[Cheryl] "Yellow? This is Cheryl." (*)(**)
[Cheryl] "Yuh huh. Yuh huh. Calling all the way from Generica you say?"
[Me] "Who is it, Cheryl?"[Cheryl] "Just the Don'tCareBear phoning in another cover."
So I discovered my Dutch cover for King of Thorns today. It's the one on the left. In the middle the cover of Chris Woodings' (reportedly excellent) The Braided Path. On the right, my US/UK King of Thorns cover.
The Dutch cover for King of Thorns is just a cloak. It came off the photoshop peg and has no contact with the text. I don't like it.
And while I'm on about covers. Look at the superlative quality of Jason Chan's work. Consider these details from the King of Thorns cover:
We have a face!We have scarring (from text). We have an image of the world in a metal ring (from text).
We have a skull... (from text)
Look at the frikken detail on just one random dead guy in the background!
The throne is carved with rose and thorn motifs. There's even thorns sticking out.
And on the large scale we have the conflict, the attitude. It's all there. I didn't get my ideas taken into account for the King of Thorns cover ... but frankly Jason Chan's were much better. I got lucky. I got very lucky.
And since we're on the topic.
This kind of quality costs. It can cost big time and in a low margin pursuit like publishing that cost can hurt. So I understand if a publisher sics me with a cheap cover. If I've not earned a better one through sales or through the impact I made on them ... fair enough. I deserve it. But I'm not going to pretend to like it :)
What I'm particularly uneasy with is that some of my publishers weren't ready to pay for Chan's work but have gone with copies instead. They're good copies. I've no complaints there. But dammit. If you won't pay for the original then hit me with the Cloak from Generica if you must. I'd rather that than be implicitly complicit in the copying - because that just sets me asking ... 'if you thought I'd demanded too much for my writing .... would you publish someone's slightly altered copy of that too?'