Sunday, January 17, 2010

New Year, New Season, Same Old WTF

Dear Bloomsbury,

I don't understand you. Considering the quality of your fiction and the covers on your books, I have to guess you have great editors and great designers.

You certainly have great authors. So why do you keep doing this to them?

The main character of this book is described as far-eastern, and dark skinned. She is a "trouser girl" in this alternate Victorian England. Reading the book, I assumed that was a reference to traditional Thai styles of dress.

Here's the cover.
Bloomsbury, something is wrong in your house. Something that makes you think your Caucasian readers (and no argument, they're the majority) wouldn't be interested in reading about anyone of another color. And something that makes you feel it's ok to make your minority readers feel marginalized; to make them feel that whatever they look like, they ought to be white.

Now, I realize that very likely this cover may have been finished and paid for (and a good cover shoot costs a LOT, I sympathize) even before the Liar kerfuffle. Which would mean that it was before you had that shining opportunity to learn something. Which would also mean that you had more than 6 months to fix this.

This writer is talented, and she's innocent. But I don't know how to support her without also supporting you, Bloomsbury. As writers become more aware and wary of you, though, they are going to start realizing that as talented as you are, you're quite a long way from innocent.

Editorial Anonymous

66 comments:

mallard said...

Could this instance be as simple as someone giving an art director type person a vague description (like "young woman protagonist in an alternate Victorian England") or do you think that there is genuine racist intent behind the decision?

Editorial Anonymous said...

It's impossible to be sure what went on behind the scenes; bookmaking is a complicated process. But it seems unlikely that neither the editor nor designer noticed that description in the text and the fact that their model doesn't match at all.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Oh no. Not again!

Thanks for the heads up, EA.

L & M Hewitt said...

Well, as an up side, this might be some good exposure for Jaclyn.

Laura said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Keren David said...

Curious to know why the author is Jacklyn in the US and Jackie in the UK. The girl on the cover of the UK edition has a definite skirt, but it's hard to tell her ethnicity.

sylvia said...

!!!

Anonymous said...

Did anyone ever follow up on the Liar controversy? How did the book do sales-wise, with the new black girl on the cover?

Were sales what were expected? Did the newer cover make it crash and burn? Did it make white girls not be drawn to it?

How does this new author feel about her cover? If she likes it, and sales are good, maybe its none of our business. Just a thought. That maybe the publisher is trying to, I don't freaking know, GET sales, rather than hinder them??

My two cents, probably not worth much more.

Fiona said...

Have a look at Elizabeth Moon's 'Hunting' series, published by Orbit.

The character is (from the text), dark skinned, yet on the cover she 's blindingly white.

The same goes for Heinlein's 'Friday', also described as mixed race, but I saw a cover a couple of years back with a white woman on the front and felt like marching to the till and registering a complaint.

Paul Michael Murphy said...

Given the attention (and I assume sales) Liar got because of the kerfuffle, perhaps it's intentional.

Kurtis said...

I was going to say something pretty similar to what Paul said. I suspect that Liar did better because of the controversy, everybody was talking about it and it's never bad for a book to have everybody talking about it.

Anonymous said...

There should be an award for dumbest publisher of the year. And we shall call that award, "The Bloomsbury"!

The Rejectionist said...

JESUS GOD MAKE IT STOP

Kate Higgins said...

I design book covers for non-fiction. I had a request from a publisher to design a book cover for a book on "Leadership and Performance Management in Government". They wanted something 'modern' but not too 'edgy'. Accountants. Not too edgy.
It was a challenge. I would never design a book jacket/cover without a working knowledge of the contents, especially if it involved people. I research and asked questions before I desinged it. If well thought out each of the covers mentioned in this blog could have been designed to make the reader want to read the book without people on the cover. It all depends on the skill and experience of the designer AND the information provided for the designer by the publisher. Ultimately the publisher is responsible for the way it looks but the designer should take into account the story and content of the book. The Twilight series did not have person on any of the covers and we all know how well that sold.
My cover for the accountants? If you are curious, you can see it on my blog - http://kathleenhiggins.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

I understand the feelings of many that the cover does not match the description, but the author seems to like it. If she doesn't have a problem, then I guess it matches her idea of the character. This is from her own blog:

Jun. 12th, 2009

Cover!

