“Book covers — not to mention the books being published — need to represent the diversity of people actually reading books.”
This infuriates me! I love YA books, especially because they have the power to teach us empathy. And yet, publishers manipulate book covers, marginalizing the people of colors and the very characters who readers find so empowering!
Editors have told me that their sales departments say black covers don’t sell. Sales reps have told me that many of their accounts won’t take books with black covers. Booksellers have told me that they can’t give away YAs with black covers. Authors have told me that their books with black covers are frequently not shelved in the same part of the library as other YA—they’re exiled to the Urban Fiction section—and many bookshops simply don’t stock them at all.
How welcome is a black teen going to feel in the YA section when all the covers are white? Why would she pick up Liar when it has a cover that so explicitly excludes her?”
Deadline reports that Julie Kagawa’s book, The Immortal Rules, has already managed to sell screen rights. The book was published by Harlequin Teen this week. The story is set in the future United States and is about a girl named Allie Sekemoto who is turned into a vampire.
The review at Kirkus notes the disconnect between the book cover and excerpts from the book where other characters explicitly describe Allie as Asian.
Given the katana-wielding heroine has already been whitewashed on the book cover, this doesn’t bode very well for the movie.