American Booksellers Association Apologizes for Accidentally Promoting Candace Owens Book

From Yahoo News:

In a statement published to the Shelf Awareness blog Monday, American Booksellers Association CEO Allison Hill apologized for an incident in which Candace Owens’s Blackout was accidentally featured in lieu of a social-justice-oriented book with the same title by Dhonielle Clayton and other authors.

An employee subbing for the employee who is normally responsible for curating the best-seller list, Hill said, unknowingly selected the wrong cover image for the book. A second employee new to copyediting also failed to cross-check the photo and recognize the error before mailing the list out to members.

Apologizing for the employees’ mishap, Hill wrote, “It was a terrible mistake with terrible racist implications. However, based on our investigation and the demonstrated diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) commitment of these individuals, we have no reason to believe the action was malicious in intention.”

Hill’s statement followed an official inquiry into the episode and an audit of all ABA procedures and programs in collaboration with the organization’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee.

“The employees are very apologetic and very committed to vigilance going forward. They have been held accountable and have agreed to training, both on procedures as well as on DEI, and we have added layers of checks and balances to this process,” she continued.

Coinciding with the time of the Blackout mistake was another event in which Abigail Shrier’s Irreversible Damage was included in a box mailing to 750 eligible bookstores, eliciting outrage from ABA leaders and members. In her Monday apology, Hill also clarified the details around that book’s shipment, which an earlier ABA statement called a “serious, violent incident.”

The premise of Irreversible Damage is that there is a social contagion effect of young girls rushing into invasive transition surgeries and medical interventions for gender dysphoria that they are likely to regret later.

“Publishers pay ABA to include titles in the box, and ABA sends it to eligible bookstores. Until now, no one has ever reviewed or screened the titles submitted by publishers. It has been a pay-to-play program,” she said. “The policy to not review or screen titles submitted is in line with many members’ preference to not have ABA decide what books they have access to, preferring to review books themselves to determine what they read, buy, sell, and promote.”

Hill said that many members expressed to her that they still value having autonomy over book choices, “despite being horrified by this book.” She added that the ABA Board of Directors may implement a new permanent policy to prevent the kind of injurious oversight that let Owens’s book slip through the cracks.

Link to the rest at Yahoo News

18 thoughts on “American Booksellers Association Apologizes for Accidentally Promoting Candace Owens Book”

  1. In case they need something more mundane to feed their insatiable appetite for “woke” toddlerism, she is also married (inter-racial) and just had a child (also bi-racial).

    The horrors of a very successful conservative black woman just boggles their tiny little minds.

    • They simply deny that she is black. Just as they deny that Sarah A. Hoyt is female; as she likes to say about her detractors, they think she is ‘a white male Mormon with a great rack’.

      None of this is new. I remember the editor of a major newspaper, almost 40 years ago, telling me flatly that Margaret Thatcher was not a woman.

      • You really must name the paper, just so we can tell how much, if at all, its attitude has changed since then. I assume – though one can’t be sure if it was an old style English editor – that this was intended metaphorically (as in “no women would behave like her”, about something that would not turn a hair if done by a man.)

        • It was the Calgary Herald, which has since become far worse. And the editor in question was defending the position that women never start wars, and that if every country was ruled by women, the inevitable result would be universal peace and harmony.

          ‘What about Margaret Thatcher?’ I asked. (This was not very long after the Falklands War.)

          ‘She’s not a woman,’ the editor retorted. And from that position she would not be budged.

          • Sounds like she needed to study a bit more British history or maybe just some of Shakespeare’s Wars of the Roses plays.

            It was a bit bad of the UK’s conservative party to appoint not one but two female Prime Ministers, but at least the second did not start any wars (that I recall, though military operations in the middle east no doubt continued to get her authorisation).

          • That word is gross. -_-

            For the ‘eager to not offend’ people: it is a grotesque colonization of our language by English-speaking queer theorists and shows utter disrespect for our wishes. Stop it.

            • I’m not terribly fond of “hispanic” myself, much less the woke uber-term. Ditto for the spanglish patois which is better termed inglanyol.

              Back on the island there has long been a distinction between the island born/raised and the continental “derivatives” (nuyoricans/neoricans) who have no idea of the culture, history, and in many cases the language. Bilingualism is great but not in the same sentence.

  2. My five-star review of Blackout by Candace Owens. ” Owens’ debut work delivers a masterful proclamation based on verified research, concise writing, and compelling examples. Critics have their work cut out for them in attempting to refute this. ”

    The book has almost 19,000 reviews with a 4.9 average. If the algorithm guessers are right, her ranking means she’s probably still selling a few hundred per day. That other Blackout title might be selling one or two per day or something akin to Darren Sapp’s bestselling title. 😉

    Should the American Booksellers Association consider a change in practice and promote bestselling books?

    • Currently, the Clayton Blackout is at 222 reviews, and is #72,296 in the Kindle store overall, #13 in Teen & Young Adult Black & African American Fiction eBooks, #24 in Teen & Young Adult City & Town Life eBooks, and #27 in LGBTQ+ Romance for Teens & Young Adults eBooks, with a 4.7 out of 5 rating average. (Published on June 22, 2021)

      The Owens Blackout is at 18,935 reviews, and is #6,602 in the Kindle Store overall, #1 in Graduate School, #1 in Advanced Placement Test Guides, and #1 in Graduate Preparation Test Guides, with a 4.9 out of 5 rating average. (Published on September 15, 2020) I have no idea why it is in those categories.

      Thing is, if I were running the American Booksellers’ Association, I would be promoting the former rather than the latter, because most likely everyone who’s going to buy Owens’s book already has, and this kind of snafu would annoy me greatly. But their reaction to this mess-up is hilariously over the top.

      • most likely everyone who’s going to buy Owens’s book already has,/blockquote>

        If this were true, it would no longer be selling at all. Evidently there are people still buying it.

  3. These employees were sent to the re-education training for accidentally promoting a black woman’s book. That’s an interesting way to represent a commitment to inclusiveness and diversity.

    Insufficient commitment to the revolution will not be tolerated by HR.

  4. The complaining ABA members don’t like seeing books they disagree with. Naturally they don’t want to sell them – that’s curation, but they don’t even want to SEE the books or know that they exist.

    The Blackout that was intended to be sent is a collection of love stories set during a New York City blackout, all involving black teens.

    The Blackout that was sent is a book by a female black conservative who argues that Democratic politics are bad for blacks – the full title is “Blackout: How Black America Can Make Its Second Escape from the Democrat Plantation”.

    Note that even though the book was written by a black woman whose image is on the cover, the ABA says that the substitution was “a terrible mistake with terrible racist implications.”

    Irreversible Damage argues that teens are rushing into gender reassignment treatment before they are really capable of making such types of decisions – a stance that activists claim is “violent”.

    The mere existence of counter speech and opinion is racist and violent.


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