February 16, 2007
(Originally posted at SCHUYLER'S MONSTER.)
When Wired writer and first-time novelist James Bernard Frost didn't care for the cover art for his novel World Leader Pretend, he hired artist Dave Warnke to design a funky new cover sticker to replace the one on the trade paperback.
The publisher in question is St. Martin's Press, the same people putting out Schuyler’s Monster. Well, of course it is.
The truth is, however, that I'm not concerned. For one thing, I think a cover design for my book is going to be pretty straightforward and simple. The title is short and striking, if I may be so snotty, and if there's one thing I think we can all agree on, it's that I've taken a few photographs of Schuyler. Finding one that works for a book cover shouldn't be a difficult task.
For another thing, when I went and read the story, I got the impression that while St. Martin’s Press didn't give the author what he wanted, they did at least make a good faith effort to change the elements that he objected to. He even admits that the whole story has been blown out of proportion.
No, what fascinated me about the story isn't some fear that St. Martin's is going to put a picture of an alligator or a killer robot on my cover. I'm more interested in the fact that if not for the GalleyCat article, I don't know that I would have ever heard of Frost's book or made it to his blog. It looks like I'm not the only one noticing because of this story, either.
Not every successful publicity opportunity comes from a marketing plan. I wonder how St. Martin's will react to this.