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elmoie
02-01-2011, 07:00 PM
I'm just wondering if any of the published authors out there got much (if any) of a say so in what their book cover was going to be?

I have heard that most authors don't have a choice and have to go with whatever the publisher chooses. I wouldn't turn a publisher down for insisting they choose the cover, but I would still be unhappy if it turned out to completely contradict my story - I have seen this happen before.

Tasmin21
02-01-2011, 07:06 PM
Authors (generally) have zero input as to their covers. I know with mine, they send it to me and say "what do you think?" but they don't really mean it. If there was a GLARING problem, I'm sure my agent & editor would listen to my input and consider it, but ultimately my feelings on the matter mean diddly.

Thankfully, I have totally adored both my covers.

Calla Lily
02-01-2011, 07:10 PM
My editor asked me what ideas I had in mind for my cover. A few months later, she sent me what the artist had come up with, with a comment that she loved it. I agreed--because honestly, my publisher knows what kinds of cover sells for my kind of book. And I :heart: my cover.

CheekyWench
02-01-2011, 07:11 PM
Depends on the publisher, I suppose.

I have two, and with both, I filled out forms on what I'd like to see on the covers. Then, when they did mock ups, I got to have some input on what I liked or didn't like.

Ultimately, it's what they decide will sell.

Becky Black
02-01-2011, 07:13 PM
I had a sheet to fill in with information about the characters and story and also let me give examples of some other covers from that publisher that I liked. And then once the cover was designed I got to give some feedback in case there were any major problems, though obviously the publisher had the final say. I'm pleased with the result (I got the artist I was hoping I would get!)

Amarie
02-01-2011, 07:14 PM
I didn't have input on my first cover, but i had some on my second.

brainstorm77
02-01-2011, 07:14 PM
I filled out forms for each of my covers. They asked what I would like to see and what I wouldn't. I also told them a bit about the main characters(romance), the setting etc...

All three times thus far they have been spot on.

LfB
02-01-2011, 07:24 PM
From what I hear, I think with epublishers you can share your input and they'll most likely take that into consideration. With print, it seems you're just given a cover. If you're really unhappy with it, you can talk with your agent/editor but from what I understand, there's no guarentee that anything will change.

elmoie
02-01-2011, 07:35 PM
It's great to see so many of you have been happy with your covers - I think it's so important to get the right cover.

Jamesaritchie
02-01-2011, 07:48 PM
I'm mor econcerned with how a cover sells than with how pretty it is, and teh two are seldom teh same. This means I leave covers up to marketing. Writing is my specialty, making covers that sell is their specialty.

ChaosTitan
02-01-2011, 07:49 PM
With my first cover, my editor asked for a physical description of my heroine (which they nailed), as well as any elements from the book I'd like to see (the knife, the cross necklace, and no leather clothing). I have always wished her shirt could be longer, but sexy sells, right? ;) Those elements have carried over to subsequent covers. I was actually asked for background ideas for the third book, and they used both (the lightning and the train yards).

I was also asked for my thoughts for the new series, mostly regarding my heroine's appearance and any ideas for a good background. I'm eager to see what they come up with.

It depends a lot on the editor, I think. And I love both my editors. :D

elmoie
02-01-2011, 08:16 PM
With my first cover, my editor asked for a physical description of my heroine (which they nailed), as well as any elements from the book I'd like to see (the knife, the cross necklace, and no leather clothing). I have always wished her shirt could be longer, but sexy sells, right? ;) Those elements have carried over to subsequent covers. I was actually asked for background ideas for the third book, and they used both (the lightning and the train yards).

I was also asked for my thoughts for the new series, mostly regarding my heroine's appearance and any ideas for a good background. I'm eager to see what they come up with.

It depends a lot on the editor, I think. And I love both my editors. :D

Thanks Chaos - on a side note, I have your first book in my TBR pile at home. I noticed the great reviews it was getting on Amazon when it first came out and shortly afterwards I saw it in one of my local bookstores and had to buy it. As I've mentioned in previous threads, my TBR pile is ready to crash through my roof at the moment but I'll make a mental note to get reading Three Days to Dead ASAP! :D

ChaosTitan
02-01-2011, 08:21 PM
Thanks Chaos - on a side note, I have your first book in my TBR pile at home. I noticed the great reviews it was getting on Amazon when it first came out and shortly afterwards I saw it in one of my local bookstores and had to buy it. As I've mentioned in previous threads, my TBR pile is ready to crash through my roof at the moment but I'll make a mental note to get reading Three Days to Dead ASAP! :D

Aw, thank you. :) Hope you enjoy it. If it helps, my TBR pile is pretty insane, too, and contains quite a few AW friends who need my attention.

Axler
02-01-2011, 08:33 PM
I had a great deal of input on all my Outlanders covers. More than once, I essentially designed them.

timp67
02-01-2011, 09:37 PM
I was given my ed's idea, which I loved. If I had any crucial input, I'm certain it would have been taken into account.

shaldna
02-01-2011, 10:45 PM
It depends on the publisher.

I didn't get input initially, although when I saw the cover I was able to comment and have some input with regards to changes etc, so that was good.

Mr Flibble
02-01-2011, 10:50 PM
Depends on the publisher, I suppose.



