Once in a while in this business, you see someone you admire and care about taking a whole lot of crap that is simply the result of petty and malicious assholes who can’t accept their own UNimportance. Most of us who’ve been around a few years realize this is all part of the business, even if it does suck shit on a major scale. I know from personal experience, and recent experience at that, what it feels like when people who don’t know you at all–other AUTHORS–decide they have the right to judge where your loyalties lie, and why you make certain decisions. NONE of these people know you, but they post freely on public forums about everything from your motivations to your integrity–and not once are you actually asked about the things they’re prattling on about.
What has motivated this post today you ask? Well, simply put, I want to speak about one of the most talented and generous people I’ve ever met in this business. A lady who is one of the best cover artists in the business, as well as a gifted writer. See, she’s been the art director at two publishing houses over the past few years, and she is damn good at her work. BUT, in both instances, she’s had the misfortune to end up working for houses populated with ingrate authors who think they’re a whole lot more important than they really are, and who behave like petulant brats, not the professionals they claim to be. Because they can’t be indulged repeatedly, they’ve taken to slamming this lady in public and trashing her reputation, all because she has no more time to devote to them and their covers.
So, Kayden McLeod is the woman in question here. An amazing talent who has created the best covers my books have ever had. She’s creative, intuitive, and truly gifted. But, like all artists, if she’s to create a “perfect” cover, she needs workable input from the authors she’s working with–and in many cases what she gets is vague mumbo-jumbo gibberish that she is then expected to magically make the cover from. Despite what many amateur-minded authors think, it’s not the cover that sells the book–Kayden could give you an award worthy cover, but if your book is crap, it will still be called crap. Once your cover has been delivered, be grateful it’s been done by a professional with such a deft hand that even using images that have graced other covers, you still have something personal and unique. Kayden cares about her work, and devotes a lot of time to it, she makes each book cover distinct and beautiful.
At least two publishers have allowed their “authors” to nit-pick, snark, and generally be a pain in the ass to this artist. Is it any wonder she’s ready to pack up her talent and retreat? One house went so far as to allow an author to change the cover entirely after release. In professional circles this type of bullshit is unheard of, and it shouldn’t be permitted in small presses. Major publishers don’t allow authors huge input into the covers, but small presses do–and because of that, many authors think it’s their right to be total jackasses about their cover, as if it’s the most important aspect of the whole process.
Honestly, instead of spewing your malice and malcontent, why don’t you suck it up and get on with the business of promoting your book–graced by a professional and undoubtedly beautiful cover created by this lady. My website, blogs, and many of my books have been highly praised for the distinctive beauty of the graphic designs that are on the pages–and all of that work belongs to Kayden McLeod. Her work has been used by New York Times Best-selling authors to promote their books, and her company has designed some of the most beautiful sites you could ever find among author sites. So, really, why not shut your faces with the complaints, and get off the internet slamming someone who did her job. Then go about learning your end of the business. Maybe next time you’ll be more adept at explaining what you want on a book cover, though I doubt you’ll ever be fortunate enough to have someone with Kayden’s talent designing it for you.