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May 25, 2012

Field Trip Friday, Twitter Version: May 25, 2012

Kate Hart
A companion to the round up at YA Highway

May 20, 2012

Follow Up on YA Covers

Kate Hart
Wow. So. Thank you all for the unbelievable response to last week's post about YA covers. I keep seeing it pop up in unexpected places and from unexpected people. (The bump from Nerdfighteria was especially exciting-- y'all definitely DFTBA.) I'm really glad conversations are getting started on such an important topic, and I'd like to clarify a few questions I've seen online.

First, a paraphrase of a response I posted to a discussion thread on Metafilter: Last year's original goal was honestly just to show that there really is a wide variety of covers-- and a wide variety of YA, period. It wasn't meant to be terribly scientific.

I knew POC representation was a problem, though, and as I got into the numbers, I was floored by how big a problem it is. So I charted it too, trying to be as accurate as possible without making the project a full-time job. These are not professionally researched and produced. Please take their findings with a grain of salt.

But Kate, your math is messed up.

May 16, 2012

Uncovering YA Covers: 2011

Kate Hart
edited 5/20: These charts are not professionally researched or produced. Please take their findings with a grain of salt. Thanks.

Last year, I started a series of infographics about YA book covers, mostly as a tongue-in-cheek reaction to the Wall Street Journal's "Darkness in YA" controversy. But the further I got into compiling statistics, the more alarmed I became at the covers' monochrome approach to models. All total, I found 224 white girls-- and only nine of any other race or ethnicity.

Nine. As compared to at least 30 white girls in fancy dresses.

So this year, I decided to widen my search. Starting with The Elevensies and this Goodreads list of 2011 YA releases, I looked at 900+ covers, focusing only on US releases within the 2011 calendar year.* Originally, I planned to count every self-published, indie, Big 6, or other book on the list... but somewhere in the 600s I started losing my mind and decided to keep stats only on presses whose acquisitions are announced in Publisher's Marketplace. This still left me with 624 "traditionally published" books to count.

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