Thursday, January 21, 2010

Boycott Bloomsbury? Hell no...

For those that aren’t aware, Jaclyn Dolamore’s Magic Under Glass is the latest book that’s come under fire for its cover art because the picture on the jacket is of a light skinned girl. I have to admit after the firestorm over Liar, I’m lost as to why Bloomsbury would do this. Again. Possibly someone just forgot to include a description of the character to the art department.

Whatever the reasoning behind it, I’m even more dumbstruck by the fact people are going around wanting Bloomsbury boycotted.

I understand the anger. I do. Bloomsbury should make a statement. Accidental or not, this needs to be addressed and fixed. Boycotting them though, is not the answer. It’ll hurt authors more, especially Jaclyn Dolamore and other authors who are debuting. If books don’t sell, unlikely they’ll buy the second one. Or a third.

Even worse, boycotting beautifully written books with strong lead persons of color is going to end up being more devastating. Again, if sales are bad for the first book, there won’t be a second. This reminds me of the old saying, “throwing the baby out with the bathwater.”

This in not any author’s fault. Most authors don’t have a say in their cover art. In fact I’ve only heard of two that have been consulted about the art. Both are major NYT bestselling authors. So what chance does some new kid on the block get to have a say on their artwork? No chance in hell sounds right to me.

So what to do about Bloomsbury. An online petition has already been started. If you feel that’s not good enough, try writing to them. Or maybe organize something like what happened when CBS cancelled the TV series Jericho and fans rallied to the get the show a proper closure. 

I agree this behavior of using light-skinned models in place of a person of color must stop. It is irrational. At the same time, going after Bloomsbury must be done thoughtfully. In a poor economy, blindly boycotting could destroy a career and cost readers the loss of a wonderful story.

As always, this is my blog and my thoughts on this matter.

End Rant.


  1. Thank you. And yeah, I understand the anger. I just thought it needed to be channelled better.