My cover!!!! Yayyy!!! SO pretty!! The dress is Gaultier!!! I would sleep with this picture under my pillow.

Editorial Anonymous said...

But did you see the way the author portrayed the MC in the book trailer she built?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFvAq2lgrZ4

Liesl said...

Doesn't the author/agent/editor get ANY say in these matters? I mean can't they look at the preview or something and say YOU GOT IT ALL WRONG?

It seems that more and more decisions are completely out of the author's hands. I respect the professional opinion, but obviously people who have never read the book are designing these covers! (Or complete wackos!)

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Thank YOU for speaking up about this. I loved this book, but on the first page it says that Nimira is a trouser girl and makes no bones about her color. It's also an integral part of the plot. Maddening that the cover is a white girl in victorian underwear!

Also, Anon., I wouldn't assume just because an author smiles and nods over her cover in public that they agree whole-heartedly with the cover choices. Justine Larbelestier spoke out about her cover but she has many books under her belt and some balls to her because of years in the business. Also, she was still INCREDIBLY tactful. I had serious concerns about the very first cover I had (long since changed) but as a debut author, you better believe I would not post in public about those reservations. I would definitely take the girl in Jaclyn's trailer as her personal view of the character (and also, you know, her WORDS, since that's what authors tend to use to portray their characters). Nimira was unequivocally judged by other characters by her color.

Anyway, I hadn't made the connection that both this and LIAR were Bloomsbury titles. Shame . . . I'd like to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume the designers were just working off ambiguous copy . . .

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:59 - I don't think it is particularly wise for a young debut author to vent and bitch publicly about her publisher.

Hopefully this will be the impetus that Bloomsbury needs to change the cover for the paperback

(...or even the next print run? - Nah THAT is probably wishful thinking.)

working illustrator said...

This cover is seventy-five kinds of horrifying even apart from the racial angle. The type has nothing to do with the image, the image isn't configured to have type laid over it, neither the type nor the image suggest 'Alternative Victorian.'

All the awesome steampunk artists out there and this slapdash, generic romance cover is what they come up with to sell this book?

"Bookmaking is a complicated process"... apparently too complicated to allow even minimal aesthetic judgement into the equation.

Editorial Anonymous said...

WI: snort! It's not THAT complicated.

Ebony McKenna. said...

The UK book cover for this is very different and looks like it's for a much younger audience.

http://www.waterstones.com/wat/images/nbd/l/978140/880/9781408802120.jpg

However, the young UK girl looks blonde to me, with a big skirt.

Racism aside, it drives me a nuts when I'm reading about a blonde heroine and the cover girl is a brunette or vice versa. Use the cover to illustrate what's in the book and stop driving readers crazy.

Anonymous said...

When people complained about Liar Liar, they changed the cover from something artsy and gritty to watered-down valley girl. :( Hope that doesn't happen here. (admittedly I think the UK cover is much more charming.)

:)Ash said...

Grrrr.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Really interesting to see the comments above me.

I had to roll my eyes and groan at this, myself. I'm one who'll close a book at points during reading and stare at the cover, studying it. I learned VERY early on that cover art is ... art. Nothing more. It rarely has much to do with the book and it usually does get the heroine wrong in some way.

EA, you asked how to support the author without supporting the publisher. I know a number of authors who, with a few books out and under their belts, have put their older, unpublished books up at Smashwords. Might be an idea for you to look into. If not now, maybe a few releases down the road...

Terresa said...

