This was prompted by Justine Larbalestier's post here about why the cover of her book, Liar, looks nothing like the character described in it.
An excerpt: Every year at every publishing house, intentionally and unintentionally, there are white-washed covers. Since I’ve told publishing friends how upset I am with my Liar cover, I have been hearing anecdotes from every single house about how hard it is to push through covers with people of colour on them. Editors have told me that their sales departments say black covers don’t sell. Sales reps have told me that many of their accounts won’t take books with black covers. Booksellers have told me that they can’t give away YAs with black covers. Authors have told me that their books with black covers are frequently not shelved in the same part of the library as other YA—they’re exiled to the Urban Fiction section—and many bookshops simply don’t stock them at all. How welcome is a black teen going to feel in the YA section when all the covers are white? Why would she pick up Liar when it has a cover that so explicitly excludes her?
Someone might ask, why would a White teen pick up a cover that's Black, when it excludes them. I think people need to stop worrying about being excluded. When you look at a cover, you should see another teen girl, just like you. Why do you have to feel excluded because their skin is different from yours? There are far more ways in which we are alike.
I really would like a response to this from all my readers, but especially from a White reader. Tell me something, anything. I won't attack you. I'd just like to know how you feel about this. Is there anyone brave enough?