Reminder: Deadline for Simon Kernick Is Awesome Contest with Bonus Links

imageThe deadline for the Simon Kernick is Awesome Photoshop contest is midnight tonight EST—and the entries are HILARIOUS. I’m posting them this weekend so stay tuned – voting will commence on Monday. Hubby in particular has been after me to show him the entries. They are so worth the wait, let me tell you.

And, to coax you into thinking creatively, here’s a link that made me choke on the diet Coke. From AfterEllen, Harlequin novels that focus on more sports than just NASCAR.

Harlequin is really onto something here: romance novels targeted at a previously untapped market.

You know what’s an even more untapped market? Lesbian sports fans! I think Harlequin could make good money with the right kind of stories.

The cover mockups are worth a look, especially “Incidental Contact.”

Book CoverSpeaking of not-magical covers, Justine Larbalestier does a rather brave thing and addresses directly the reactions – hers and those of her readers – to the US release of her book, “Liar:”

Liar is a book about a compulsive (possibly pathological) liar who is determined to stop lying but finds it much harder than she supposed. I worked very hard to make sure that the fundamentals of who Micah is were believable: that she’s a girl, that she’s a teenager, that she’s black, that she’s USian. One of the most upsetting impacts of the cover is that it’s led readers to question everything about Micah: If she doesn’t look anything like the girl on the cover maybe nothing she says is true. At which point the entire book, and all my hard work, crumbles.

Covers matter, says Larbalestier, particularly in YA. Whether it’s the name on the cover or the image itself, they remain crucial for the branding of the book and the author for a host of reasons.

 

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Vicki says:

    re: the untapped market books: I am totally straight and would totally read them!  Harlequin, are you listening?

    wife77 – yep, pretty much

  2. 2
    megalith says:

    I’m so sorry, but I just have to comment on this, totally off-topic:

    “USian”? Srsly?

    I had to Google it—at first I thought it was some overly clever conflation of US and Asian. But no. You know, I would have thought that the term “American” already had enough pejorative oomph to satisfy most appetites. The word is, after all, actually in the name of the country, so it’s not ALL unbridled arrogance that leads to the shorthand term “American.” Unless there is the expectation that “United States of Americans” would somehow be a realistic usage? And I don’t know of many Canadians or Costa Ricans who self-identify as simply “Americans” rather than as North Americans or Central Americans.

    Seriously, can we somehow nip this one in the bud before it becomes as obnoxious as “impact” as a verb?

    Okay, back on topic:
    I love how down to earth Rupert Grint is. Such a nice thing to see how patient he is with this semi-hysterical fan.

  3. 3
    megalith says:

    Ah, crap. Wrong post. Okay, so I’m completely off-topic. Blame it on my obnoxious USian arrogance, then.

  4. 4
    mirain says:

    In her post Larbalestier says none of her main characters, but my edition of How to Ditch Your Fairy also has a white girl on the cover. As far as I can tell. The top half of her face is chopped off. WHY do they keep doing that? Creeps me out…

  5. 5
    mirain says:

    edit: oops, first sentence should read “Larbalestier says none of her main characters are white.”

  6. 6
    Suze says:

    Seriously, can we somehow nip this one in the bud before it becomes as obnoxious as “impact” as a verb?

    Too late, it’s everywhere.  It’s goofy, but it’s everywhere.

    It’s also too late to make “American” mean anything but “of the United States”.

    Goofyness.  Also everywhere.

  7. 7
    JT Banks says:

    It’s good to see something many of us have always suspected coming out in the open.  Publishers really underestimate the reading public. I find it insulting.

  8. 8
    Shirin Dubbin says:

    re: Liar cover

    This problem—I believe the pop-term is ‘whitewashing’—goes on all the time. When you ask Hollywood or Publishers about it they’ll say it’s because color doesn’t sell. Yeah, uh huh, sure it doesn’t. I mean nobody reads James Patterson’s Alex Cross novels and God forbid anyone has ever picked up L.A Bank’s Vampire Huntress Legends or Sue Monk Kidd’s the Secret Life of Bees. Christine Feehan’s Dark Possession or SJ Day’s Marked series. What are those? Nope, no one’s reading that colored sh!t.

    Ok, so we dig deeper. The Vampire Huntress Legends and Marked series are the only of these that feature a person of identifiable ethnicity on the cover—most don’t show a person at all. I’ll admit with the Marked covers I didn’t immediately think Asian…(alright, I thought Shannen Doherty) but still we can draw the conclusion: color is ok for the content but not the cover.

    Take a look at C.E Murphy’s Negotiator Trilogy featuring attorney and Old Races wrangler Margrit Knight http://www.amazon.com/gp/series/93644/ref=pd_serl_books?ie=UTF8&edition=paperback Seriously, I’ll wait… Margrit is black by the way. Surprise!

    And nobody wants to watch decidedly ethnic folk at the movies either. That’s what the makers of the upcoming Avatar the Last Airbender film will tell you. That’s why they were forced, claws dug into floorboards, to change what the creator’s of the animated series call an “Asian fantasy world” into a movie with a mostly white cast featuring (so we can shut our whining mouths) that kid from Slumdog Millionaire.

    Ah, so they’re aware of the success of Slumdog Millionaire but completely oblivious to Will Smith’s position as Hollywood’s biggest opener. They forgot about Rush Hour (no matter how you feel about the series it sells) and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon plus no one’s ever heard of Bollywood. And before anyone brings up that the voice talent on Avatar the Last Airbender is mostly white I’ll rebut with: James Earl Jones voices Darth Vader but I didn’t see any little black Anakin Skywalkers running around.

    >sigh< I know I went off a bit there but I just don’t get why we haven’t come further than this and why we’re still being fed the same old line: color is ok for the content but not the cover. Well, I guess I better go give my caramel-colored ass a good whitewashing cause I wouldn’t want anyone to be afraid to buy my book…

  9. 9
    Christiana says:

    Perhaps they could also change the title of the book to bring a whiter err, wider audience. For example:

    Your Arms are Too White to Box with God, A White Raisin in the Sun, The Color White, etc.

  10. 10
    Obskuretris says:

    @Christiana your titles made me choke on my water.

  11. 11
    Shirin Dubbin says:

    @Obskuretris

    @Christiana your titles made me choke on my water.

    =giggle= and that’s why I love her. I wonder if we should be the MCs of one of those AfterEllen Harlequin “Other Sport” titles (graphic design is just as demanding as any sport).

    Ours could be called “Designing Women, The Layout of Love”

    (Chris is going to kill me for that one)

  12. 12
    Christiana says:

    Ours could be called “Designing Women, The Layout of Love”

    OK, but I want to be “Hellvetica, Mistress of the Quark” and I want a trusty sidekick werewolf named Baskerville, preferably shirtless in tight jeans.

    Shameless plug: More silly writing can be found on my website: http://www.xiana.com Recip.es and toy photos too!

  13. 13
    Jonquil says:

    It gets even better.  Melanie Cecka, publishing director of Bloomsbury Children’s Books USA says it’s all okay because ” “The entire premise of this book is about a compulsive liar … Of all the things you’re going to choose to believe of her, you’re going to choose to believe she was telling the truth about race?””.

    Yes.  Because the author *says* she was telling the truth about race, and went to some pains to write her as a mixed-race person.  But no, her nice editor knows better than the author what race the character is.

  14. 14
    Shirin Dubbin says:

    Our voices were heard http://justinelarbalestier.com/blog/2009/08/06/the-new-cover/

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Sarah, and thanks to Justine Larbalestier for standing up!

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