Tuesday, October 26, 2010

More Coverage

Any writer will tell you that getting the cover art for your book is exciting. It is, in essence, both you and your book's face to the world; your chance to make that critical "first impression" and, hopefully, gain a new reader.

It's also pretty cool because, you know, someone is making a picture based on your words! *squee!*

Except, they aren't; or not really. The publisher is making an approximation of your words, based on what they think will help sell the book. And that, as we all know, can be very subjective, both in terms of what works and what looks good.

Truth be told, most of us don't have a lot (or in most cases, any) control over what appears above/below/behind our name on the cover. At best, we get consulted about any ideas we may have for the cover, maybe are shown a piece before it gets taken off to the approval meeting, and, on a good day, get to offer some insight or suggestions along the way. As to what happens with those suggestions in the meeting? Well, don't faint holding your breath.

As a debut novelist, you pretty much take what you get. I was lucky in that I was asked for some suggestions, but for the most part, they were along the lines of "We were thinking of this...any suggestions or comments?" and "Here's some pics of what your character looks like to me -- thoughts?" and "Can you write up a description of your main character for the artist?" To be honest, having heard plenty of cover horror stories (and seen a few as well), just being asked was a thrill. You want to hear what I think? Really? *squee II*! Of course, all the caveats I mentioned above apply, and all applied to me. I offered feedback, was politely corrected or deflected as necessary, and came out with a couple of good covers despite all that.

In other words, I got lucky. Very lucky.

I posted my U.S. cover for Among Thieves (published by Roc) here the other week. Now I have the good fortune to be able to post my U.K./Australia cover as well (published by Tor/Macmillan U.K.):

Like I said: very lucky indeed. And I didn't even have to hold my breath and faint. :)

(Release in U.S., U.K., and Australia are all slated for the beginning of April, 2011.)


Eleanor said...

Awesome. Congratulations.

Anonymous said...

Great cover, Doug! 2 for 2, so far. Can't wait to see the German one!

lydamorehouse said...

Holy sh*t, Doug! That is probably one of the most awesome covers I have ever seen.

I think you might win the award for most awesome cover art in Wyrdsmiths.

If covers sell books (and they do), you're going to be BIG in the UK!!!

Bill Henry said...

Rocks totally.

DKoren said...

That is a great cover!!

Douglas Hulick said...

Sean: I know, right? Now I'm worried about my cover batting average (CBA?) dropping. ;)

Lyda: Let's hope so. It's not like I'm going to be dong any signings or promo work over there any time soon. What I got is what I got, which is fortunately good art.

Eleanor, Bill & DK: Thanks. I'm very happy with it.

Kelly McCullough said...

Outstanding! I like this one better than the American cover.