Thursday, August 6, 2009

Liar Gets a New Cover

Thank goodness.

Now everyone can go out and buy a great book by a fabulous author.

(Though if I were Bloomsbury, I would be calling the cost of rejacketing the book "marketing money", because they've gotten as much publicity as they could want. Thppt.)

24 comments:

Solvang Sherrie said...

Wow! I guess the public outcry was loud enough! I'm glad they're making the change, but I'm bummed they couldn't figure it out on their own.

PurpleClover said...

Power to the people!

I'm quite relieved and I believe the publishers made a smart, though delayed, move. Glad it got the cover it diserved.

I believe it received enough recognition that sales will probably be better for it. That is, after major stores send back their returns if they have any.

Deb Salisbury said...

LOL! Do you think they'll use the Australian cover?

Meg Spencer said...

@Deb: They actually reshot the cover and put a black woman on the front. Admittedly a pretty light skinned black woman, but still! Very awesome that it got changed.

Janet Reid said...

The new cover is terrific. It's not the Aussie one. Check it out here


I immediately ordered it upon hearing the new cover news.

Kudos to you, dear EA for getting the ball rolling on this!

Richard Lewis said...

Skin color aside (a very big aside, grunting and heaving), I thought the hair covering the mouth was terrific. Not so much the new version with the cloth. If the original cover had been a girl of color with straight black hair draped across the mouth, I think there wouldn't have been a single ripple, notwithstanding the fact that the MC has short nappy hair.

:)Ash said...

The author has posted the cover art for the new book:

http://justinelarbalestier.com/blog/2009/08/06/the-new-cover/

I'm glad Bloomsbury opted to put a black face on the novel, instead of just using the Australian cover. It's certainly a step in the right direction.

Anonymous said...

The character has three white grandparents and one black grandparent, and is almost completely estranged from African-American culture. I'm not sure that the -publisher- is the one who misstepped most grievously here.

If you wanna write a black character, write a black character. Don't write a dark-skinned white character and claim some sorta triumph of diversity. Talk about whitewashing. It's (at least) no less offensive to suggest that blacks are just like whites, only darker, than to portray a 75% white girl with an 100% white girl.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

that's fantastic! and yes, they got their publicity! I'll be buying the book!

R.J. Anderson said...

if I were Bloomsbury, I would be calling the cost of rejacketing the book "marketing money", because they've gotten as much publicity as they could want.

Uh, oh. Conspiracy theories coming in 3... 2... 1...

Thomas Taylor said...

Good news! And good puclicity for the book (though not for Bloomsbury).

However, the woman on the visual in that link is just about the palest black woman I've ever seen.

Anonymous said...

The seven thousand dollars it is going to cost could've been used as an advance for an entire novel for another author, but whatever.

My new issue with the cover? The girl looks like a 35 year-old supermodel... but I have that issue with lots of YA covers so I suppose I'll shut up.

Livia said...

Yeah, they sure got alot of publicity for that. The new cover turned out really well, I thought.

Anonymous said...

To add to the few voices of dissent, a lot of people have called this “a book about a black girl.” But . . . it’s not. In fact, the premise of the entire book is predicated on the fact that anything the narrator says might be a lie.* That’s what it means to be a liar—you can never know which things she says are true and which aren’t. I actually liked the dissonance between what she said about her appearance and the cover, because it emphasized the complete break between her and reality. Also, I agree with previous anonymous commenters in that this girl seems far too old to me and that the new cover isn’t as powerful as the old.

*I know that Justine has said that, in fact, the character was telling the truth about her appearance, but I think she’s undermining her own story. The book has to stand on its own, and on its own, the whole point is that the reader doesn’t know that for sure.

Sarah Laurenson said...

I love the new cover.

She's light skinned and not likely to be mistaken for a boy. So maybe there is still that wondering how much of what she says about herself is really true - without putting an obviously white face on the cover.

There was a TV special not too long ago that looked at the genetic makeup of some famous AA's. A few were half African and half European - in other words, half white. I believe every one of them had some white genes. They were all surprised by the percentages.

This MC is of mixed heritage which many, many of the younger generation are. And apparently so are a lot of the older generation, without them even realizing it.

So what does it mean to be black? I don't believe there is a definition that fits all. There's just as wide a variety amongst whites and other races, too.

For example, in the advertising industry, spanish language ads are done differently for different parts of the US. The regional slants are Mexican, Puerto Rican and Cuban.

FictionGroupie said...

That's great news. I'm so glad they changed it.

Teh Awe-Some Sauce said...

@anonymous 7:16

"Talk about whitewashing. It's (at least) no less offensive to suggest that blacks are just like whites, only darker, than to portray a 75% white girl with an 100% white girl."

And I think it's offensive that every book with with a black MC has to take place in the inner city or the Deep South with a plethora of be verbs being used incorrectly. I'm black. And guess what? Except for the color of my skin and the texture of my hair, I'm just like my white neighbors. I have a job, a college degree, and a mortgage. And I'm tired of people holding onto a stereotype and declaring "This is what it means to be black!"

\end rant

I think the new cover is beautiful, and I will definitely be buying this when it comes out in stores.

Anonymous said...

TASS:

"And I think it's offensive that every book with with a black MC has to take place in the inner city or the Deep South with a plethora of be verbs being used incorrectly."

I agree. And I enjoyed the non-sequitur.

"Except for the color of my skin and the texture of my hair, I'm just like my white neighbors."

There is no such thing as African-American culture? Nothing about the African-American experience that is very often distinct from the European-American experience? I find that surprising.

It's like me claiming that except for my dangy bits, I'm just like my female neighbors. I'm not. I don't know what it's like to be raised a girl and live as a woman. I try to understand, and I write women all the time; but I try not to make them men with breasts (or, for that matter, talking sex-dolls), any more than my white characters are just lightskinned blacks.

(And I like your blog.)

Fay said...

I like the new cover =) I'm glad Bloomsbury was mature enough to sort things out, and it seems the author is very happy too =)

sylvia said...

I'm so pleased to see them take this on board and try to improve things!

myimaginaryblog said...

The old cover "was intended to symbolically reflect the narrator’s complex psychological makeup?" These guys could do marketing for the Emperor's New Sartorialists. (Yes, I do get what they're saying, but to anyone not thinking way too hard about it, there are simple and obvious reasons why the new cover is just better.)

jessjordan said...

I will say this: I loved the cover, until I realized what Bloomsbury had done. Shame on you!

This is a great step, although I have to agree with one of the anonymous bloggers: the model looks much, much older than I anticipate the narrator to be. Beautiful, but not a teen.

Amy L. Sonnichsen said...

Regarding considering their first jacket cover flop "marketing money" (well spent), all I can say is:

Seriously.

Seriously!

Isn't publicity an fascinating, untameable beast? You never know when a publishing company's biggest screw up is actually the best thing that could've happened to a book. Kind of hand-in-hand with having your book banned. Time to celebrate!

Ebony McKenna. said...

Bravo!