Great points here. I think that sometimes, in general, the book cover is quite unrelated to the story, whether intended or not.

Peni R. Griffin said...

I want to know how you get somebody to look that flat-chested in a corset. It's a kind of anti-bodice-ripper.

The difference between covers & contents struck me a looooooong time ago. As a brunette who wore glasses and read constantly, it started bugging me early on that girls on book covers, no matter how they were described, were blonde and unspectacled. (Except Dorothy Gale, who is blonde in the books and dark-haired on covers because of Judy Garland!) This has even happened on two of my own books. So it's not a new thing, or unique to Bloomsbury; but I think the blonde assumption is going to get more and more obvious and more and more obnoxious as more and more books are published with protagonists of color; and the number is definitely going up lately.

On the one hand, most dedicated readers learn early to blow off the covers. (I was seven.) On the other hand, it is a constant theme of librarians and booksellers that if the cover is bad or wrong they can't move the book no matter how good it is. At certain ages, the motivation to read a book may well be less than the motivation to not be seen reading something with a socially unacceptable cover.

And if Bloomsbury is making their decisions based on the notion that dark-skinned people on book covers are socially unacceptable, something is very wrong indeed.

christine tripp said...

generic romance cover

Working Illustrator, that was my exact feeling from the cover, a Harliquin romance novel:)

Bloomsbury needs to get on board, the rest of the arts world is changing their veiw of a white audience not willing or able to relate to anyone other then lily white.
Disney is doing well with the Princes and the Frog, Dream Girls was a hit. Not enough out there yet but a score of even 1 is better then the zero Bloomsbury keeps batting.
You could not get away with this in a picture book cover. My series features a child of mixed race and if I ever thought to portray her on the cover with pink skin and straight blonde hair.... well I wouldn't even if I was told to.
How ridiculous this all is!

Anonymous said...

But the U.S cover is better than the U.K. cover, which makes it look like a bridal registry. So, I guess there are degrees of "not liking" the cover.

Sure, the author might not want to publically take her publisher to task on her blog if she isn't happy with her cover. But, if she said she likes it on her blog, perhaps she does. Are we now supposed to read between the lines of every thing that comes from an author's mouth and infer they are upset, when, in fact, they might be rather happy? Come on.

It's all speculation. It's people trying to drum up controversy. If EA wanted to ask the designer or pub what happened with the cover, she probably could, seeing as how she works in the business and it'd probably only take a polite email between fellow editors. But she'd rather say it on a blog? That doesn't seem fair. What if the author is happy? If she were EA's author wouldn't EA be a little ticked off about people ripping apart the cover?

Justine's "Liar" predicament was different as she came out publically against her cover and then all of the internet joined her until the cover was changed. Fine and good. But then she ended up with what looked (to me) to be a thirty year-old Vogue model on her cover, and black though she was, didn't fit with the feel of the book, either. It made it seem like chic-lit(imo).

Torgo said...

I feel rather smug about this because I've edited YA fantasy with a dark-skinned female protagonist and the cover shows exactly what the author intended. Aside from my sterling efforts in this regard this is largely down to the fact that the cover designer who worked on it actually read the books he worked on! It's not always the case. Plus it means I can give a fairly vague brief (I think in this case it was 'let's see her looking badass with some swords') and let the author's words do the job of describing what the art ought to show.
In this case I have a feeling that Bloomsbury's design department aren't reading the books they are working on, or they'd surely have come up with some much more interesting designs than either of these covers. The US one is pretty awful - so boring - even if you discount the whiff of racism, and the UK one looks like a totally different book for a younger age group.
That said, what I did notice on my book - and I'm just going by the scans on Amazon, so it could be totally unfounded - was that the US edition, which used the same cover art, seemed to lighten the skin tone a shade or two...

Editorial Anonymous said...

Anonymous,

Let's remember that Justine Larbalestier DIDN'T say anything against her US cover until bloggers started questioning it.

