Book Covers That Lie, Yet Again…

Looks like book publisher, Bloomsbury, is at it again. A recent book, “Magic Under Glass” by Jacyln Dolamore has a cover that depicts a white woman on the front cover. However, the main character is describe within as being black. You my remember my other post from July: Book Covers That Lie about the controversy over the book “Liar”, where same publisher did the same thing.

Ari at Reading in Color has more information about the book, “Really Bloomsbury? I’m Done. The Publishing World Needs to Take Note”:

It sounded decent but I probably wouldn’t have read it. I would have read it however if I had known the main character, Nimira was dark-skinned I would have read since I review YA books about poc. But wait! Look at the cover. Hmmm does the model look dark skinned to you? I think not.

Angela at Bookish Blather also posted about the book, “Book Thoughts: Racefail on Magic Under Glass Cover”, and how we all should be paying more attention to the covers of the books we read:

I think we do have an obligation to comment when a cover egregiously doesn’t match the main character. Sure it’s mildly annoying when a character is described as a brunette and then there’s a blonde chick on the cover, but hair color can be changed with a box of dye. Skin color and ethnicity can’t be, and those identities are integral to a person, whether they’re a fictional character or a teenager looking for a representation of herself in the bookstore.

I will definitely be trying harder to pay attention to the book covers of the books I read this year. I said I would in the original post about “Liar”, but I know I haven’t been doing as much as I should have been. It’s easy to put up a blog post commenting on how you don’t like something or wish something was different. But actually doing something about it takes effort. I promise to try harder this year. If something isn’t right I’m going to say something about it. After I post this I’m going to email Bloomsbury and let them know that I’m bothered by the cover.

ETA: Another review by someone who knows the author of the book. In the comments the author and the poster discuss the cover and that it was created before the Liar controversy.

ETA2: More links to others who have posted:

GAL Novelty
Things Mean A Lot
Black-Eyed Susan’s
Abby (the) Librarian
Good Books & Wine
The Book Smugglers

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8 Responses to Book Covers That Lie, Yet Again…

  1. Amanda says:

    Oh my god. Holy donkeys. Stupid bloomsbury. :/

  2. Trisha says:

    Making the race of the person on the cover different from that of the character in the book has to be one of the most inane, insulting, and indecent things I’ve ever heard in the book publishing world. Why even bother? It’s not like people won’t know once they open the book. Will people not buy a book with a POC on the cover when the book is about a POC? That makes absolutely no sense. And really, I would love to see the statistics on how many people buy books just for the covers anyway. If some racist idiot is out book shopping, I would think that he/she would notice if the main character was not white regardless of cover art skin tone. Okay, I really need to stop rambling now.

  3. Nymeth says:

    I’ve just posted about this as well, and I’m going to e-mail them too. You’d think they’d learn, no? :\ I completely agree with everything Trisha said.

  4. Ari says:

    Thank you Jen for speaking out! I linked to your post at Reading in Color :)

  5. Angela says:

    Thanks so much for the link! I’ve returned the favor at my blog. Remembering to pay attention to covers is probably going to be difficult for me for awhile as well, but thankfully the internet isn’t entirely permanent, so if I realize I forgot to make note of a cover I can always go back and edit my review!

  6. Pingback: The Book Smugglers » Blog Archive » Smugglers’ Ponderings: Cover Matters

  7. Jen says:

    Thank you everyone for the comments and the links back!

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