Today In Books

Penguin Random House and Florida Parents Sue School District Over Book Bans: Today in Books

Bestselling Fantasy Novel Uses AI Art On Its Cover

The cover of Sarah J. Maas’ House of Earth and Blood has sparked controversy after readers noted that the back of the UK edition of the book credits Adobe Stock for the illustration of a wolf on its cover. The image is marked as AI-generated on Adobe’s site. Bloomsbury’s cover has put both Maas and the publishing house under fire and has sparked concerns that publishers could replace artists with text-to-image generators like Midjourney and Stable Diffusion. “Bloomsbury is one of the major publishing houses,” freelance artist Kala Elizabeth tweeted. “They CAN afford to hire real illustrators instead of purchasing Adobe stock, which is where this AI content is from.” Maas has yet to speak out about the AI-generated image, but she did praise the cover design on her Instagram page.

New Leaf Literary & Media Faces Backlash After Dropping Authors

On May 12, New Leaf Literary & Media split with agent Jordan Hamessley, and several clients were told they would no longer be represented. The authors and illustrators immediately took to Twitter to express their frustration. “I definitely was surprised at the sheer number of clients who were dropped,” said one author on Hamessley’s roster who wished to remain anonymous. “There were some authors who really seemed to be finding success, and I never would have imagined wouldn’t be taken on by another agent.” Hamessley managed a roster of 45 clients, 19 of which were offered continued representation under other New Leaf literary agents. In a statement posted Twitter account on May 16, Hamessley said that she “would not characterize my departure from New Leaf as amicable.” 

Penguin Random House and Florida Parents Sue School District Over Book Bans

Earlier today, Penguin Random House, authors, parents and an advocacy group filed a lawsuit against the Escambia County School District and the Escambia County School Board in Pensacola, Florida, for removing 10 books related to race and the LGBTQ community. The plaintiffs say the district and the board violated the First Amendment by “depriving students of access to a wide range of viewpoints, and depriving the authors of the removed and restricted books of the opportunity to engage with readers and disseminate their ideas to their intended audiences.” The lawsuit also argues that the removals violate the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. Neither the district nor the school has returned requests for comment.

Overused Words in Book Blurbs

There are only so many ways to say “Read this, it’s good,” but these words are so overused in book blurbs, they no longer mean anything.