I filled out forms for each of my covers.

Same here. For my first two I was asked what style of cover too and they used my ideas both times. For the latest, I gave examples of what my characters looked like (I had such fun trawling the net for hot men :D) and any special details from the plot that might be good to include, but the actual idea of the style etc was out of my hands. I love it to death though--almost exactly what I was hoping for. *sighs dreamily*

Toothpaste
02-01-2011, 10:53 PM
I think the tendency is the larger the house the less the authorial input. But. I know from experience my friends have had, that if you have a serious serious issue with a cover it is possible to make a big enough stink about it and get it changed. However the stink has to come from solid reasoning and obvious rational evidence must be presented. If it's clear that a cover looks cheap, would not sell books, misrepresents the genre, and in fact would be an embarrassment to the publishing house, then it is definitely possible to fight for it to be changed - and win.

Maryn
02-01-2011, 11:02 PM
Even a seriously big stink may not do it. My first writing instructor filled out the info sheet and gave her suggestions on the first novel she published. Her main character had a dog who was a frequent companion in the scenes where a dog could be present. The artist put the wrong dog breed and the wrong color in the image. (White westie vs. black scottie.) Though my instructor brought the error to the publisher's attention, and though her agent did as well, the error was allowed to stand.

She was mad. I just checked it, and there's apparently different cover art for the printing it's in now. No living beings at all.

Maryn, just saying accuracy and authorial input can both be ignored

Rhoda Nightingale
02-01-2011, 11:04 PM
With my first cover, my editor asked for a physical description of my heroine (which they nailed), as well as any elements from the book I'd like to see (the knife, the cross necklace, and no leather clothing). I have always wished her shirt could be longer, but sexy sells, right? ;) Those elements have carried over to subsequent covers. I was actually asked for background ideas for the third book, and they used both (the lightning and the train yards).

I was also asked for my thoughts for the new series, mostly regarding my heroine's appearance and any ideas for a good background. I'm eager to see what they come up with.

It depends a lot on the editor, I think. And I love both my editors. :D
Is it just me, or is Evy's shirt getting longer with each subsequent cover? That occured to me like a week ago, and I wasn't sure if I was imagining things or what.

Toothpaste
02-01-2011, 11:16 PM
Maryn, just saying accuracy and authorial input can both be ignored

But in my mind, a lack of accuracy in representing characters, unless it's a gross error (like the recent white washing scandal that happened with Bloomsbury where they put a white girl on the cover of a book that was about a black girl), isn't enough to convince a publisher a cover is bad. To me what makes a bad cover is if it doesn't represent the genre, or tone. Or is simply crafted in such a way that it looks like a highschool student's art project (not to diss highschool students, I went to an arts' school and the work there was at a professional level, just trying to make a general point with stereotypes). Or isn't on par with the quality of other books in its genre by similar publishers. Basically if there is a real concern that a cover will actually impede as opposed to help sales, then I think an author can have a strong voice in pointing to that fact.

Saying that a breed of dog is wrong, while possibly the rest of the cover is totally spot on? Well that's not going to get changed. (and yes I realise that the publisher went a whole other way with the cover, so obviously there was probably more wrong with the cover than just the dog issue. Just saying if that's the ONLY issue, it's not much of one)

brainstorm77
02-01-2011, 11:21 PM
I'm mor econcerned with how a cover sells than with how pretty it is, and teh two are seldom teh same. This means I leave covers up to marketing. Writing is my specialty, making covers that sell is their specialty.

I'm concerned about sales too. However, some publishers do ask for the author's input.

ChaosTitan
02-02-2011, 12:09 AM
Is it just me, or is Evy's shirt getting longer with each subsequent cover? That occured to me like a week ago, and I wasn't sure if I was imagining things or what.

LOL! I noticed that, too, and I love it. I don't know if it was done on purpose, but I love the (unintentional?) symbolism...

/minor derail

Anne Lyle
02-02-2011, 02:11 AM
Pretty much all the covers I've seen on recent UK fantasy novels have been gorgeous (Joe Abercrombie's are to die for!), so I'm not too worried. There's a good chance that, even though my hero never wears one, they might go for the "hooded man (http://www.annelyle.com/blog/2010/10/01/the-sword-of-albion-by-mark-chadbourn/)" look, which seems to be a bit of a current cliché if your book features spies/assassins/mages or other mysterious dudes, but if it sells the book, I'm cool with that.

I have to say I don't like the standard garishly-coloured art style used on a lot of US mass-market fantasy paperbacks from Brandon Sanderson downwards, or the US penchant for raised metallic type, but I don't care as long as they don't appear in my local Waterstones :)

Monkey
02-02-2011, 06:33 AM
On my latest novel, I had a form asking for basic descriptions of my main characters and general cover ideas...but it was accompanied by a notice saying, basically, that while my input would be considered, the finished cover might not reflect that input.

I was only adamant on one point, and that was the main character is NOT a svelte young model. She's in her thirties and slightly overweight. She wears glasses, but I don't care if they're in the cover image or not. Heck, I don't care if she's on the cover or not, but if she is, I don't want her part played by a Paris Hilton wannabe.

We'll see how it comes out. :)