The interesting thing about Looking for Alaska as well as John Green’s other works, is that most of the marketing and promoting is done through his video blogging website. The website is so wildly successful that it has one of the highest viewing history’s in video blogging history. Because of this, the books don’t have to rely on their covers in quite the same way that other young adult literature texts do.
One thing that we immediately noticed when looking through the many different covers of Looking for Alaska, was how they were primarily geared toward girls. Nearly every cover has a romantic looking picture of a girl, or girls’ feet (lots of feet for some reason) but rarely features an image that would be marketable to a young male audience. This is especially apparent in the U.S. covers which show a dramatic female face, a whimsically drawn picture of a flower, and a romantic image of a freshly blown out candle. In the creative writing major it is often discussed that publishers don’t like publishing books that are geared primarily toward young male readers because it’s an audience that they believe doesn’t read. We thought that this might be a large part of the rationale behind the covers being geared toward the female audience.We are more optimistic than publishers. Perhaps the reason that young males read less than females is because no one is marketing with them in mind.
Furthermore, while these covers are aesthetically pleasing and somewhat interesting, they have very little to do with the novel. This particularly bothered us in the case of the covers featuring a dramatic girl's face, because it gives the impression that the book would focus mainly on a girl. While a female love interest plays an intricate role in the narrative, the main character is actually a boy, making these covers fairly deceptive.Our goal was to create a cover that would appeal to young men as well as young women. We also wanted to create a cover that would symbolically articulate some elements of the story. Many of the covers that we’ve seen seem to have very little to do with the actual story, or even conflict with the story itself.