Monday, January 13, 2014

Dear Publishers: Flaunt Your Diversity!

 

 

 

I use Grammarly's plagiarism checker  because an original opinion is a terrible thing to waste.

 

I recently discovered Grammarly when they sent me an invitation to view their site. I’m really impressed and will be visiting them often in the future. I’ll confess to never checking if my reviews or commentary pieces have been plagiarized because frankly I’ve thought my blog was “under the radar” . Yet more and more I’ve seen my fellow bloggers fall victim to content theft so I’m determined to keep an eye on it in 2014! Now on to today’s post!

 

 

I got the idea for today’s topic because of my current read:

 

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I said yes to the review request for this book because it sounded really good and I love paranormal romances with interconnected characters. I'm loving this book so far but I hadn’t paid close attention to the cover blurb ( That cover kind of demands all your attention!), so I was pleasantly surprised to find that the hero of the story was a Hispanic male and his love interest is Black. The character Faith is not African American because she is a supernatural creature, not human. But the fact that she has ‘Skin as black as midnight, hair as white as snow, and a body of pure perfection” is a kind of diversity you don’t see a lot of in romances. I will definitely be spotlighting this in my review.

 

I read a lot! Across many genres and though I don't expect every character I read about to look like me It’s great when characters do and I’m surprised that publishers don’t take the time to spotlight Diversity in their books. There are a lot of readers that want more characters they can relate too in their reading life, characters that share their ethnicity and possibly their sexual orientation. Here are some good and challenging examples of books showing and not showing  their diversity:

 

 

This cover spotlights all the characters in the story. I picked up issue one just because I was intrigued to see a black character in a Manga. Its an amazing series .

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The lead story in this anthology was a love story between an African-American couple,  one of whom was a Witch. It was a beautiful story about the dangers of using Magic against the natural course of things in life.However if I was a reader who liked diverse paranormal fiction nothing in this cover would have let me know how diverse the characters in many of the stories were. Instead we get the standard cover of most YA paranormal.

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Many fans claimed “white washing” with this cover. I was just really disappointed that word wasn’t spread about a really well done interracial romance and that the majority of the characters in this book are Black!

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This is an amazing book and though I love the cover  I wish there would have been an interior illustration or something on the back that showcased the fact that there are two amazing female characters in this book who are in many ways stronger and more  Vicious then the two male leads!

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Two amazing examples!

In Dawn of the Jedi not only see the character is a fierce fighter it’s also obvious she is ethnically diverse. For fangirl the cover clearly shows that the character Cath  writes fiction about a romance between two male characters.

 

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This cover is beautiful but without reading the cover blurb you wouldn’t know its a love story between an African-American woman and a Kenyan man

 

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Dark Horse did a wonderful job with this comic, prominently showing the two main characters on the cover.

 

 

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I’m a huge fan of this book but I’m really annoyed that not one of the female characters from the show are on the cover! Including the show’s co-star, Ahsoka Tano!! A character who brought a lot of new female  fans to the Star Wars Universe.

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Now as a blogger I know that I’m not privy to all the reasons publishers make cover decisions but I wish that if a book with diverse characters has reached a level of success in the form of the bestsellers list, that some sort of showcasing of the diversity would  happen upon republishing the book, or perhaps even spotlighting it on the publishers website

Thankfully as a blogger I do have the opportunity to spread the word on books that I enjoy and hopefully encourage others to try them as well.

Happy Reading!

2 comments:

Pamela D said...

This was a wonderful post. I look forward to you highlighting other books with a diverse set of characters.

FICTION STATE OF MIND said...

Thanks so much Pamela