I have experienced this with so many author buddies. That exciting moment when you get your new cover art. You open the file, and your heart drops. It’s not good. This can be for several reasons. Bad photoshopping, Wrong styling, The feel is wrong. Most publishers encourage feedback but they won’t change it unless there is a pressing reason. They paid good money for it and they don’t want to have to fork out more to change it. One friend had hers changed because her character was American Indian, and the heroine on the cover was blonde…it just didn’t work.
For those not in the industry you may be wondering how a cover comes to be. Most publishers will have the author fill in a cover brief. This is the Authors only input in what they want in a cover and most of the time the cover artists only insight to the book. Most never see the text. So the authors job is to describe their characters and give insight to the period and genre of the book. Then they have the chance to tell the artist what they see for the cover. A few weeks later, or months, the cover is sent. This can be literally a week before the release of the book, although most publishers are faster at getting the cover out to the author. Some times it truly is a major mistake and this can push publication back. What can this be? The last one i heard about was the wrong authors name was on the spine of the book, whoops lol They had to destroy thousands of printed books in the warehouse and start again.
I thankfully have never had this issue as i self publish at this stage so i make my own covers. I have full control of the final product. Can you pick whats wrong with the cover below?
Yep, she appears to be hiving him an, um, massage lol
Then we come to the topic of author pictures. This has always been a source of amusement to me. I have tried time and time again to take a good author shot but most of the time it comes out looking cheezy. My rules are simple for what not to do but what makes a good one is a point i haven’t worked out yet.
Don’t do glamour shots:
Don’t try and look arty:
Don’t rest your chin on your hand trying to look thoughtful
These are some that i found that i actually quite like. I think it’s that they look professional and not a home camera job. The first is obviously Stephanie Meyer. I think she looks kind of pissed off which is kind of funny but the photo isn’t trying to be over the top. The second I don’t know who it is but i love the lighting and the fact that it’s a different, casual setting even though its obviously posed it’s not at a desk or something authorish.