STATUS: Feeling jubilant. A cover issue crisis has been solved!
What’s playing on the iPod right now? ORDINARY WORLD by Duran Duran
I can’t possibly compete with Jeff Kleinman’s superb magnum opus on Bella Stander’s blog about when you hate your cover (which I think should be mandatory reading for all writers) but I do want to add one last thing that you can add to the list.
Most authors focus, with emotion, on the aspect they hate most. Maybe the cover looks cheap, doesn’t accurately reflect the story, or what have you. These arguments don’t really carry much weight because sales/marketing/art department are looking at other aspects such as will the cover pop while on a shelf or riser stand.
The most effective argument for a cover change almost always revolves around whether the cover effectively targets the core audience for the book. If you can make a substantial case that it doesn’t, you have a good chance to win the argument (and if the B&N buyer hates the cover for the same reasons you do and tells the editor so, that helps a lot too.)
I’ve won every cover argument sans one. Thank goodness the author has forgiven me for that. I can’t even tell the publisher “I told you so” because the book did very well—even with that cover. Which is good but I hate when that happens.