Handbags, Books...Whatever

Handbags, Books...Whatever is the website of Vicki Batman, sassy writer of sexy and funny fiction. Handbag lover. Avid Jazzerciser. Mah jong player. Yoga practioner. Movie fan. Book devourer.Choc-aholic. Best Mom ever. And adores Handsome.


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Tuesday, February 09, 2016

When Black Women Fall, 2/8-14 featuring L Penelope #RssosSisters #MFRWorg #Blackliterature #covertalk #giveaway

The When Black Women Fall promo features romances in the contemporary, historical, paranormal, science fiction and fantasy, and erotica genres. The two requirements for inclusion are that the heroine must be of African/African-American descent, and she must fall in love: same race, interracial, LGBT, aliens, cyborg—doesn’t matter to us, as long as it’s a black woman falling in love!
For the week leading up to Valentine’s Day during Black History month, Heartspell Media is spreading the word about “When Black Women Fall” — a week-long promo featuring romances with African-American heroines.
When is it? February 8-14, 2016. The week leading up to Valentine’s Day during Black History month.

The Unwashed Cover by L Penelope

I recently read this story about how bestselling middle-grade author Rick Riordan (of Percy Jackson fame) had no recourse when several of his international publishers whitewashed the covers of his books and portrayed a black character as white. He complained, but even for an author of his stature and sales, the correction took far too long.

A day or two later, an author in a Facebook group lamented that her cover was whitewashed by her small press. This is in no ways new, and it never stops being infuriating.

I turned on the TV yesterday and caught a clip of some movie where Blaire Underwood was being beaten by the police for literally no reason. The movie was set in the 1950s. My husband and I just looked at one another — no words needed to be said. It seems we’re still fighting the same battles over and over.

I’ve been told that I was very “courageous” for putting black faces on the covers of my books. This made me indescribably sad. Will white readers feel like my books aren’t “for them” because they don’t feature people who look like them on the covers? Have I ever felt like a book wasn’t for me because of the lack of diversity on the cover? That I wouldn’t be able to relate or enjoy it? Of course not. And my philosophy is to start as you mean to go forward. As an artist (and a control freak) I want to create and through my work begin reshaping the world in the way I want it to be.

I made decisions regarding my covers that many believe will impact sales for a variety of reasons, but mostly because I just like seeing black people on my covers. And having my covers represent the characters in my books. To quote a Twitter poster “the melanin is winning.” And since I self publish, I can do whatever I want. I don’t have to shout into the void and not be heard like Riordan or Ursula LeGuin or the many other authors whose books have been whitewashed over the years and continue to be so.

One day representing my reality the way I live and perceive it will stop being “courageous” and just be normal. Until then, I’ll put whoever I want on my covers and be grateful I have the freedom to do so.
Maia-It's hard to be normal when you see the dead everywhere. So I gave up. I just focus on staying out of their way. But the guy haunting my roommate is different. He’s impossible to ignore, and now other people can see him too.

He says my roommate is the only one who can save him from an eternity of torment. But one night he follows me into my nightmare and rescues me from my demons. Now he’s all I think about. This must be what it's like to fall... for someone who can never be mine.

Caleb-A lifetime ago, I found my soul mate in the human world. But being angelborn means I don't have a soul. When I lost my one true love, I lost my future and my freedom. Now, I have a second chance — she's been reborn and I must gain her love again or serve out the rest of my eternal sentence alone.

But this time I am a fugitive with powerful angels hunting me, and I'm running out of time. You only get one soul mate, and mine isn't the broken, scarred girl, who sees what no one else can. She's a distraction I can scarcely afford — but I'm unable to stay away from her.

Find Angelborn at: Amazon   B&N    Apple   Kobo   ARE

Enter When Black Women Fall giveaway at: Giveaway!!!


Thank you so much, ladies, for visiting with me today and talking about book covers. L. Penelope's cover for Angelborn is outstanding.

6 comments:

Eve Mardis said...

I've been selling books for about 18 years and I've seen/heard all sides of this subject. I have an African-American romance reader who won't touch most African-American romances (exceptions Francis Ray and Beverly Jenkins) because "I don't relate to them" and yet she recently came in with an "unknown to her" Rochelle Alers romance, one of her new Cavanaugh Island romances. She'd picked it up because it looked good - there are no people on the cover. Now she's a fan. On the other side, I've had a couple of white readers who have liked Regina Hart's Finding Home series - once again, picked up without knowing the ethnicity of the characters - and they've enjoyed them. I have had African-American women refuse to read books by white authors and vice versa. It's very true that a book is judged by it's cover, I've done it myself ... picked up a book based solely on how I responded to the cover. I don't know if there's an answer to this other than taking people off of the covers totally. That being said ... it's your book, your cover ... stand proud and stand by what you feel is right for you.

vicki batman said...

Hi, Eve! Wow, this is so interesting from a bookseller's viewpoint. It is interesting what a cover conveys--elements from the story and a feeling which compels a reader to read the back cover copy. I've read all kinds of books from many authors. I think the biggest turn-off was having to read with a dictionary. Ick.

Eve Mardis said...

I've had other customers talk about those covers where the heads are cut-off, or the faces are in shadow. Some like them because it enables them to envision the characters the way they want to, others want the faces because they think that's the way the authors created them (I've told them that that's not often the case).

Angela Adams said...

I have several African-American authors that I follow. One, being Brenda Jackson who often has people on her covers. With an author that I follow regularly, I pay little attention to the book cover. To me, a good story is a good story and a good author is a good author (and, Brenda is one of the best!) Thanks for the post!

Melissa Keir said...

Your book looks amazing. I wish you much success. One of my favorite series was LA Banks' Vampire Huntress series. Her character didn't look like me or act like me, but I still wished I could be like her.

Thank you for speaking out.

vicki batman said...

Hi, Eve! Now, I've heard that discussion too. What I'm a little tired of is naked man chest. I think sexy is wearing a suit. lol\

Hi, Angela! I'm with you too. A good author trumps cover. What if the cover was bad, yet we knew the story inside is great? That has happened to me a couple of times.

Hi, Melissa! I'm so happy you could join the discussion today.

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