder books by women don’t get reviewed as often as those by men. Maybe it was the poses. I made a mental note to alert VIDA, the wonderful organization that tracks gender imbalance in the literary world with tallies that fill me with despair. Of course, I’m mostly kidding. I doubt that female author poses are to blame for the inequalities in how many books by men get reviewed in respectable publications versus books by women. But it couldn’t hurt to cover my bases and pose like a man anyway.”


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