Oh, no. Not again!

So I guess there’s another Bloomsbury “coverfail” or “racefail” or whatever kind of fail you want to call it.

If you, like me a few minutes ago, haven’t caught wind of Chapter 2 get introduced here:
Really Bloomsbury? I’m Done. The Publishing World Needs to Take Note at Reading in Color.

Unlike some of the people who have blogged about the fail, I do not like this cover – it’s a run-of-the-mill, assembly line cover just like many, many other covers. It seems some marketing departments figure they’ve discovered the formula for selling lots of books. Boy, I like to think it’s not true.
Some have asked “where is the outrage” on this issue. I thought there was plenty of outrage with the first blog outing of a “racefail” cover. I guess not enough. I’m hoping this second run does the trick.

I, for one, will be looking to see/highlight people of color on more book covers. And real people, not just the beautiful ones.

UPDATE: The author responds. I have a great deal of sympathy for all of the authors who put their heart and soul into creating something – and then have no say in the packaging. It doesn’t seem right to make this author pay for a marketing mistake.


7 Responses to “Oh, no. Not again!”

  1. I totally agree with you about the cover – it just doesn’t look interesting to me. I’d seen some reviews and talk about this book before the controversy, but I didn’t even dig far enough to find out what the book was about because it looked like dozens of other fantasy books. Meh. I would have been MUCH more intrigued if it had had a dark-skinned girl on the cover.

  2. I haven’t even seen the book, so I may be speaking out of turn here, but part of the outrage about LIAR came about because Justine Larbalestier came out with her own response to the disappointing cover – she, also, was stunned by the “racefail” (that term is new to me….) I’m curious – has anyone heard Jaclyn Dolamore, the author of Magic Under Glass? She is not a person of color – has she weighed in on this? I’m also curious about the, UK cover, which doesn’t come any closer to portraying people of color -it just shows two slightly Edwardian children – I’d say both white – next to a piano. What’s up with that? You can see it if you click on the My Books link at Dolamore’s website –

    • First thing I did when I read about this was go to Dolamore’s website. Didn’t find any reference to the coverfail. I’m sure other bloggers will be commenting on it.
      I think that Larbalestier waited to comment as well – it’s my recollection that there was a lot already said before she weighed in. The controversy gained outrage, maybe, when we found out that the author was not in favor of the cover. I imagine that if you’re an author of a book that does this, it makes you pretty uncomfortable. I would think it required a lot of consideration of multiple issues before commenting.

  3. mclicious Says:

    That’s a good post you linked to. I vote for boycotting and annoying them with intelligent but rude emails telling them what assholes they are. Clearly there is more to be said about this. I think it needs to move from blogs (well, not disappear from blogs, just grow out of them) and go to bigger news sources. Why isn’t the Times reporting on this? Or Publisher’s Weekly? Or Writer’s Digest? We need to make people who aren’t already attune to publishing issues attune to this.

  4. Rethinking my earlier comment: It’s a very different thing for a debut author to have to buck her publisher’s cover decisions than it is for Justine Larbalestier to do so … I don’t think Dolamore should really be asked to explain her silence (well, it’s not even silence, since the video trailer she’s responsible for does show a person of color) – but I do think Bloomsbury should have to explain their decision. Last time, with LIAR, they said the cover reflected the unreliable narrator, and I thought that was quite a stretch.) I’d be much more interested in how they explain the latest lapse in judgment – not having read the book, I don’t know what kind of metaphor the marketing people thought the race switch could reflect – it’s going to be another stretch, I’m thinking…..

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