Saturday, September 19, 2009

Agent Panel: A Tangent About Book Cover Design

Kind of a tangent here, but agents on the “Moving From DIY to Traditional Publishing” panel are telling interesting stories about the controversial incidents of publishers changing covers at the last minute because buyers at Barnes and Noble didn’t like the designs that were originally released/featured in the publisher’s catalog. Jenny Dunham has an interesting anecdote about one novel she represented in particular. B&N said they’d order (to place in stores nationwide) only a small number of the book as is (with a cover that both Jenny and the publisher loved), but would order more if the publisher changed the design—so, the publisher did, in order to accommodate the buyer and up that initial buy. Interestingly, now that the book is being released in paperback, it has a new cover that is very similar to the publisher’s initial cover. Even though the hardcover sold respectably (12,000-15,000 copies in trade sales alone), the publisher now thinks it could have done better, and is looking at the paperback as a sort of re-launch.


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