I believe she (understandably) didn't feel she could be the first to publicly decry that cover, since she is a business partner with the publisher.

Let's also remember that I may have spoken to someone at Bloomsbury, or to the author, or others in the industry. If I simply wanted information for myself, I could get it, and it wouldn't need to go on the blog.

But that's not what this is about. And it's not about what a single author is willing or not willing to settle for in the way of cover accuracy.

One instance of putting a white girl on the cover of a book about someone dark-skinned (as with Liar) could be an honest mistake, somehow, MAYBE. But twice at the same publisher in short succession means this is deliberate. And regardless of how happy or not the author is, this is a dreadful disservice to readers. The book wasn't published for the author-- it was published for readers, and we have a right to object.

sylvia said...

Justine's "Liar" predicament was different as she came out publically against her cover and then all of the internet joined her until the cover was changed.

That's not true. In fact, when I first saw the cover discussed, I posted (much as you have done), pointing out that Larbalestier appeared to be pleased with the existing cover and linked to this post:

The USian cover of Liar (Updated) | Justine Larbalestier

She updated after the discussion had spread all over the 'net.

jessjordan said...

It's a beautiful cover, but it could've been just as beautiful--if not more so--with a dark-skinned girl that accurately depicts the MC.

Sigh ...

Dawn Kurtagich said...

This kind of thing happens all the time. The same way a protagonist of a book I finished yesterday was describes as having ebony black hair and the cover art showed a strawberry blonde.

I'm not saying it is right, I think that they ought to look more closely at their covers, however I doubt it was intentional racism. What would be the point? I agree that it is most likely a department that got a few lines about the book, non-specific information, and did the best cover they could think of.

Let's all be easy-going, shall we? :)

Larissa said...

Perhaps we can use this as a lesson for future Bloomsbury authors - that they (or their agents) should try to add cover approval into their contracts...

Anonymous said...

As a Bloomsbury author (who obviously wishes to remain anonymous) let me just say: Everyone I have worked with, even with my first book, has been more than willing to change the tiniest of details so that I am happy with my covers. I get to weigh in on whether or not someone's hair is loose or braided! So the idea or either Justine or Jacklyn being forced to accept a cover they hate is laughable to me.

I have heard with great horror of authors being told to make their characters white to match the shiny new cover, and illustrators being told to make the characters white as well. But I've never heard this from anyone working with Bloomsbury until the Liar brouhaha, which, yes, didn't start until a blogger pointed it out.

working illustrator said...

Larissa said: Perhaps we can use this as a lesson for future Bloomsbury authors - that they (or their agents) should try to add cover approval into their contracts...

Perhaps we should use this as a lesson to future Bloomsbury authors (or their agents) to submit their manuscripts to a house that will take more care in their cover choices...

Sarah Rees Brennan said...

Oh please please don't perpetuate the myth about how Justine Larbalestier was thrilled by her cover. The very post you link to is pretty glaring in that she says 'My publishers really like it. Advance readers really seem to like it' and not once does she say that she likes it.

A huge amount of authors have to do that - fight like a rabid weasel behind the scenes, and then in public be polite. Because it's a business relationship, and you have to be.

It's also a huge mistake to think that authors who do speak out, as Justine did, have their careers benefit. They don't. It's definitely harmed Justine.

Which is terrible, and unfair: that authors who have PoC leads like Justine Larbalestier and Jaclyn Dolamore are now coping with having people think vaguely of racism in connection with them.

This is not to say that the cover decisions for both of them weren't bad decisions. They were, and it absolutely should be pointed out. It's just a horrible side-effect that both the writers are going to get punished for doing nothing wrong.

Anonymous said...

Working Illustrator -- you've got to be kidding! Who among us trying to get published can afford to black ball an entire publishing house because we don't like a cover?

