Sunday, March 02, 2008

Book Covers

A package arrived with two review copies of SF books from a small press publisher. I often review SF for NeoOpsis Magazine. so this is fairly routine, but on this occasion, I happened to be opening the package in front of my wife. Who looked over at the books and said, "Oh my god, those covers are terrible!" I had to agree. Both looked amateurish, and did not encourage me to read the books within. Indeed, I decided these would have to be restricted to nigh time reading because I didn't want to be seen carrying these around in public. My wife spent a minute or two analyzing why the covers were so bad --"They're both awful," she said, "but for different reasons". I had to agree, and expressed some disappointment with the publisher, who generally had better covers then this.

Having drawn my wife's attention to the publisher, she looked at the logo and recognized it. "This isn't one of the publishers you were thinking of sending your novel to is it?" I allowed that they were in fact on my short list. "Oh my god!" she said, clearly concerned that I might end up with such a cover. "Can you specify in your contract a plain black cover with just the letters of the title and your name on it ?"

"I'm afraid the nature of the book is such, there will have to be a space ship on the cover".

"A spaceship!" my wife cries in anticipatory horror.

"But I am hoping to recommend a specific artist to them after I sell them the book."

"Oh my god," my wife complains, "why couldn't you write something more respectable. Like, say, pornography?"

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