Author Topic: Mercedes Thompson Cover Art  (Read 5905 times)


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Mercedes Thompson Cover Art
« on: January 13, 2008, 06:55:37 pm »

     I was just wondering (and being incredibly nosey) about upcoming cover art in the Mercedes Thompson series.
In the first three of the series Mercy is the only focus (ignoring the ever changing tattoos). In the future, will other characters make appearances?  Adam, for example, since I assume (forgive me if I am wrong) he will become a central fixture in Mercy's life?  I was just thinking that having them together on a cover would be quite brilliant.


Jess <3


     I would just like to add that I find your writing incredibly stimulating and a welcomed break from the world.  I hope you continue to write for yourself and that it always brings you joy!  The only downside I can see, is that after reading your work, I will be ever disappointed by my non-magical life and my unrealistic romantic hopes.  That however, is a price I am willing to pay! 
« Last Edit: October 15, 2008, 10:03:06 pm by Elle »

Mike Briggs

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Re: Mercedes Thompson Cover Art
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2008, 08:45:32 pm »

As I understand, that it typically the case.  I thought that since the cover artist is hired (and can be fired) ... that they can also be directed.  That may very well be my mistake though.

You're absolutely correct, the artist is commissioned to paint the cover piece, and works under the direction the person who hired him.  However, the artist is not hired by the author, but by the art director (or the marketing department) of the publisher.   In general, authors are expected to write books, and the marketing department makes decisions about how best to package and sell them.

I learned a valuable lesson while sitting in the "green room" at a convention some years ago.  A group of authors were complaining about their covers, and enthusing about the marvelous covers they would have commissioned for their novels had they been allowed to make those decisions.  It was terrifying.   I left with a crystal clear understanding of why the publishing houses don't let authors design artwork, and the conviction that this was a very wise arrangement.   The point of cover art is to sell books.  Sometimes "great art", the stuff we all wish we could afford to hang on our walls, makes lousy covers.  Quite often, fabulous cover art does not have great artistic merit.  Most authors don't have the background to know the difference, and many of their "dream covers" would have been grotesque and unwieldy as cover art.

In all honesty, Patty gets along very well with her editor, and probably could whine and pull some strings and get some say over the cover art.  Publisher's aren't ogres, and it's not fair to portray them that way.   However, she's smart enough to let the very competent professionals who have been hired to make those decisions do their jobs.   When an ignorant amature starts telling the seasoned professional how to do their job, there's probably a price to pay.  We'll let the professionals work in peace!

At this point in time, we haven't heard anything about the next covers, except that the always-brilliant Daniel Dos Santos has agreed to paint them.  We probably won't hear anything more until a few (three or four) months before the books are published.

Where's my super-suit?