Archive | August 11, 2009

Don’t judge an author by a cover

I was shocked to read this article today about a novel centred around an African-American girl, with a WHITE model on the cover.  Had anyone from the publishing house read the book when they decided on that cover?  Apparently the author tried fighting but they insisted.  Luckily they’ve now had a change of heart and there will now be an African-American model used. 

When I first thought about writing a book, I had this idealistic idea that the author would be able to dictate what they want, where, how etc.  Having read more into this I know that it’s the publishers that get all the says, but even with this in mind I thought the author would have SOME say at least.  I’m very happy that in the end it worked out well for Justine Larbalestier.  However I can’t help thinking, what if that happened to me, what if someone wanted to publish my book, but with what I felt to be an inappropriate cover?

Personally, I do judge books by the covers.  If I’m in a book shop and like the look of a cover, I will always pick it up and read the back.  On the other hand, if I don’t like the cover it’s unlikely I will even give it a second glance.  (Unless someone recommends it to me that is).  I feel a little dishartened today that someone in a publishing house would have the final say on something so important.  I guess I should really write a book, edit it, print it, try to find an agent/publisher before I start worrying about things like this.