Stock Photos and Diversity

Busy week this week, but I came across the blog post below that seems consistent with some of the publishing issues that I’ve been trying to document on my blog. It also reminds me of my trip to the airport bookstore, and the embarassing display of books under “women’s fiction,” “ethnic” and “latino”…

Women Unplugged

Two babies hugging, one black and one white. This is the closest I could find to a multicultural couple on

(Trigger warning for racism.)

One of the most fun (and sometimes frustrating) things about indie publishing is searching stock photo sites for book cover images. If all my characters were straight white people, this would be way more fun than frustration. There are thousands of images to choose from, for heat levels ranging from sweet to erotic.

But I also write gay and multicultural romance, and it’s like banging my head against a rock.

Clinch photos of gay men don’t exist. The men may be side by side, back to back, front to back, gazing at each other, holding hands, or kissing—but the traditional romance cover pose? No. Forget about it.

Also, it’s no secret that man chest and ripped abs sell romance novels. If you want a guy alone who’s got that going on, it’s no problem. But if…

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4 thoughts on “Stock Photos and Diversity

  1. This is actually a subject I didn’t realize was an issue. I’ve never considered it.
    But once, when I was searching for grayscale images, I typed in the words ‘black and white’ and most of my results were interracial couples.

      • Well it surprises me. But then I’m somewhat naive. I tend to be surprised by all instances of racism, accidental or otherwise, because a persons appearance has nothing to do with who they are and it’s such a monumentally stupid thing to use to judge a persons character. We should be defined by what we do and how we treat people.

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