Hot off the production team press:
I'm particularly happy with this one because 1) he's gorgeous and 2) I specifically requested the color theme to echo some major story elements.
Authors aren't often involved in the composition of cover art for various reasons, mainly as it's not our area of expertise. The irony is that when someone ridicules cover art, they usually make fun of the author, not the editor, production team and publisher who were actually responsible for the disaster.
That needs to change. Authors can be a little snotty about what they consider appropriate cover art -- Jean, shut up -- but we know the story better than anyone. Publishers should at least listen to our ideas. Authors, on the other hand, need to learn the fine art of compromise and acceptance. I'm still working on that myself.
My publisher has also asked to use Midnight Blues, the story I wrote for my e-book challenge, for one of their marketing projects. That is a first, and adds another reason to the list of Why Do a Freebie E-book: because your publisher might be able to use it in some way to promote your print novels. Publishers looking for low- to no-cost marketing tools might try working with their authors to put together some promo e-books. People love free stuff, and nothing gives the reader a better idea of the writer than the writer's work.
The writer/publisher relationship doesn't have to be adversarial; we're all in this for the same basic reasons. We love books, we want to publish them well and we'd like not to starve in the process. As the industry continues to shrink, it makes more sense to pool our resources instead of keeping them from each other.
That's all from my corner of the writing world -- what's up in yours? Got any questions for me this week?