Note to Self…

…Make sure, with all future book contracts, to specify that if I write a book about my dogs, and the publisher is going to put a picture of a dog on the cover, then it’s my dog’s picture that will be used. Not a generic stock photo of a dog that not only is not one of the breeds I’m writing about, but has absolutely no connection to the story.

Dogs of Dreamtime is coming out in paperback in April. Lyons decided to “update” the cover. Here’s what they came up with.

>Paperback Cover

Cute Lab mix, don’t you think? Imagine the readers’ surprise when they open the book to find out there’s nary a Lab mix to be found! That would be because it’s a book about my two Australian Shepherds and my English Shepherd mix.

Marketing department, what the heck were you thinking? If you were going to use a stock photo, why wouldn’t you have used an Aussie? Or did you not even bother to crack the cover to see what the book was about?! And, if you had a book that sold well enough to go to paperback, what would possess you to change an original cover design that worked?

Welcome to my writing world. Only one of dozens of wondrous publishing stories I could share with you… Sigh. Off to go take Kiera for a walk.

13 thoughts on “Note to Self…”

  1. I just read my second to last comment and it made no sense whatsoever! I was trying to say exactly the opposite of what I actually wrote. So, basically I thought that a cover that you decided upon would be better than the current one. Hopefully this comment makes some sense. Sorry for the misunderstanding Karen!

  2. Well, I’d definitely pick up the book if I saw the cover in this case… so probably not all is lost. Too bad they did not go with the original cover.

  3. That would be nice if I could. In fact, I’ve already tried. No publishing house gives an author final cover approval, unless you’re a best-selling author. At best, they give you the courtesy of showing you the cover, so you have a chance to express your views before it goes to print. But that doesn’t guarantee anything.

    This story is not uncommon. I have several writer friends who’ve been through the same mill. And, believe me, this is only one of many mills a writer can be put through. Publishing is pretty much a one-way street. That’s why it really matters that you go with an editor you like rather than the house that offers the most money. Hopefully, you get those two things together. But not always. And then you pray to the book gods that your editor doesn’t hop to another house before your book is done.

  4. Well hopefully for the second book you’ll decide what the cover is. don’t judge a book by the cover is all well and good but the customer picks up the book in a store based on the cover.

  5. What a bummer! The lab is a darling little fella, but so not an Aussie!

    After reading Jan’s comment I had to go check out the hard cover on Amazon…definitely a nicer cover. But heck, I’ll get the book anyway…it’s what’s indside that counts!

  6. Well, I’ll continue to show the hard cover version on my Amazon store.. it’s a much more endearing pic. That one is.. well.. kind of distant.. but it’ll be ok…

    (and I’m sure there are more than ten people! After all, Amazon has 13 reviews.. all glowing!)

  7. Thanks, Jen and Sunshine, for the moral support. I appreciate it. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t care personally, because I do. But that’s secondary to me.

    I just think this cover is:

    1. Misleading. Might as well have a Chihuahua on the cover. After all, that’s a dog.
    2. Going to throw off and possibly lose people who’d recognize the book by it’s original cover. (All 10 of them.:))
    3. A total disconnect from the story inside.

    It’s just bad marketing. And… I’ll get over it.

  8. I’m so very, very sorry!!!

    I’m sure writing the book was very much a “birthing” process and it appears someone turned “your blond into a brunette” without your permission and without telling you.

    Luckily it’s still “your baby” inside and in the big picture that’s the most important thing.

  9. Nothing I can do. I went back and forth several times with both the assistant editor and the director of marketing. I offered to cover the cost of the stock photo and have one of our designers silhouette and drop in a photo of Kiera. Their rationale is that everyone there thinks it’s a great cover and it’s already been put out in the spring catalog, so they don’t feel they can change it. So, on we go.

    The back story is that my editor (who was a real peach and absolutely terrific to work with) left Lyons last year, which means in publishing terms that my book has been orphaned. An all-too-common occurrence. So there was nobody there to say to the marketing dept. (which has final cover say), “Hey, come on, it’s basic–you got a book about Aussies? You put a picture of an Aussie (and preferably the author’s Aussie) on the cover.”

    To be fair to Lyons, this lapse in judgment aside, they have been great. I’d be happy to work with them again. It’s just that this is really disappointing.

  10. Oh my goodness, Karen. It does seem quite odd they would do something like that! So this is final? I mean, there’s absolutely no way it can be changed? If it makes you feel any better, it is quite a cute cover, even though it’s the wrong breed. :)

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