I can't. There's a ton of worse covers out there. In fact, I see covers every day that suck ass. Yes, a pub should take an author's characters into consideration when doing a cover. And perhaps Bloomsbury was neglectful, or perhaps no one spoke up when they initially saw the cover (editor, agent, author), so their silence was interpreted as being kudos for a job well done.

The point, I think, is that none of us really know what went on because we weren't there. While we're busy pointing fingers, are we to assume that no one in the design dept where EA workds ever does a sucky cover? Or that they never use a crappy, hard to read font, or choose an ugly title? Or do a shitty job editing something, for that matter? It's one thing to point out that the girl on the cover should be "dark" and she is not. But it's another to blindly want to drive a stake in the heart of a book designer (a probably lowly paid book designer at that) because and author we don't even know MIGHT be upset.

There are other sites that are calling to boycott all Bloomsbury books. Do Bloomsbury authors deserve that?

There are two sides to every story -- I take great interest in Anon 3:21's comment, as she/he is a Bloomsbury author.

Gwenda said...

I'm really shocked to see people coming out of the woodwork to bash Justine yet again by implying that she only had a problem with the Liar cover once bloggers did, or that she hasn't been honest about her experience. She's been incredibly transparent about the whole thing, much more so than anonymous commenters assuming their own experience is the same as everyone else's.

Thanks for the great post, as usual, EA.

Anita said...

I won't buy the book because of this issue.

Michael Grant said...

I'm fairly good at standing up for myself but I never liked my US covers and when I pushed back the best I could get were marginal changes.

Jaclyn is a new writer, a writer who had a long hard path to breaking into the business. I don't know whether she had any power, but I doubt very much she was aware she had, or believed she had any.

This is 100% on the publisher. The writer is responsible for the words. The rest of the process is the publisher's contribution.

Africakid said...

Thank you, EA, for pointing out something that should be obvious to Bloomsbury. Maybe with enough feedback, editors there might think twice next time? I hope that's not being too optimistic.

TK Roxborogh said...

Well said, Michael. When we are young (at anything) we lack power. This only comes with age and experience. One hundred years ago, this kinda conversation wouldn't be happening because book makers rarely paid much attention to the outside.

The most important thing to me (as a fellow writer) is that people buy and read her book. How dreadful that her initial foray into this world is now marred by politics (pointedly correct as they are).

I've had people slam one of my publishers; in our country it was the hot topic in the news for weeks and weeks and the media wouldn't let it go (it involved plagerism by a most beloved author and university lecturer) but, for me, the publishing house have been a wonderful crew to work with.

As I noted on Justine's blog, for one of my books, the designer had not read the book, just saw the title and dreamed up crap. I understand that the art designers (who, here in this land are all outsourced) rarely read the books they make covers for - they rely on the editors' briefs.

Anonymous said...

As a Bloomsbury author (who obviously wishes to remain anonymous) let me just say: Everyone I have worked with, even with my first book, has been more than willing to change the tiniest of details so that I am happy with my covers. I get to weigh in on whether or not someone's hair is loose or braided! So the idea or either Justine or Jacklyn being forced to accept a cover they hate is laughable to me.

Okay, as ANOTHER Bloomsbury author who has gotten cover art with the message, "here's the final, hope you love it" and been anywhere from delighted to moderately unhappy, and then as tactfully as possible asked for changes to the things I really felt I had to fight for -- and turned a blind eye to those of lesser import -- I have to disagree with this. Maybe some B authors get input on details, but others of us don't. Period.

Which puts us in really difficult positions at times like this. How do we defend our publisher or our own books in the face of cries for the whole company's list to be boycotted?

stacy said...

Torgo, did you edit Devil's Kiss? Because girl of color looking badass with a sword on the cover made me think of that one. Great cover, great book.

Torgo said...

Stacy, sadly I didn't edit DEVIL'S KISS, which I wasn't really aware of in fact as I'm more picture books these days than teenage fiction (it's been a weird career.) But I'm glad to see that the book I did edit isn't the only thing like that out there.

monicalee said...

