Thursday, September 30, 2010

Authors and Their Covers

At a panel at AussieCon 4, the topic of authorial control over book covers came up. Authors, in general, have little or no control over the covers of their books. This often surprises students. It's often a source of great frustration to authors. It's also, it turns out, frustrating to illustrators who are often only given a brief and later find out that the brief doesn't really relate to the novel at all.

So, I love Ben Tripp's response. He wrote a novel about zombies, but wanted it to be accessible to a general readership. Unfortunately, the publishers decided on a cover that makes it very genre specific. His comeback? On his website, he's providing alternate covers you can download, print off, and re-cover your book with. I'm particularly fond of the cookbook cover.

There's an interesting dynamic emerging as publishing houses rely more and more on authors creating their own online presence, while at the same time, some authors are rebelling against the dictates of their publishers through this very online presence.

(Later note: On the other hand, there are other problems/opportunities in the academic publishing area. I was just reading a disheartening blog post at Savage Minds about the closure of Rice University Press. I'm not familiar with the ins and outs, but the post had some good points to make about the difficulties faced in academic publishing today.)

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