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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cover Issues

I was just going through some of my blog subscriptions and ran into this article that I find very interesting. Over at Reading in Color, "Miss Attitude" wrote an article about Bloomsbury Books' epic fail in creating book covers that represent the story inside. While I cannot boycott Bloomsbury (though, wouldn't that be a huge stand for a library to take!), I do very much agree with what she has to say.

I'm one of those readers who tends to judge books by their covers (I mean, don't we all a little?!). It's always bothered me when something on the cover doesn't jive with the story inside. And I'm talking about the little things - the wrong color hair, doensn't have a big nose when that's one of the defining characteristics, etc. Those kinds of things have always irritated me.

But when it comes to something as basic as the race of the cover model, that just kinda pisses me off. It's almost like the publisher is saying it's not important and it will sell better this way (or that way, or whatever).

When the Liar controversy was happening several months ago, I was enthralled. More appalled than enthralled, but it was the first time I'd really heard of a books cover being completely changed because of such a loud complaints. Reading Justine Larbalestier's Blog just put the whole thing into perspective for me. And I was outraged for her - but by the time I'd read about it, the new cover had already been put into place. Alas :).

But now the same thing is happening AGAIN! Once is somewhat understandable - a bit of whoopsy daisy, if you will. And they fixed it, so it's almost like.... "well, that's okay. You admitted your mistake and made it better. but I've got my eye on you!" This second time makes me wonder a little more. I don't know if I want to question the company's practices... or accuse them of anything... but they have to know that this looks really bad, right?!

The book that's now got a problem is called Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore. Apparently the book is about a dark skinned girl, but the model on the cover... isn't. I believe this is the author's blog and it looks like she's been hearing about the controversy but I haven't seen her reply to it. I know that some people commenting on her blog think that the issue isn't that big of a deal. I don't think it should keep anyone from purchasing and enoying the book, but I think people need to be aware of.

I haven't read this book yet, so I really can't say much about that - but i've heard plenty of wonderful reviews, so I may be picking it up soon. Honestly, I don't love the cover as it is right now.... which is why I haven't read it yet.
I just think these kinds of issues are so interesting - how everyone has a take on it, but no one knows the reason. My whole reason for writing about it is to just make people aware. I know it's a little bit of a touchy subject (apparently... considering other comments/blogs/etc), but it's always good to be informed.
I do plan on keeping an eye out for information about this book... to see if anything happens with it. Thank you to Reading in Color for enlightening me today! :)

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