Once again, the book community is in an uproar.
It feels like every once in a while the book community finds itself at war. While it’s not a serious kind of war, there seems to be a lot of opinions floating around and everybody picks a side and states their opinion. These kinds of things always allow a lot of space for discussions.
If you missed it, Renee Adhieh’s new book got a new cover which is slightly different than the first one. It doesn’t really match the first one. Most importantly, this new cover features a POC on the cover. Which is a BIG deal. POCs rarely get an opportunity to see themselves on the cover. But naturally, Book Twitter had lots of opinions. Because it’s the Internet and everyone is entitled to one. So here’s some things people shared:
A lot of people care about aesthetics. I like seeing a pretty cover as much as anyone, but I personally could care less about cover changes. The fact that my series doesn’t match seems to me like a pretty irrelevant thing. It’s sort of trivial to me. I am not saying that someone’s ridiculous for caring, I am just saying that I think it’s ridiculous. And I get it. There’s these nice spines next to each other, and they don’t really fit. The series doesn’t feel like a whole and you’re left disappointed. You were so excited for the new book and now the series feel disjointed on your shelf. I am here to tell you that you’re missing the point.
It doesn’t matter because you’re focusing on a minor inconvenience when you should be focused on a great thing that happened. I am the first one to say – I hate models on covers. Real people on covers freak me out. I love drawings of people, but actual life like images – I can’t stand them. But who cares? A POC has a unique opportunity to see themselves on a book cover. They can see this cover and say – hey, that’s me! I want to read this. That’s such an important thing and people of color rarely get. SO rarely. So does it really matter that your series doesn’t match? I don’t think so.
I’ve seen a lot of talk about how these people are inherently racist and I personally think that’s taking it too far. Are they childish and completely oblivious? Yes. But I wouldn’t say that this boils down to racism. I think it boils down to people not seeing how important representation is. I think people aren’t aware that seeing yourself on a cover is so wonderful. That’s mostly because these people see themselves on covers, and everywhere else in the media, all the time. And that’s a problem.
The most unnerving thing about this whole thing is that this series is getting a POC on the cover just now. This is a major series that got a cover change only after it was proven that the series is popular. It didn’t matter that Renee Ahdieh already was an established author. It did not matter that she had a major, successful series already. There’s still a long way to go with all of this and this is just a beginning. So I don’t think we should cut down major cover changes that make positive impacts purely for the aesthetics. But maybe that’s just me.
As always, I’d love to hear from you. What’s your opinion on all of this? Are you really passionate about cover changes? How do you feel about representation on covers? Let me know, I’d love to chat!
P.S. Hope you like the flowers.
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