I need to get out of this funky mood (the footage from Ferguson and also the interviews of young people explaining why they’re upset are on repeat in my mind). So besides my rant post, I’m listing a few more things I’ve been doing.
Click image to read an excerpt:
This is a new cover I’d created for Rory (a character introduced in the ebook RUSH) who’s paired with an exotic dancer named Roxie. I wasn’t as comfortable with my original cover, so I created this one about a month ago. Click the image for an excerpt:
Much like with my writing, I tend to create lots of covers and then whittle them down to the ones that I like the best. Another example is this one I did for HUI by editing two different photos:
But I decided to go with this one instead:
Oh, and one more thing:
WARNING this is just a rant, so excuse me while I scream ARRAGHHH!!
Why do some publishers do this? Why do they completely ignore the diversity of their reading audience and also diverse writers?
Before I self-published in 2012, I was and still am a voracious reader. Yet some publishers still choose to ignore people of color and other groups whenever they advertise their authors.
Note to Montlake. Crowing about your new releases that only show white couples is an EPIC FAIL. Think of the message you’re sending, that this is the only target group you either care about or that you don’t have any books ready for release that celebrate diversity.
If either one is the case. GET ON IT, quickly. If playing with the big boys of publishing means exclusivity and not being inclusive, then I repeat, think of the message that you’re sending.
Montlake isn’t alone in doing this sort of thing, so this rant also goes for other big publishers out there who fill their front web pages and newsletters with book covers that inadvertently (or purposely) tell the reader that the only romance worth having is when the couples are of the same race, or that you can never have enough covers showing model worthy white lovers. What about Asian cover models? Or African? Or African American? Or First Nation, just to give a few examples of the under-represented.
Or bi-racial, like the President of our country?
This is 2014, not 1940. Why Montlake, did I click on your site to see a WTF wall full of this:
****I decided against posting any screen shots. This is no fault of the authors themselves, and I don’t want this rant to be viewed as such.****
Okay, I’m done. And yes, I feel a bit better now 🙂
Life interrupted, so I wasn’t able to finish editing HUI since I work full-time and write part time. But it will be out very soon. Here’s how I deal with the eye-strain of pages and pages of text:
I’m going to repost this 2013 link from BUZZFEED, because it lists a number of Asian leading men who may not be familiar to American audiences:
I’m still cleaning up a number of books (reviewing sentence structure, getting rid of overdone or purple prose, checking for typos). I have to oversee every aspect of self-pubbing and I re-write scenes like crazy. Sometimes I’ll write a scene several times over, only to cut the whole dang thing and use just a couple of sentences.
Just a few more promos to post, because creating them helps me visualize characters and their traits:
I’m not going to put too many words to the promo photos I’ve created for the novel Hui. Hopefully they convey a bit of the love the two characters share in the upcoming ebook:
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.