You know, lately it feels like I’ve been hearing the same thing over and over again: “Tex, that’s disgusting!”
No, wait, the other thing:
“Tex, where did you get such a kickass cover?”
And if you’re like me (a writer with an eye on the traditional publishing path), one of the things you hear over and over again is that you will get exactly zero say in your cover. That’s decided by the publisher’s art and marketing departments, and it really is a visual science: how to communicate – in the space of a single image! – what kind of book this is, and entice the right readers to pick it up.
Needless to say, I was floored when my Benevolent Editorial Overlord emailed me to say “so what do you want on the cover?”
And then “all right, what do you think about this?”
And then “sure, we can make those changes – how do you like this one?”
And after a few more drafts, we ended up with this:
Is that not awesome? Is that not just excruciatingly rad? Of course it is! So I did what any writer would: printed it off, tucked it under my pillow, and slept with it until it was yellow and wrinkly. Like you do.
Then one day, I emailed Solaris to ask for a higher-res version I could use for printing postcards. “Sure!” the Master Art-Conjurer said, and sent me a couple of samples:
“Uh…thanks bunches!” I replied. “But what about that original version?”
“Oh,” he replied. “Well, that’s not actually your cover, you see…”
“What had happened was, we needed to get some title art on there in a big hurry, because we had to have something to put in the summer catalogue, so we ganked some title art from another book to use as a stop-gap. We’ll re-do your title art later, before the book goes to print.”
Here for the record is Exhibit D. Devilishly handsome, isn’t it?
And the denouement is that the Master Art-Conjurer did in fact re-do the title art, which is how we ended up with this gloriously spectacular finished product here. (Ain’t she a beaut!)
So at the end of the day, what I really want to emphasize is this: with both of these cover-related vignettes (being given a seat at the decision-making table in the beginning, and the unexpected do-over at the end), what I’ve really learned over the past year is that I am *definitely* flying with the Rebel Alliance, here. And every now and again the hyperdrive doesn’t work and things don’t happen the way that popular wisdom said they would – but more often than not, that is actually a huge, huge plus, and I could not be more happy or more fortunate.
By the way, once you pop your eyeballs back into your skull, go treat yourself to some of the other amazing artworks by Tomasz Jedruszek (codename: Morano). He is a digital wizard!
Tex Thompson is a “rural fantasy” author and editor for the DFW Writers Conference. Look for ONE NIGHT IN SIXES, the first book in her epic fantasy Western series, on July 29th – and find her in the meantime at http://www.thetexfiles.com and on Twitter as @tex_maam!