How are y’all! I thought I’d take this blog post to clarify something that a lot of people have been asking me about. Basically, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about why I “chose” to change the covers of my book. Now, don’t get me wrong: I love that people are curious, I love that they care, and I don’t mind answering this question. I just thought I’d do it here, so everyone can see, in case you were wondering that same thing.
The thing is, unless you’re self-published, authors do not choose their covers. Instead, our publishing houses choose them for us.
I have been really lucky in that my publisher, Orbit Books, has been really nice about asking me my opinion. They’ve worked with me loads, trying to make sure I’m happy. And I absolutely love them for it. But the fact is, they don’t have to do any of that…they’re just a really good company.
Because the only thing authors control are the words inside the book. We don’t choose fonts, we don’t choose headers, we may not even have been able to choose our own titles. Depending on who you publish for and how big your name is, you have more or less control, but most contracts stipulate that an author’s position on these sorts of decisions is that we have the right to be “consulted.” Which means if we absolutely hate something and threaten to poison ourselves in order not to finish a book with that cover, they are free to take on board our opinion. Or not.
So I had nothing to do with the changes made to the covers of my books. Do I like them? Yes. Did I like the original covers? Yes. Do I understand the marketing strategy behind them making the changes, after it was explained to me? Yes.
And that’s what I think is hardest for people outside the business of publishing to understand, and I include myself in that camp. Publishers aren’t just creating the perfect art for a book–they’re creating a product they want to attract people’s attention and make them want to buy it. So choices that might seem arbitrary or weird to me, may actually be a great marketing strategy.
Will the new red panels and the big, bold branding of my name and titles sell millions of copies and rocket me to the top of the New York Times Besteller list? I certainly hope so, although it’s doubtful. But I’m really lucky to have a company that’s investing in me, and trying new things to try to make me as successful as I can be.
That doesn’t mean you have to like the changes, obviously. And if you love them feel free to attribute any and all genius solely to me. 😉 But seriously, I just wanted to let you know how things worked, so you got a better idea of the biz we’re all a part of, as readers and as writers.
So that’s my lecture for the day! Dr. Peeler will now take off her lecturing cap and put on her CONTEST LEIS!
I wish I did have contest leis. That would be awesome.
Who won a copy of any one of Juliet Blackwell’s FABULOUS BOOKS?
The contest can has spoken . . . and the wiener is . . .
Yay, Lethea! Pick out any of the books listed here, and email your choice and your address to ihearstselkies(at)gmail(dot)com. Let me know if you have any questions and congratulations!
To everyone else, thanks for playing and I’m sure I’ll have another contest soon. I should also probably start doing some stuff about the book that’s out in about a month, shouldn’t I? Maybe some readings? Hmmmm?