Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Judging A Book By Its Cover...

by Matt Lynn

One of the questions writers get asked is how much they say they have over their covers. To which the simple answer is: About as much say as we do over the weather.

My experience is that publishers send you the cover, and then whilst theoretically you could throw a tantrum and say you didn’t like it, that probably wouldn’t be a very welcome response.

Fortunately, I’ve never been in a position where I haven’t like a cover. I’ve just received the jacket for ‘Shadow Force’ and I think it’s fantastic: exciting, direct, in keeping with the previous two books in the series, but different enough to mark out its own space. (Then again, when a book is about mercenaries and pirates, it’s quite hard not to come up with a decent jacket).

And, of course, authors shouldn’t assume they know what is the best cover for their book. The editor and the illustrator will have their own take on it, and how it fits into the market, who it is going to appeal to, and how it will stand out from the rest of the books on the market.

That said, it would be awful to see a cover you really didn’t like on your book. After all, it is the most obvious statement about your work.

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