Care and Feeding of the Debut Author #5

180 days to go!

One of the questions that I was asked at the DFW Writer’s Conference concerned my cover. I had cards to hand out with my cover on them, which is where people saw it.

The question?

What did you have to do to get that cover?

This was followed up with ‘Did you have to pay extra?’ and similar questions, questions which revealed that the questioners had either 1)No idea how this works in traditional publishing, or 2)Done work with self-publishing or author mills (I’m not saying those two are the same, only that in both you can pay for a better cover.)

So here’s the answer:

I did nothing to get this fantastic cover. As near as I can tell, my editor pulled passages of description from my manuscript, handed those to the art department, and they chose a background and picked a model*. When there was a snafu with the dress, my editor stepped in and chose a different gown. Photo shoot took place. Background was put in (including that neat little ‘city’ on the right which has a strong resemblance to the Ribeira in Porto.)

And voila!

I have a beautiful cover. I paid no one. I am lucky, lucky, lucky, that my editor and the art department did such a great job.

Please note, I had no say in this whole process. My only control over the cover was the actual manuscript itself. Having talked to a lot of other authors published by the Big 6, we generally don’t have much control (not unless the cover is horribly horribly off). I would think that the smaller the publisher, the more control the author has.

But as long as my publisher turns out awesome covers like this, I’m content to let them do their thing!

*I talk about the amazing choice for the model back on April 1.

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