Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Let's Talk about Editors (Part 7 of 12)

Somewhere in the editing process—and this seems to vary with publishing houses—the title of the book comes up. For some writers, this is a difficult time because they conceived the title before they wrote the book or they feel their concept has been downgraded. Instead, think of it this way. The sales force must sell your book. Good titles (as I mentioned long ago in another post) create an image, make sense, and grab readers' attention. The marketing people aren't always correct, but listen carefully to their ideas. They may have a better title than you do.

If you don't like what they suggest, you negotiate, and keep going until you and the publisher agree.

The same is true with the cover. Only in recent years have publishers consulted authors on the cover. I'm delighted they do because some of the covers of my older books are terrible.

My worst experience was when I received a cover showing broken flowerpots with pink flowers. I objected, "Pretty picture, but it looks like a woman's book." They sent me a second cover in all grays and blacks of Moses breaking the Ten Commandments. Again I objected.

They didn't consult me on the third and I saw it only after publication. I wish they had shown me. It's an off-yellow with some brown and is a picture of a potter. The problem is that no one recognizes that's what it is. And if you, the author, have to explain your cover, it will hurt your sales.

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