I have to thank Jinni, who commented on Dear Author for this post. I didn’t realize there was a podcast discussing book covers with author Farrah Rochon. You can listen to it here:
But in the DA thread, I briefly mentioned how glad I was to see this cover:
Not only was I excited about this book, but my anticipation was building over JR Ward’s 13th novel which is going to feature the brothers Trez and iAm. There’s even a Goodreads thread with cover mock ups and GIFs showing all the excitement here
Then I got a look at the publisher’s new cover for The Shadows:
Was I disappointed? Yes. Inwardly I was like, forget it you big baby. That’s how it is with some major publishers. The ambiguity is so that the people who wouldn’t normally pick up a book with a person of color on the cover will feel more at ease, because you can’t really tell what the guy is (at least to my eyes). But this isn’t the Trez I recall from the novel.
Trez was described as dark brown with green eyes when he and his brother iAm were first introduced (their initial “duties” were another source of frustration though. Thankfully JR dropped the whole pimp and servant routine with Trez, who also waited hand and foot on Revenge). When I find the exact passage I’ll post it. So, what’s a reader and now a new author to do? Here’s my mock up of Trez. I like it so much, I think I’ll use it for one of my own covers. I also think another longer post with more historical examples and also delving into just why there’s resistance from the major publishers to put a person of color front and center on their covers still exists.
Oh, and yes, I’m hard at work on getting my own novels out (The Player, Hui, Gaijin, RAZHER II, Queenrealm, Thief of Hearts . . . ). I’m also honing my digital editing skills so that the colors of interracial couples I put together look more varied and natural: