Lately it seems to be the fashion to bash traditional publishers; I’ve done it myself – and let’s face it, sometimes the criticism is right on because some of the things they do are just wrong, wrong, wrong. Sometimes, though, they aren’t. (Though I admit I still don’t get why some publishers demand that authors follow their detailed and occasionally arbitrary formatting – which doesn’t necessarily match that of any other publisher, necessitating a complete almost character by character work-through if the book is ever to be sent elsewhere – just to be able to submit a manuscript. That is not the focus of this blog, though.)
I do believe, though, that if we are free to gripe about the follies of some publishers, we have the equal duty to be unstinting with praise when a publisher gets it right!
Several years ago, when I wrote only as Janis Susan May and Janis Patterson had not yet been thought of, two of my best romantic mysteries were brought out in trade paper by Vinspire Publishing, once called Vintage Romance Publishing. (Now they’re e, too!) The covers were cute – well, sort of. They were okay, but I wasn’t wild about either one of them. Sales were somewhat respectable but, as time went on and on, I kept expecting Vinspire to pull the books from the catalogue.
Then - ! A couple of months ago I got an email from my wonderful editor Dawn Carrington, who said quite frankly she though the original cover of ECHOES IN THE DARK didn’t do the book justice, that she thought the book was so good it should be selling more, so she had commissioned a new cover. When I opened the new cover I almost cried. It was so beautiful! Here - take a look; wouldn’t you have?
ECHOES IN THE DARK - new cover (remember, it is a romantic mystery, not a straight mystery…)
Well, I just felt wonderful. The good luck pixies had gifted me and I was gratified to see sales rising again.
Then, some time later, the unexpected happened. Again. My editor emailed, saying she was so happy that sales on ECHOES were climbing, she had decided to get a new cover for DARK MUSIC as well. Now DARK MUSIC is also sort of a romantic mystery, but one that is more mystery with just a touch of romance, if that makes any sense.
Here’s the new DARK MUSIC cover –
Don’t know if the cutline will come through on the blog page (remember I am a total techno-naif) but it says “They might have a future unless the next scream is hers.”
My editor says the new cover is already stirring interest.
I think it’s wonderful and hope it starts a huge groundswell in the industry. Just imagine - a traditional publisher working with the author, doing what is necessary to sell the books, taking a personal interest in their writers’ success…
See? Sometimes publishers do get it right. Yea for them!