ARGHHHH! this is a completel pet peeve of mine! aAs an illustrator, I read the entire manuscript before I get started on any sketches. My guess is it was a hurried stock photo purchase. BIG BUMMER! Give an artist a job, they'll treat you right!

mythicagirl said...

Many thanks to all who've responded and thank you EA for addressing this. I'd like to post the link to a teen book blogger. It just about broke my heart to read her take on all this:

http://blackteensread2.blogspot.com/2010/01/open-letter-to-bloomsbury-kids-usa.html

working illustrator said...

Anonymous 5:51 said:
Working Illustrator -- you've got to be kidding! Who among us trying to get published can afford to black ball an entire publishing house because we don't like a cover?

Fair enough, but here's the thing: the power balance in the publishing process is heavily weighted toward publishers. It's their money, so mostly it's their rules.

There are really only two points in the process where the writer has any meaningful influence over events: in the creation of the work and in the decision about whose dotted line to sign on.

Once you've signed, it's their ball game, which is why that decision matters and why authors need to take things like insanely misguided cover decisions seriously. Covers are the most important sales tool a book has and the most important marketing decision a publisher makes.

Look... your book get one shot in the marketplace.

One.

If it misfires, whatever effort you put into it - years of rewrites, months of edits - goes down the drain and that's it. Game over.

Somebody at Bloomsbury - a whole slew of somebodies, most likely - signed off on this train wreck of a cover. The book may succeed despite this fact - plenty of books do, and for the author's sake I hope it does - but the fact remains that this is how they dressed it to send it out into a world where how you look has a tremendous impact on whether you succeed or fail.

And in this case, they've done the book the added injustice of hanging the word 'racist around its neck.

So yeah, I'd think twice before handing them any baby of mine. Not saying 'never' but I'd have sharp questions and a careful ear for the answers before I jumped.

working illustrator said...

Faster version of my last comment: it's not enough just to have a baby; it matters who you have the baby with.

Too many authors (and too many girls in my hometown) learn that lesson too late.

yamster said...

Where I worked (I'm a former editor), the designers were required to read every novel they designed, and they worked with the editor to come up with ideas and cover art. Then covers went through jacket committee for approval. Run-of-the-mill authors (i.e. non-celebrity, non-bestseller) did not have approval, but they were kept in the loop and if they really hated a concept or design we wouldn't push it on them. This is at a well respected, very old publishing house, not the biggest but certainly comparable to Bloomsbury. Somebody over there is dropping the ball...

Anonymous said...

Dear Fiona: Please do not march to the till and register a complaint. If you live in a location where you have indy bookstores available to you, that's great and your very fortunate, but having worked both in publishing and in a big-chain bookstore, there's nothing a cashier (or customer service at a publisher, for that matter) can do about it.

(It's like the time I was working in clothing retail and a customer marched up to a cashier and demanded that the cashier call Ralph Lauren, personally, because the customer's pants had shrunk when the customer hadn't followed the washing instructions. The cashier basically said, "Sure. I'll ring him, he's on his yacht right now.")

To lodge a complaint, I would hit 'em in their publicity department.

http://www.bloomsburyusa.com/contact

Anonymous said...

What I love about this is the fact the EA is bringing something important to the attention of Bloomsbury: white readers (like me) can and do buy books about characters who aren't caucasian! In fact, some of us are actively looking for more diversity in our reading selections. Put color on the cover, give it a face-out in the YA section and if the jacket flap makes it sound interesting, we'll buy it. Well, I will.

The Sapphic Housewife said...

*Brown girl hits forehead against palm*

christine tripp said...

