SPCK, publisher of a new book about racism in the UK, has been accused of “ripping off” Reni Eddo-Lodge’s critical non-fiction bestseller Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race.
The accusation comes after the publisher released a book with a strikingly similar cover design and title. We Need To Talk About Race, a non-fiction piece on ethnicity and the church, was launched online this week.
Reni Eddo-Lodge released a statement expressing how neither the author Lindsay or publisher SPCK had spoken to her before the book was announced, which was “disappointingly derivative of both the title of my book and Greg Heinimann’s award-winning cover design”.
Eddo-Lodge also stated that she “recognises that imitation and comparison title and covers are core to publishing’s business model … this close imitation is a missed opportunity for what has the potential to be a fresh take on an old problem”.
“Publishing is a bandwagon industry anyway but with minority authors they really think it’s a case of copy and paste,” Adegoke tweeted. “There’s paying homage/being inspired but rarely do those attempting to rip off, engage with or openly acknowledge who they have obviously emulated.”
In a statement, SPCK said Lindsay hugely admired Eddo-Lodge’s book but was “bringing something new to this conversation”. Saying the cover design was “inspired by the posters used in the American civil rights movement of the 1960s, which featured black text in capital letters on white backgrounds” and that “Reni’s book, along with numerous other titles focused on race relations, share this same inspiration”.
The discussion continues!
I’m sure that Ben Lindsay’s book makes a lot of relevant points about racism in the church, but the cover art and concept are both heavily influenced by Reni Eddo-Lodge. This public conversation about race must deal with why Black women’s work is so often uncredited and copied. pic.twitter.com/PFQ9aq4ZJP— Sister Outrider (@ClaireShrugged) 18 July 2019