Thursday, January 21, 2010

More Cover Controversy

Hey, this feels familiar.

So Magic Under Glass, an upcoming YA fantasy romance by Jaclyn Dolamore, gets this cover:

I think it's a pretty cover, if kinda generic. But the heroine is described in the book as dark-skinned, and while the lighting's somewhat dim on the cover, it's not dim enough to disguise up the lack of melatonin in that young lady. Also check out the trailer below for how the author pictured the heroine, Nimira.

Oh, brother.

I've heard murmurs over the past week or so as people started reading it, but Ari over at Reading in Color really turned the murmurs into shouts.

Didn't we just do this? I'm not being snarky at the bloggers who are--correctly--stirring up a dust about this, but at the publisher. It's the same one. Really, Bloomsbury? Didn't anyone involved in cover decisions take a hint from last summer's bad-publicity storm? And yes, they just announced plans to change the cover, but wouldn't it have been so much better if someone in-house spoke up and said, "Hey, I know cover models don't always match the inside description exactly, but this is a bit much, y'know? Let's go back to the drawing board, mmmkay?"

Dolamore has gotten some flack for not speaking up in the same way as Justine Larbalestier, but honestly I don't blame her for playing it maybe too cautious. She's a debut author, a tricky time for anybody, and most likely she didn't want to rock the boat. Here's what Dolamore had to say about the controversy.

Some people are calling for a boycott on the book. I think that's shooting everyone in the collective foot. This individual book is not the problem--it's a symptom.

I could gather up all the relevant links, but it's late, so I'm going to point you at Bookshelves of Doom, which has a nicer roundup than I could do if I had the whole night.

ETA: I forgot to mention that sharp-eyed cover mavens have now realized that a character described and illustrated as brown-skinned in Little, Brown's Mysterious Benedict Society series has been consistently portrayed in alabaster tones on the covers. It's the same illustrator, even, so I'm at a loss here, folks.

1 comment:

Greg Pincus said...

As an update, Bloomsbury has ceased supplying the US cover, and... Oh, you can read it on their site. Better than me transcribing!

Bloomsbury Kids