Sep 02

Edward Willett with Lost in Translation - Good Show Sir!Click for full image

Edward kindly sent this into us! Thanks very much for keeping us all laughing and giving us something really nerdy and exciting to talk about!

Please check out Edward’s webpage at:

Good Show Sir

Actually, that cover IS a classical work of art!I would touch it without protective gloves.I've seen worse. Far, far, worse.Interesting, but I would still read it in public.Middlng: Neither awful nor awfully goodWould not like to be seen reading that!Awful... just awful...That belongs in a gold-lame picture frame!Gah... my eyes are burning! Feels so good!Good Show Sir! (Average: 4.25 out of 10)

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7 Responses to “Edward Willett”

  1. Edward Willett Says:

    Hmmm. I think I’m a little squashed in that picture…

  2. CSA Says:

    So you are, im sure it can be fixed. Stretching machine or some sort?
    Its fine in the full resolution verison anyway. Why would anyone be looking at the small res version when they can see the photo in all its glory of the full 741px × 1024px resolution?

    So since you’re here… maybe you can tell us what goes on in the book cover making process?
    Do you give artists short descriptions of the scenes/characters you want on the cover?
    I can’t imagine many artists read the whole book.
    Or do your editor(s) or publishers have control of the covers? ( i know alot of books now are published with different covers depending on the country, UK covers seem to be alot plainer and the colours less vibrant than on N. America releases)

    I’ve read alot of books and when finished, i look at the cover and i think “at no point in the story does anything like that happen , why did the author let them print that?”

    I’m sure money is a constraint, you can’t exactly commission zombie Van Gogh to draw something. But whatever you paid for your latest cover was worth it. The cover is very important and would personally sway my decision if i was in 2 minds after reading a book synopsis

  3. SI Says:

    Good point! It was first thing in the morning so it looked right at the time.

    You’ve been unsquashed! 🙂

  4. Edward Willett Says:

    Book covers, if you’re dealing with a major publisher like DAW, are entirely the responsibility of the publisher. For my DAW books I have been asked to mention scenes I think might form the basis of the cover, or even to provide additional visual details that aren’t in the book (in the case of Marseguro), but ultimately it’s the publisher’s call, not the author’s, what shows up on the cover. Often the cover is done before the final revisions of the book are done. That’s what happened with Terra Insegura. After I saw the cover, I deliberately inserted some description into the scene that had inspired it so that the text better matched the art.

    The only time I’ve commissioned my own cover art was for Spirit Singer, which was published as both an e-book and print-on-demand original. In that case I chose my own artist and pointed out a number of scenes I thought would work well. He chose one and went with it. The resulting scene is very close to the way its described in the book.

  5. CSA Says:

    Thats kind of rubbish that you have so little say in what your cover looks like. But really interesting too… so basically some dude in a suit makes the call of what the cover is, even if he has no style

    I like that you rewrote some scenes to fit the cover, adds a certain level of consistency. Though it seems very counter intuitive that the cover is done before the book is even finished.

    Thanks for posting! feel free to shamelessly advertise your next book here, when its done (not that we have THAT many readers)

  6. SI Says:

    After having read this, I do believe they strayed from the story quite significatly for the film version 😉

  7. B. Durbin Says:

    Further information from talks I’ve gone to on the subject:

    The sad fact is that over 50% of the books bought in the US are bought in markets rather than bookstores. To be clear, I mean grocery stores and other retailers of many products. This is given as part of the reason that US covers for science fiction and fantasy are so flashy and obnoxious— they’re not competing with other books for your attention, they’re competing with the National Enquirer, potato chips (crisps), and video games.

    With that as a given, book covers tend to be designed as part of a branding style rather than designed specifically for the book subject. After all, you can recognize a Baen book right off, can’t you? And you know that Baen means certain things, primarily but not exclusively military sci-fi and rampaging fantasy.

    As to authorial input, that is in part negotiated on an individual basis. John Scalzi, for example, very much likes to have authorial approval for the art for his books, though he has been very pleased with what has been offered to him. But another author might just say, “I’d rather have [x]” and let the marketing department deal with it.

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