1. Haribo Icecream
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    Haribo Icecream Member

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    Cover art in submissions?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Haribo Icecream, Jan 18, 2011.

    I know someone who's a pretty good artist, and I'm pretty nifty with Photoshop, and between us I think we could make something very cool, but would an attractive piece of cover art make a literary agent more likely to accept? Or even read?
     
  2. Terry D
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    Terry D Active Member

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    No. Agents and publishers care only about the quality of the writing itself. A manuscript submitted to an agent, or publisher should look professional (by following standard manuscript format) not try to draw attention to itself. I'm afraid that would work against you.
     
  3. Fiona
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    Fiona Member

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    I agree with the post above ^

    I believe most agents/publishers want to see the manuscript in a very specific, particular way so I wouldn't advise going against this.

    If you were offered a contract, you could always mention afterwards about your own cover-art, but even then, they might not want to use it.

    If you are very good at covers, have you thought about contacting publishers who pay artists for every cover they purchase? That would be really fun and interesting.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    all true... send ms only, never any art work, unless/until it's requested... and don't offer any or even mention it, in queries, if you want to be taken seriously as a writer...
     
  5. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Once you get rich and famous (or, well, published a couple of times, anyways) it's easier. :p There's a writer I know who married an artist and then her books afterwards started using his art on the covers.
     
  6. Raki
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    Raki Contributing Member

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    I agree with most of the responses. For the initial query-acceptance-revision stage, artwork/cover art does not come into play. Most publishers will have someone design a cover art for a piece of work when it is ready to have one. However, that's not to say you cannot design your own cover art. It's rare that authors are given any input on cover designs for their books, but publishers may consider it. James Patterson designed the cover to his first Alex Cross novel, Along Came a Spider, and continues to design his own covers today.
     
  7. Heather Munn
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    Heather Munn Member

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    When publishers decide on the cover art for a book, it's with a very focused view to the intended market for the book & the kinds of messages the cover's gonna send about what type of book this is. It goes through a lot of marketing committees, etc--it's basically like designing an ad as much as (or more than) illustrating a story. It's a very fine-tuned sort of process that most of us writer types would not be all that good at... which I gather is why they usually don't let us in on it.
     
  8. Florent150
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    Florent150 Member

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    Assuming you're a good artist though that has produced a lot of potential book-cover artwork, is the incentive there for a publisher to go with the author for the artwork as well (especially if they'll do it for free or at a lower cost than hiring an artist to do it.)

    From a publisher's standpoint how does the incentive swing? Is there an incentive to go with a hired artist over an author, or is it neutral and they just choose the artwork they think will make it sell the best, or like I said is there actually extra incentive to go with an author?
     
  9. Terry D
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    Terry D Active Member

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    The handling of the manuscript will be done by the editorial staff of the publisher, the cover art, interior design, and lay out will be taken care of by an entirely different staff. I see no incentive for the publisher to choose a book based on the cover art skills of the writer.
     
  10. Florent150
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    Florent150 Member

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    I meant, assuming the book is already accepted by a publisher, would there not be monetary benefits for the publisher to also use the author's cover-artwork if they also think the artwork is good enough and would be free/cheaper than paying an artist to do it?

    Basically, even if an author can produce cover art the publisher deems good enough, is there some technical reason NOT to use the author's artwork or some other reluctance, and that a producer would be more comfortable going to pay an artist to do it?
     
  11. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    No cover art in the letter. But if you keeping a blog, and you blogging about you writing efforts, having a friend make a picture for the story to post on the blog might be nice.
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    of course you can bring it up after you have a contract... but chances are it won't change their minds in re using their own cover art... if their artists are on staff, it doesn't cost them a thing, while they'd have to pay you extra, to use yours...

    see above... i'm sure there are other pertinent issues as well, such as copyright ownership, reproduction rights, etc....
     

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