My book, What the hell happened to my brain?: Living beyond dementia was published recently in German. Whilst I was happy the rights were bought for it to be translated into German, I was very unhappy with the image they used on the cover, without my knowledge or consent. The image they chose was of someones face, covered up by a balloon, as if we are faceless. With that cover, it instantly increased the myths, stigma and discrimination of dementia, due to it making me (not an actual picture of me) appear ashamed of having dementia and being ‘faceless’.
People with dementia ARE NOT FACELESS…
I am very happy to report that the German publisher has agreed to recall all copies off this book a,d reprint it with either the image used on my original book providing they can gain consent from the owner of the image, and they will send a draft to me to make sure I am also happy with the cover of my book.
This is the letter I received from Jessica Kingsley Publishers this morning, who wrote to me to inform me of this decision. I want to thank everyone for sending your own feedback to the German publisher about how it also offended you, and to thank you for your love and support. This is a win for all people with dementia, and the late Dr Richard Taylor would be proud of us all for speaking up about it.
Please note, it is also very clear a petition is not needed now, and we do not need to comment further online other to thank my English and German Publishers for ensuring the book is being recalled and destroyed, and the cover is being changed.
The following is a portion of the letter received by email early today said:
Hogrefe have confirmed to me this morning that they’ll collect all stock, destroy it, and reprint their edition of your book with your photo on the cover…
Hogrefe will send me a proof pdf of their new cover before it goes to print, and I’ll forward it to you for approval.
Meanwhile, I respectfully request that any further questions you might have about this matter are addressed to me, and not directly to Hogrefe. On one of your emails to Hogrefe you’ve mentioned that an online petition was created regarding the cover image – I again respectfully request that that doesn’t proceed any further, as the issue has now been resolved.
I hope this solution is acceptable for you.
It is very acceptable to me, and is a win for all people with dementia. A special thank you to Hogrefe Publishers for agreeing to my request, which I must make clear, they were under no legal obligation to do so.