Friday, August 7, 2009

Little Victories

I am certainly not one for quotes, but...Margaret Mead once said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Perhaps that's a bit of a bold statement to make in relation to the announcement that Bloomsbury will be publishing Justine Larbalestier's book Liar with a new cover, but I think it's rather fitting, and I consider it a victory, albeit a small one, against racism*.

The original cover choice smacked of racism and served only to reinforce the idea that books with black people featured on the cover don't sell. The new cover is more than I think anyone could've asked for; they could've just gone with the Australian cover like Justine initially requested, but Bloomsbury when whole hog, and the cover will not only feature a photo of a girl who looks a LOT more like Micah (though I will say, not exactly her), but it will be in color!

Of course, the battle is only everyone needs to go and buy it! Thankfully, it's an awesome novel, so getting it into bookstores and libraries shouldn't be a challenge - but it needs to sell and it needs to circulate. Making this happen is the responsibility of booksellers and librarians, who need to go forth and feature the novel in displays, booktalk it, handsell it, and do whatever it takes to get it into readers' hands.

* This whole controversy kinda reminded me of when Magic Johnson had to fight (and commit has own money) to get Starbucks to open a stores in black communities. When Starbucks was initially approached their response was "black people don't drink our coffee." Seriously? Maybe if you opened up a store in a black neighborhood, they would. And they did.

1 comment:

  1. Since they are publishing Liar with the new cover I'm going to buy it instead of taking your ARC. If arranging for pick up means the ARCs are in NJ and not Chicago, I will certainly pick up any and all leftover ARCs that people haven't requested. :)