Strolling amongst the women's fiction (chick lit! I can't help it!) books in UK bookshops, I quickly found myself lost in a world of curlicues and cartoons. The same books I'd brought with me from North America -- with sensible yet pretty covers -- now sported new, more girly designs. It was like seeing an old friend wearing an outfit that didn't quite work.
Take Emily Giffin, for example. I'm a big fan of her writing and I bought all her books when I was living in Canada.
The two looks are strikingly different, but the UK cover fits in perfectly with the cover-styles of similarly marketed books.
Which begs the question: why are covers in the UK hyper-girly, while American ones are more restrained? Does it reflect the different personality of the markets, or is it publisher driven?
At my recent conference, novelist Joanna Trollope told us we should stand up for ourselves when it comes to cover design; that our covers should be for grown-up women, not breathless adolescents. But what do women readers really want? Has anyone even asked?
So you tell me: which cover do you prefer? Are you turned off by curlicues and high heels?