I decided to follow up on my last post because I hadn't been prepared the first time I visited B&N. This time I went back with a pen and paper so I could take down title and author names. To recap, I was stunned the other day (the first time I had the chance to go to a real bookstore in a couple of years) to see just how attrocious the covers were on many titles I saw on the shelves in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy section (with apologies to Kevin Hearne).
It appears that today's publishers have decided to go after the huge female audience for romance by turning speculative fiction covers into mimics of romance covers. As Alex Cavanaugh stated in the comments yesterday, they also seem to want to place supernatural stories in the fantasy section rather than in the horror section where they belong (though I would imagine that the brilliant Anne Rice is quite happy not to have these books shelved next to hers).
I call these new covers Romantasy, which I define to mean a cover that at first glance looks like a romance but turns out to be a speculative fiction book. The very first shelf I saw in the fantasy section the other day had nothing but these books on it. Here are the first six I saw on the shelf:
On being a girl.
7 hours ago