Thursday, February 06, 2020

Redesigned Book Covers for Black History Month Burn Barnes & Noble

Now Barnes & Noble management gets its turn on the Stage of Worldwide Humiliation because of one of the dumber marketing ploys any national bookseller has every dreamed up. 

Those of us in the U.S. are well aware that February is Black History Month, a month during which minority accomplishments are celebrated in the media, schools, libraries, churches, etc. all across the country. So how does the largest bookseller in the country decide to take part in this year's celebration?


With revised covers for literary classics, that's how. So what genius  thought it would be a good idea to use black faces to promote books that had few or no black people on the written pages?

Black Frankenstein, anyone? How about black Romeos or Juliets?

I literally flinched when I first came upon the story and saw this picture - and I had to wonder how so-called marketing experts  could possibly be this stupid. I wondered who would be most offended by this level of silliness, majority readers or minority readers. And about five minutes later the backlash began and I got my answer. Everyone, straight-across-the-board everyone, seems to be ridiculing the utter vulgarity of this idea.

B&N have now thought better of this marketing fiasco and the books are probably going to spend a lot of time sitting in warehouses before they are pulped or shredded (or, at the very least, have their covers ripped off them). But I will never understand how someone didn't see all of this coming. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot...this is how you do it.

8 comments:

  1. Ha! I read about this fiasco. Instead of recommending books by black authors or about black characters, they altered book covers. Duh.

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    1. How blind can these people be, Jenclair? This really is perfect for a business school case study...when they stop laughing at what they read.

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  2. Stage of Worldwide Humiliation! Ha. You make me laugh. But this was a really dumb idea.

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    1. Astoundingly dumb, Lark. I can't imagine keeping your job after making a decision as glaringly stupid as this one was.

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  3. No one seems to see anything coming at all these days and I can't really work out why. Incidences like this are everywhere.

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    1. Cath, it's like all these highly paid Public Relations people can't see past the ends of their own noses. This one really does amaze me.

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  4. You know the most interesting things. Where did you hear about this? Must be because, as you know, I don't read the news - except local.

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    1. I use a couple of news search engines, Nan, that often turn up some things that I don't see anywhere else in my daily reading and news monitoring. My favorite is an app called Nuzzle. It's free and it works really well.

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