Something just dawned on me. I wonder if Bloomsbury is just bowing to pressure from the powerful book store chains? I'm not trying to let them off the hook but... I do know the number of cover revision's I have done, as a pic book illustrator, based on what the sellers have said they would or would NOT stock. It can be as ridiculous as background colour (don't like pink, too many pink books, want baby blue) to take rubber clown nose off dog, people are afraid of clowns (even though the interiors featured clowns, complete with their red rubber noses) It CAN get nuts at times. I wonder if the sellers can sometimes be responsible for a glut of white girl covers and a mass of publishers too afraid of ticking the large book chains off?

Anonymous said...

Before we rush to judgment, perhaps this was a stock photo. Instead of paying for a more expensive photo shoot, publishers - as you well know - use stock photos ALL THE TIME. Maybe a Thai trouser girl wasn't exactly #1 on stock photos searches.

Rebecca Knight said...

Thank you for this! I saw another blog mentioning this and blogged about it myself yesterday.

It's baffling, in the worst possible way that this keeps happening.

I don't want to punish the author, so instead of boycotting, I'm urging people to contact Bloomsbury to complain. Loudly and repeatedly. I sent an email yesterday.

This kind of thing is so incredibly shameful...:(

Welshcake said...

I can't beleive Bloomsbury have done this again. What is wrong with them?

My heart goes out to the author - it's her debut, this should be a happy time for her.

I hope people don't boycott her book because of this, that would be so unfair as she will be the one that's hurt, not bloody Bloomsbury.

Booklover said...

"It's just a stock photo" is no excuse. If they didn't have an appropriate photo and for some reason didn't want to commission one, they should have used a cover illustration that didn't have a girl at all, rather than a misleading one.

This issue has been coming more and more to my attention recently, and I find it frustrating in so many ways. I'm an avid reader, and I want my kids to be readers too. I looked at my book collection and realized how unbalanced it was. I want my kids, and myself for that matter, to read about all people, not just white people, so I have been making an effort to purchase books that will broaden the horizons of my library. And you know what? Books about non-white people can be hard to find. At first I thought it was because there aren't as many, and now I know that it is also that these books are being hidden behind whitewashed covers. When I see a book with a white person on the cover, I assume it's a book about a white person.

This is NOT OKAY, Bloomsbury, and all other publishers guilty of the same behavior. You are marginalizing people of color, and you are selling short your white readers by assuming they are so insular that you have to lie to them to get their money. Maybe there are people so narrow minded that they won't read a book about someone different from themselves, but why pander to bigots?

Knock it off. If your stock of cover photos isn't broad enough, get new ones. It's not that hard.

Anonymous said...

I found this comment from the author saying it would "be nice to see a darker girl on the paperback." She also mentions that her cover was created before the LIAR controversy:

http://xicanti.livejournal.com/173376.html?thread=909888#t909888

Adrienne said...

And . . . the cover is being redesigned: http://ow.ly/Z51F

Rose Green said...

Did you see? They're changing the cover: http://www.bloomsburykids.com/books/catalog/magic_under_glass_hc_306

Anonymous said...

I will believe this was an oversight when they mistakenly put a person of color on the cover of a book about a white character. While my opinion is that their motive was not to be overtly racist but rather to be profitable, the end result is still racist, hurtful and damaging.

Bloomsbury, I'm glad you're changing the cover but you have a long way to go to rebuild he trust. Stay the path and keep walking.

Anonymous said...

Sarah Reese Brennan, I think you need to read sylvia's comment a little more closely.

She does not say that Justine loved her cover until everyone else didn't. What she says is that, unlike what the poster she was responding to says, Justine did not say anything negative about her cover before everyone else. And, as proof sylvia used the post she links to.

It's true that, until there was a public reaction, Justine did not PUBLICALLY disagree with the cover, so sylvia is right.

What she said was that, at the time of the LIAR controversy, Justine kept silent until everyone else said something. And that's right. What she DIDN'T say was that Justine liked it, just that, at first, she didn't publically say anything against it and the post made it seem like she was in support of it. That doesn't mean that sylvia still thinks Justine WAS in support of it.

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