As a publisher and member of the human family, I was very disturbed to learn of comments made by another publisher to one of its authors that images of people of color were not used on covers because they did not sell books. I know, right?
First, there is no universe in which it is okay to say something like that to someone, much less to believe it. Secondly, it is not true. If a cover is beautifully done and the story inside the book is a good one, readers will find the book. And hey, for argument’s sake, let us say such an assertion were true, how wwrong is it not to express the diversity of our human rainbow for the sake of money? Is that not so much the problem that plagues the human race already?
I opened Ai Press back in March 2010 (happy birthday, Ai!) and I am happy to say that it never occurrd to me for one second not to have a book cover represent the race and culture of the characters in the story. Isn’t the cover at least part of what attracts you to a book and gives you an inkling of what you will find when you read it? To withhold an honest representation of a book’s content by just showing an image one believes will sell the book is insulting to readers on so many levels. It is misleading and condescending at best, downright racist at worst and not worthy of a publisher.
All that said, I am thrilled that Ai Press not only boasts a diverse group of wonderfully talented and terrific authors who are also loveable people, but also offers diversity in the heroe and heroines of our stories. And we show it proudly on every beautiful cover!
Thank you for reading and for your support. Warmly, Sedonia Guillone