The kidlit blogosphere is aflame with this story. If you are unfamiliar you can read about it here.
Or even here.
I’ve already posted this idea in comments sections of blogs and on facebook but I thought I’d make the suggestion a little more formal by stating it here.
Whatever Bloomsbury’s reasons, they are a business and businesses tend to listen to one thing more than any other: money. The bottom line is generally where a business is most vulnerable, and anything that affects the bottom line tends to be heard loud and clear.
Normally this would mean boycotting a business, hurt them financially in such a way that they take notice and, one hopes, corrective action. All well and good, but there’s an additional aspect here that makes it difficult to do. Refusing to buy Justine Larbalestier’s book to send a message has the unfortunate side effect of punishing the author for a decision she had no control over. A boycott might send a message to the publisher but it would most definitely hurt the author in the process.
My proposal: support the author, protest the cover.
It’s that simple. Purchase the book in support of the author, then mail back the dust jacket to the publisher, or more specifically, to the person responsible for making the decision on the cover image. My understanding is that person would be:
175 Fifth Avenue #300,
New York NY 10010
Simply mail the cover back to Bloomsbury requesting that they send you a “corrected” cover when it becomes available.
Now, I don’t believe for a moment that Bloomsbury is going to actually print new dust jackets for this book – I suspect they’ll make the correction when it goes to paperback – but imagine it; the mail flooded with returned covers, the voices of readers who support writers – Bloomsbury’s customer base – letting them know they did wrong.
Let’s do this. Spread the word.