A Book By Any Other Cover
When my publisher sent me several book cover options for my about to release novel, Without Grace, I immediately knew which one I wanted. I felt among the covers sent to me there was one that mirrored the novel better than any of the others, but I still wanted another opinion or two. So, I sent the JPEGs to my friend who is the general manager of a bookstore to get her feedback. She then showed her staff and it was an overwhelming decision confirming that my selection was on target. I then contacted my publisher and the book was ready to go to print with the chosen cover.
Not one to waste time, I immediately sent the JPEG to a printer to have hundreds of bookmarks and flyers printed with the pertinent information. Less than a week later, I had the materials on hand and was planning to send the press release, accompanied by the book mark and flyer, out to the local media. Hours before I did, I got a phone call from my friend, the manager of the bookstore.
"Carol," she said, "we just unpacked Anne Rivers Siddon's new book, Sweetwater Creek."
"Okay," I said, wondering what that had to do with me.
"The jacket is your book cover, the one we all picked!"
I gasped and asked if she was sure. She was. I then immediately contacted my publisher who felt just as sick about it as I did. Turns out that many publishers get their covers from Getty Images and apparently no one was aware that the cover I was offered as a choice was already being used-and by a high profile author!
Not one to let time go by, I then went to the Getty Images site, entered some key phrases that best described Without Grace and soon I had found a cover that I fell in love with-even more so than the Sweetwater Creek cover. And it was available.
Had I not shown my friend the cover, the misstep could have been a lot worse. So, instead of having boxes of a book that would be competing with the cover of Anne Rivers Siddons' novel, I was left with bookmarks and flyers that I could no longer use. I kind of consider them a collector's item. Without Grace has been out now for close to five years, having gone on to win several awards, and I still get many comments about how eye-catching the cover is.
I have to agree.