Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Cover Issues

Check out Bella Standler's ongoing "I Hate My Book Cover" series on her blog, Reading Under the Covers, which I stumbled upon via Kirsten Nelson's blog.

Three degrees of bloggerization, I guess.


Anonymous said...

good find on Kirsten's blog. I'll definitely look through that.


Josh said...

How tricky is it to get a publisher to change cover art for an author's preference? Can it be a contractual thing?

Jonathan Lyons said...

Contractually, an author can usually get consultation over the choice of cover art. This means the publisher will discuss you the cover and listen to your concerns, but is not obligated to get your approval.

If the cover inaccurately portrays the contents of the book or has some other fundamental flaw, you can usually get the publisher to agree to change it. If you just absolutely hate it, most publishers are willing to work with you at least a little bit.

Where you run into problems is if you start thinking on a marketing level that the cover doesn't work. Publishers can get frustrated when authors pry too much in what they consider to be their expertise - how to publish. If you don't have compelling reasons in support of a change of cover, you don't have much of a chance. Simply saying "I don't think it will work" is not enough. The best advice I can give is to get involved early in the process by asking your editor to share your ideas with the art department.

Robin S. said...

If an author has an idea about a cover for his ir her book, going into the process, not after the process of cover selection has begun, would that be taken into serious consideration?

Jonathan Lyons said...

I'm not sure about "serious" consideration, but a publisher will at least listen to the author before proceeding. Its important as an author though (especially if this is your debut) to phrase your idea as a suggestion, and not a demand.