Having said that, it's quite apparent that those of us who do not read urban/street fiction have become marginalized by booksellers and, to some degree, publishers. I understand that many street fiction titles are self-published and this is where I fault booksellers in this sidelining. There seems to be little consideration for those of us who prefer more thoughtful, complex reading or that we have interests in books besides the canon of Black literature, i.e. Walker, Morrison, Baldwin, Hughes, etc. Even those can be a hard find in the muck and mire of fiction celebrating street life.
Recently, Reads4Pleasure shared her own professed book snobbery in which she noted the reoccurring issue of misleading book covers that many authors have little control of and deter some readers from a potential buy. I recanted my experience with this involving Martha Southgate's Third Girl From The Left. If not for her praises being sung in my Twitter feed, I would never have added this to my tbr because the cover I saw (surrounded by street fiction in Borders) did not look like my sort of read. I then questioned if that indicates some underhanded attempt at capitalizing on the market trend towards that genre. That's what inspired this post.
If the occasionally misleading cover is such a bid, where does this leave the true intended audience? I know, I know, the bottom line is obviously more important to publishers and booksellers. But readership is part of what feeds that bottom line and shutting out any portion of those readers is actually detrimental to that.
Another thing I just don't get is why so many Black authors have a book picked up by a large publishing outfit but left to fend for themselves when it comes to marketing and promotion. It just seems that publishers are shooting themselves in the foot with this. I hope that my saying so isn't seen as causing trouble for authors. I'm genuinely curious about the logic behind this and have the best intentions here.
My point is that more space needs to be given to those who write stories that don't read like a transcript of the local evening news filled with hypersexual, materialistic, perpetually impoverished characters. Books are like blood: we all need a different type; we reject those incompatible. A lot of us are bleeding out and the repository is low.