Recently I met an author who shared with me an interesting story about yet another author. There is a lesson in the tale for those of you about to publish.
An author wrote an adult book that started off with two chapters that sounded more like a youth book. You know, the part Amazon.com let’s you read before you buy? A parent reading the preview could wrongfully assume the book was safe to purchase for a child. The cover art also suggested the story would be suitable for the Youth/ Adolescent market.
However, once a reader read past the first two chapters, the book had language and sexual depictions that were not suitable for kids.
The book was purchased by a parent for a child. Once the child read the adult material, and brought it to the parent’s attention, the author received protest on misleading the buying public. Poor reviews on the book followed. True Story.
The trouble could have been avoided if the author had designed a cover that made it plain that adult material was part of the book. The cover art should have looked “adult” versus “youth-oriented.”
Sometimes an author has an image in mind for the cover. The rendering artist, knowing the content of the book, may suggest revisions, but the author (or publisher) is adamant about the original image. The author-selected image may be all wrong for what is inside the book. And the image may, indeed, mislead the reading public.
When your cover artist makes suggestions about changes to your cover art, please listen. You may spare yourself–and your title–criticism.