Log in

No account? Create an account
Previous Entry Share Next Entry
Follow up to Whitewash--Bloomsbury makes good--better late than never?

This article originally appeared in PW's Children's Bookshelf.
By John A. Sellers -- Publishers Weekly, 1/21/2010 1:45:00 PM

Earlier this week, criticism grew online over the cover of Jaclyn Dolamore’s Magic Under Glass, a January fantasy novel from Bloomsbury Children’s Books—the second time in recent months one of the publisher’s covers has come under fire. Today, Bloomsbury apologized for the cover and released a statement saying that it would stop supplying copies of Magic Under Glass, Dolamore’s debut novel, and that books with a new jacket would be made “available shortly.”

The controversy calls to mind the online furor last summer over Justine Larbalestier’s Liar, also published by Bloomsbury, in which the cover used an image of a white girl, when the protagonist is described in the book as being half-black. The house designed a new cover for Liar before it went on-sale. In the case of Magic Under Glass, the circumstances—a discrepancy between the description of a character’s ethnicity in the book and her appearance on the cover—are much the same. The protagonist, Nimira, is described in the story as having brown skin and considered by others to have “exotic” features.

Here is Bloomsbury’s full statement: “Bloomsbury is ceasing to supply copies of the US edition of Magic Under Glass. The jacket design has caused offense and we apologize for our mistake. Copies of the book with a new jacket design will be available shortly.”

  • 1
But will it stop them from doing it again in the future?

No way to know but...but it sure would be quite idiotic of them to try to pull such a stunt a third time, wouldn't it? The eyes of the reading public and the media is now upon them.

Very true. It seems a bit idiotic that they did it twice, and so close together at that. I hope they've taken the hint.

This time their response seemed much faster.

Not to mention the financial loss they take each time they do this. You'd think THAT at least would motivate them to be very careful not to do this again.

This is good news, although I'll be happiest if it doesn't happen again, from Bloomsbury (especially--it's the second time!) or any other publishing company.

But you are absolutely right: better late than never.

Thanks for letting us know!

You're very welcome. At least they didn't try to rationalize it this time.

(Deleted comment)
It occurred to me...but really, considering the backlash it caused last time you'd think the art dept would be a wee bit more sensitive.

But the author loses, no?

So all of the plans and publicity for the book got started--and now it's not available.

The first-time author will end up with fewer sales despite having done nothing wrong. (The blip in the Bloomsbury P&L statement will be minor by comparison.)

What makes you think there was much marketing or publicity in the first place? (I haven't checked around, so I don't know) but of course you realize how few books get either these days.
And in fact, this bad publicity may be a good thing for when the new edition is released.

  • 1