The HarperCollins union revealed the cover of its new book on Thursday—but it’s not one you’re going to be able to buy.
The union, which has been on strike since Nov. 10, tweeted a cover, designed by Catherine Lee, of what looks to be a light-hearted romance novel titled While You Were Striking. It features two people clad in winter clothes holding signs, one reading “Hiring scabs!” and the other “UAW On Strike.”
The author credit on the cover is “HarperCollins Union, author of Meet Me at the Bargaining Table.” A tagline reads, “Everyone knows scabs don’t last.”
The tweet contains a preorder link that actually leads to a donation page for the union’s strike solidarity fund. “Disclaimer: This isn’t a real book, but you’ll support those who work on some of your favorite real books by donating!” the union notes in the tweet.
????EXCLUSIVE???? cover reveal! Everyone knows that scabs don't last ???? Illustrated by the talented @catleeart ???? Order your copy at: https://t.co/mwZJKlExR0— HarperCollins Union on strike since 11/10/22 (@hcpunion) January 5, 2023
*Disclaimer: This isn't a real book, but you'll support those who work on some of your favorite real books by donating! pic.twitter.com/3EWT7SMwR3
The HarperCollins union, which represents 250 of the publisher’s employees, is demanding “higher pay, a greater commitment to diversifying staff, and stronger union protection.” It has garnered the support of several of the publisher’s authors, including Elise Bryant and Maris Kreizman, and one author, Monica Wood, announced last month that she was stopping work on her novel in solidarity with the striking workers.
Twitter users expressed their support for the union and their approval of the imaginary book’s cover. “This is my new favorite book and it doesn’t even exist,” wrote journalist Sarah Kaplan.
And author Kate Norris tweeted, “Really blown away by how the HarperCollins Union is displaying how good they are at their jobs, even while on strike. Like JFC just let these people get back to work! Their demands are so reasonable!”
Michael Schaub, a journalist and regular contributor to NPR, lives near Austin, Texas.