I understand it can cost a lot of money for authors to self publish a book. They have to pay for all the upfront cost to publish their own books like editors, websites, proofreaders, and much more. Therefore using a low cost or free image for their own book covers is very cost effective. Now as a reader who browses the kindle store and who is looking for their next read. I will skip over a book I already think I read. Why buy the same book twice? Even though the content of the book is entirely different but as I'm browsing the kindle store I'm not having those in-depth thoughts. I'm just looking for my next read.
Anyways, back at the author event, I made my embarrassing exit making promises to read more of the author other books and made a point to look up this cover.
I love attending author events. I get swag, I hear about new books, and I get to smell authors. Well maybe not smell them but I get to breathe the same air they do. Its all pretty exciting for any book nerd. Even though I would love to say I remember every book, and can name every author I've read the fact remains I can't. I'm actually better at remembering book covers than author names. Well, at a recent author event I saw an author promoting her books and I rushed over to her table. I was really confident that I read her book See, I thought I was meeting Keary Taylor, author of "What I didn't Say", a book I really enjoyed reading last year. In my excitement, I greeted the author like I was seeing an old friend. I'm not sure about anyone else but I tend to think of characters in books I really enjoyed as my friends. Well as I started talking to the author at the this massive book event I realized my mistake. I wasn't meeting Keary Taylor and I was in an awkward predicament. Here is an author who thinks I'm really excited to meet her but I just realized I never read any one of her books. I got duped with the reuse of a stock cover image that plenty of authors use to save on cost.
Pretty popular cover, right? My google image search turn up about 600 searches. I'm not going to lie. The picture is really nice. It grabbed my attention the first time and I read a book because of it but I doubt I'll read any of these other books because of the similar covers. I wish I could say it doesn't matter but I feel differently about it. I do wonder what if I hated "What I Didn't Say." and then associated that cover with a negative feeling. I guess that is a risk authors have to take when using free or low cost stock images. Am I the only one who feels this way when you see the same cover being used over & over again? I really hope not.
Earlier this year the #weneeddiversebooks became an eye opener to a lot of people about the lack of diversity in children's literature. Twitter and tumblr were filled with people posting pictures and tweets about why we need diverse books. I even joined the bandwagon on tumblr, and I know it's not the best picture. I was in a rush before work but I wanted to participate because I felt it was extremely important.
Being a Latina woman I defiantly notice the lack of diversity in children's & adult literature. I rarely could find a character that had a similar background as me and I really did try. I use to go to the book store and look through the shelves looking for authors with Hispanic last names (Garcia, Martinez, Sanchez, etc..) in hopes they wrote a book with main characters who were like me. I was rarely successful but did find a few books to read. Even though Hispanics represent 17% of the the US population we do not represent 17% of books being published. We actually are just represented by only 3% which is crazy because our group continues to grow. A quarter of the kids entering public schools are of Hispanic origins. HINT HINT to publishers, do you not see a growing untap market! Don't even get me started on the LGBT, other ethnic minorities and people with disabilities.
Anyways, my post isn't about why we need diversity in books. (find out more about the we need diverse books campaign here. )I'm actually want to introduce my own diversity rating system. This is still a work in progress so I reserve the right to change my rating system. Basically I am still going to review books and rate them on a 1-5 star rating system but I am also going to add an A-F grade for diversity. So a book might be awesome and get 5 stars but might get a F because it lacks diversity. If you want to disagree with my diversity rating then please comment with your views. Not all books need to hit every bulletin point but needs to hit at least one.
Hola! Hello! Shalom! Bonjour! Ciao!
Okay so now that is out of the way. I guess I should actually write a heartfelt meaningful blog post. . Alright here goes:
If at any point while reading this blog post and you feel your having a heartfelt feeling then I need to advice that you might be experiencing heartburn or maybe you are having a heart attack Then please stop reading and seek medical attention. Also if at any moment you feel tears then I feel you might have allergies but allergies should not stop you from reading. Just take a claritin and continue on.
After much thought and to be honest with the two people reading this post. I really can't write a heartfelt meaningful post. I just don't have it in me. I'm sorry. I know y'all were expecting more. Maybe a sad picture of a cat will create some heartfelt feelings.
Did that work? I really hope so cause I really do not want to find another picture. Its not fun and this blog is all about the fun. Hello! I think shenanigans is the blogs middle name and if its not then I think it should be. I don't want to end this on with a sad picture of a cat. So here goes one of those pics that make you go AWWWWWW!
Maybe my next blog post will be about books.
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