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Covering Crime: The Making and Marketing of Swedish Crime Fiction through Book Covers
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Literature, Sociology of Literature.
2013 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Which fiction that counts as crime fiction is both easy and difficult to distinguish. In the respect of style, theme and narration, crime fiction is a rather vague term, possible to hold many different types of stories. But if you walk into a bookshop or a library and take a look at the book covers, there is no doubt which titles belong to the genre. Crime fiction on the book market is distinctly separated from other forms of fiction. In fact, paratexts are fundamental in the formation of the crime genre. In this paper, I will analyze book covers of Swedish crime fiction paperbacks in a broad sense, using both quantitative and qualitative methods. With a corpus of around 130 books, written by bestselling authors and published in Sweden 1998–2010, a multiple of aspects regarding paratextual genre conventions and typical attributes are discussed: titles and subtitles; branding and seriality; blurbs and review excerpts; backside summaries and presentations of authors; design, typography, motifs and color choices. An analysis of book covers gives new insights into the Scandicrime phenomena, and helps to understand how genre, from a sociological point of view, operates in the literary marketplace.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Scandinavian crime fiction, book covers, publishing studies, book marketing, book history
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-213391OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-213391DiVA: diva2:681862
Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study Annual Meeting 2013, San Francisco, California, USA, May 2–4, 2013
Available from: 2013-12-20 Created: 2013-12-20 Last updated: 2015-11-02

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Berglund, Karl
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Sociology of Literature
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