Monday, April 2, 2012


A royalty or two.

My son asked, after taking a look at the cover for my next book, are the cats asking for royalties? So far, two cats have appeared on the covers. That's because the main character has two Siamese cats, as do I. I told him, they get treats.

The authors who make up the blog site are brainstorming right now to create a new banner. We want something that says 'edgy and cosy'. One author facetiously suggested a cover with cats, dogs, goats and a cow...well, you get the picture. Stick a cute animal on the cover and readers immediately think, 'cosy'.

Which must mean, you can judge a book by its cover.

But we all know, that's not a great idea. If you're lucky to have a publisher who welcomes your input as an author when its cover conference time, then it won't go too far astray. But there are far more publishers who don't invite the author into the loop, until its too late. The author is presented with the cover. Too bad if you don't like it or worse yet, it doesn't really fit the story.

One of my biggest complaints as a bookseller was that publishers rarely asked the bookseller for advice. For a couple of years, Random House of Canada invited booksellers to a day of conversation in Toronto after the annual BookExpo events. At one session, we were shown an series of cover concepts for upcoming books and asked our opinions. Imagine!

They were really onto something there because who knows the customers better than booksellers. Forget those marketing departments. Booksellers talk to customers every day; booksellers observe what leaps out at customers from the shelves; booksellers know they have to work extra hard to sell a book with a horrid cover.

But I digress. Don't blame the author for a lacklustre cover but do let them know just how much you love a dynamite cover.

I love my covers. I'm lucky, I know. Here's wishing all authors a publisher who listens and covers that really tell it like it is.

Linda Wiken/Erika Chase
A Killer Read coming this week!
from Berkley Prime Crime

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