March 10th, 2005, 10:42 AM
Too right, you try and stop a musician getting involved with his album cover!!! It shouldn't be any different for authors huh.
March 10th, 2005, 10:52 AM
It would seem. But for some reason the precedent is that authors don't have control, or even input. Look, you sacrifice one thing for another. Matt gets distribution and I get nice covers. Matt gets fat royalty checks and I get compliments on the artwork. Matt gets rabid fans and I get "Who are you again?"
March 10th, 2005, 04:05 PM
Well Matt it is the content that counts right?
Still I do wonder why publishers do not encorage artists to read the book more often. A standout cover can at least draw the eye of those readers who do not know the author. Then again within the art college I trained book covers were not a priority, if I can put it so mildly.
March 11th, 2005, 09:11 AM
My understanding of the reasoning behind this is pretty straightforward.
Originally Posted by Gary Wassner
Authors want the covers to represent the mood (or the feel, or whatever) of the book.
Publishers want the covers to sell the book.
They care nothing for the rest of it. It's not an artistic decision. It's merchandising.
This is also why art schools don't go into book jacket/album cover design. It's not fine art, it's illustration and graphic design. The manual skills involved may be similar, but the intent is entirely different.
It's advertising. That's all.
Sometimes it's good advertising.
Sometimes (as I have so painfully learned), it isn't.
Oh, and Gary?
I'm still waiting for those fat royalty checks . . . and your rabid fans are on the way, man. Remember I've been in print for almost ten years now, and it's only been in the last two or so that anybody outside the hardest of the hardcore cult-insiders had even heard my name . . .
March 11th, 2005, 10:03 AM
Matt, I have been so out of the loop of this business that it's actually remarkable that I am here at all. I have no agent for my fantasy series. I never seriously solicited a publisher. Thanks to friends and word of mouth, Windstorm found me. I completed the first four books before I even saw them in print. For five years I hardly read anything as well, so I didn't even know what people were writing. If not for Dag's stumbling upon me a number of years ago, I wouldn't even know about this place. It's been a struggle from the onset. The fantasy fan is the one of the hardest to win, and even then, the loyalty, though fervid at first, is fickle at best. And it so often turns mean.
But, to be honest, I have known your name for years now. It was recognizable to me even before I ever knew the title of a single book you have written. You have a clear persona and you are true to it, honest and upfront. The honesty resonates, and it makes your characters, though fantastical, very real. Your characters are large and powerful creations, and more important, they endure in the mind of the reader. You pull all the right strings. That's a real accomplishment and one to be so incredibly proud of. And I am shocked that you don't outsell most of the crap that I see on the shelves these days.
That's why I would have hoped your covers better represented your art. Marketing is fine, but it shouldn't be false. It shouldn't misrepresent what you are getting, and with Heroes Die you are getting much much more than what you might expect from the cover. Your book is so far superior to how it's depicted, and the more intelligent reader might shy away from it because of the artwork. Who made that marketing decision? John Kerry's campaign manager?
March 11th, 2005, 01:15 PM
High Priest of Cainism
And we haven't yet begun talking about the Barra novels' covers....
<--best cover. Ever.
March 14th, 2005, 05:32 AM
Yeah, I did point out your avatar attests to the coolness of BofT's front cover in comparison to HD!
March 14th, 2005, 09:06 AM
High Priest of Cainism
Here's hoping that Caine: Black Knife's front cover will be just as good, if not better.
March 14th, 2005, 09:16 AM
Oh the French get better and better.
If you think HD suffered from 'Bodice Ripper' syndrome, check out the cover for Laws' Gideon:
March 14th, 2005, 09:28 AM
Blue Lighting = bad 80's film indicating imminent sex scene. Do the publishers know nothing?! I take it this book is not a bad 80's romance?!
March 14th, 2005, 09:31 AM
Hardly, Laws writes graphic horror, a bit like Barker/King, but better imho.
March 14th, 2005, 09:48 AM
Ok, Stephen Laws gets my sympathy more than Matt here. It is a much worse cover - and methinks my bodice ripping idea is not so far fetched too, horror done a la romantic novel?
March 14th, 2005, 07:37 PM
Now that is a bad one
As for book covers being part of a graphic design discipline, this is unfortunately true at least here in Ireland. Also a lot of grahic designers and illustrators prefer to work in advertising etc because its regular work.
Oh Matt and Gary, this may sound impertinent but which would you prefer: the slow burn sales, that rely on word-of-mouth or the quick sale that fades almost as fast?
March 14th, 2005, 08:30 PM
Saturn Comes Back Around
March 15th, 2005, 12:44 PM
Haha, those are horrible, except the last one, which still somewhat misrepresents the book. They would definitely have put me off reading the books.
As an aspiring writer, it's a little scary and discouraging.
Last edited by Ivyn; March 15th, 2005 at 12:46 PM.
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