SPCK has announced it is withdrawing the current printing of new release We Need to Talk About Race and will reprint the book with a new cover after an outcry over its similarity to Reni Eddo-Lodge’s hit book.
The Christian publisher was accused yesterday of mimicking Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race (Bloomsbury) with the title, font and cover design of its new release, an examination of the black experience in white majority churches.
Eddo-Lodge herself called the book’s design “disappointingly derivative” of her book and “a missed opportunity for what has the potential to be a fresh take on an old problem”.
After initially standing by the book’s design, SPCK announced today (19th July), following a discussion with author Ben Lindsay, it would now reprint the title with a new cover.
C.e.o. Sam Richardson said: “It is now clear that our cover design for this book has unintentionally caused confusion and consternation, and we apologise for this. We apologise to Reni Eddo-Lodge for these issues with the cover and that we did not inform her about Ben’s book given that her work is referred to in it. We will learn from these errors and we hope that they do not take away from the important messages contained in the works of both Reni Eddo-Lodge and Ben Lindsay.
“SPCK will make copies of the book with a new cover available within the next few weeks. Readers who wish to exchange their copy for one with the new cover may do so via the retailer from whom they purchased the book. SPCK’s distributor Macmillan Distribution Limited is accepting returns of the existing printing, and orders placed from MDL now on will be fulfilled from the new print run.”
The publisher said yesterday it had received a number of complaints about the book after images of it appeared on social media. Author Claire Heuchan told The Bookseller it was "astonishing" while Slay In Your Lane co-author Yomi Adegoke tweeted it was a “cynical attempt to cash in” on Eddo-Lodge's bestseller.
Author Lindsay said Eddo-Lodge had "paved the way" and that he "greatly admired" her.