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I’ve not quite managed to go through all my Google Reader feeds, but I’ve made some headway, and the following are some of the more noteworthy posts.

1. Sarah over at Monkey Bear Reviews has a great post up entitled Dorothy Koomson, Book Covers and Black Characters.

Here’s a snippet:

I’m convinced that the conclusions I draw about a book’s content when I see its cover are due years of conditioning through clever marketing. The arguments used for marketing books a certain way is that that is what sells, hence the preponderance of heaving bosoms and bloody knives in romances and thrillers respectively.

But surely the marketeers predictions of what will sell and what won’t become self-fulfilling prophecies? If a reader has only seen romance novels with cleavage, that’s the association they will make when shopping for books, even if they don’t actually like the covers. Similarly, if the only books published featuring black characters on the covers are ‘issues’ books, than that is what readers will expect the story to be about.

The only way to change readers’ assumptions is to change the way books are marketed. It might take a while, but eventually readers will come to have different expectations when they see certain things on book covers.

Sarah then goes on to show Dorothy Koomson’s excellent covers, which seem to be the exception that proves the rule when it comes to reader reactions to black people on book covers.