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Seer of ghosts & weaver of stories

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I hereby proclaim 2009 Teh Year of Fail.
Ain't That a Shame: Justine Larbalestier on the white-washing of book covers. As if it weren't bad enough that writers get so little say in the matter of cover-design to begin with, this just adds insult to injury!

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That is just so disgusting. I have trouble understanding how Bloomsbury could not see that this is such a stupid mistake. You want a pretty girl on your cover? Fine. I see the marketing angle. Black women can be absolutely stunning. You're not going to put off anybody but a minority of racist nutjobs who probably wouldn't be reading the book anyway.

I worked for Beacon Press one summer as an undergraduate, and I have to say, they were never afraid to design a cover that accurately represented a given book's contents. Comparing the covers I was seeing at work with the covers down at the Barnes & Noble around the corner was a startling experience to say the least. It's a shame mass-market/bigger commercial publishers can't seem to get with the program!

Or maybe now that the debate on this has got started (matociquala blogged about this the other day too) it might be the beginning of the end for this kind of fail. Or perhaps I'm just too optimisitc.

No, I think there are grounds for hope :) If anything, the amount of productive fuss kicked up this year by savvy bloggers et al. definitely indicates that there's a growing lack of tolerance for bullshit amongst readers!

I once had an argument with a World Fantasy Award-winning publisher in which he insisted it doesn't matter whether the cover has anything to do with a book's contents, so long as it gets people to pick up the book. Here's what that kind of thinking gets you.

That's rather discouraging. That said, I'm by nature rather mistrustful of covers. I tend to be drawn by a title first, then by what I see when I check the blurb on the back and read the first few pages (prose) or do a random flip-through to catch a sampling of several pieces (poetry). I do realize that many people who aren't avid readers or witers themselves will not bother to do this, though. Surely there's some middle ground between effective representation and eye-catching/aesthetically pleasing. It probably takes more work, granted, but I should think the results would be worth it!

That is so freaking awful I can't even properly rant here, I'll have to think out a proper blog post.

Wow. That is insulting not only to the author but intelligent readers everywhere.

The sad part of it is that--in the US, at least--the black covers really don't sell and are in another section of the store. (I know, I worked in a commercial bookstore.)

I saw another post about this on my flist -- and yeah, there are no words for this kind of fail level.

This whole thing makes me see red colours.

I would be more inclined to buy a book with a PoC on the cover- I am sick of reading about a thousand varieties of whitey.

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