Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Taking the Black out of Kinky





Here's an update from my publisher. There's a new cover in the works for the paperback edition of Kinky Gazpacho: Life, Love & Spain. You can see the current cover above. Would you be surprised to know that the new cover has no Black woman on it? Just a lovely photograph of the Spanish countryside.

What do you think that's about?

I don't have the same publisher as Kim Mclarin, but the same thing happened to her recent novel, Jump at the Sun. The hardcover featured a Black woman reaching for the sun, the paperback is just a photograph of sunflowers. Apparently when sales and marketing discovered that "mainstream" American women (that's code for White people) were loving Ms. Mclarin's book, they deemed it necessary to change the cover.

Do you think that's what happening to my book? My editor denies it. In the grand scheme of things I guess it's a good thing to believe that a wider audience is loving Kinky Gazpacho, but it still feels like a slap in the face to say the Black woman on the cover has to go. Am I still an undesirable?

Thanks for listening.

Peace.

6 comments:

Regina is... said...

how interesting. it's amazing that this is an issue in 2008. can you speak up, a little LOUDER, or is it a done deal?

either way, I will say this...regardless of the image on the cover, Kinky is a great book. onward & upward.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

sad. but that's marketing.

I remember when a hollywood film agent said to me and my writer/director (also a black woman), black woman, other than Halle, have no value. Of course she was referring to box office but the comment still stung.

FirstPersonArts said...

hmm, that's a bit awkward! Good that the book merits a redesign! Is your photo on the back or flyleaf?

Farah said...

The "mainstream" is old school. Your original cover is great and eye-catching! I don't believe that an image of a black woman couldn't be a money maker.

Alex Zealand said...

I work in a library, and I've seen this happen to many a paperback for no particular reason except that publishers seem to think it makes a book seem more exciting, when it's got an all new cover. But it seems a particular shame to do it with your book, as well as potentially undermining. I love the original cover, and it's part of what drew me in in the first place.

Teri LaFlesh said...

That really makes me sad...I feel that the publishing world is missing out on how striking and beautiful black women are...especially our hair! To me,there is nothing more arresting than walking into a room and seeing a woman with a crown of tight and joyous spirals. I loved the old cover. My eyes went right to it, and I had to find out more about the story, just from a brief glance at the cover.