I am so honored to be part of Christina Katz’s blog tour. I first discovered Christina this past December while researching platform development. Her book, Get Known Before the Book Deal changed how I approached my writing career completely, causing me to think about things like hook, tag line, purpose, branding myself as a fiction author, etc. Shortly after reading the book I began to build my online presence and I haven’t looked back since.
After reading her book, I did a little more research and found out that Christina has also written quite a lot on my other favorite subject – writing and being a mom. So, I ran to the book store and devoured Writer Mama. Again I was blown away. Christina is amazing. I encourage everyone trying to balance writing, a family, platform development and building a career as a writer to check out her books…
And now, with further adieu…Christina Katz…
Post #18: Cover Story
In the past month, I’ve heard from three folks I know about their forthcoming book covers. One person was unhappy with the proposed cover, another was thrilled, and a third seemed undecided and wanted to know what I thought. I think this pretty much sums up the three typical responses to book covers.
In publishing, as in life, there are many things you can’t control, and one of them, ultimately, is your book cover. Let me clarify: you can influence the cover choice but you can’t decide the final outcome.
However, with a good agent, a win-win attitude, and a cool head, you just might be able to turn an unfortunate first book cover-in-process into a cover you can accept, perhaps even grow to like.
Like writers, designers are wildly diverse and so are the cover concepts they pitch to your editorial team. If you have a smart agent, she will insert a clause in your book contract that says that you will have a vote in the cover selection process. Notice I said, “a vote,” not the power to select the ultimate design.
As long as your publisher is footing the bill for your book production costs, the publisher will make the final call on your book’s cover. Keep in mind that your publisher’s designers are working more closely with your publisher’s vision of your book, than they are with yours. Also remember, your publisher likely knows strategies about sales and cover art that you don’t. They are up to date on the latest cover “looks” and like many trends, you will often see one design trend reflected on many covers released at the same time.
Here are a few dos and don’ts for the day you are presented with a book cover that makes you want to cry:
Don’t get angry.
Be gracious. Say thanks for including me in the process.
Put in writing the pros of the cover you’ve been shown. Then write the cons.
Jot down how you think the cover might be improved for the benefit of the targeted reader.
Then contact your agent. Ask for her input. Then discuss how to best offer your joint feedback to your publisher.
Proceed in a calm, orderly manner.
Keep things in perspective. This is not life and death; it’s a book cover. Your publisher will likely be as responsive as they can. There’s a whole more to a book, after all, than the design on the cover.
Where will the drawing be tomorrow? Visit http://thewritermama.wordpress.com/ to continue reading the rest of the Writer Mama story throughout March 2009!
Writer Mama, How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids by Christina Katz (Writer’s Digest Books 2007)
Kids change your life, but they don’t necessarily have to end your career. Stay-at-home moms will love this handy guide to rearing a successful writing career while raising their children. The busy mom’s guide to writing life, this book gives stay-at-moms the encouragement and advice they need including everything from getting started and finding ideas to actually finding time to do the work – something not easy to do with the pitter-patter of little feet. With advice on how to network and form a business, this nurturing guide covers everything a writer mama needs to succeed at her second job.
Christina Katz is also the author of the newly released Get Known Before the Book Deal, Use Your Personal Strengths to Grow an Author Platform (Writer’s Digest Books 2008).