Today I have my graphic designer friend, Mallory Rock with an article about the importance of crediting cover designers. For those of us who work in the book services industry receiving credit for our part in the making of a book is the lifeblood of our business. By taking the time to credit your editor, cover designer, cover model, author assistant, publicist, marketer, etc you help each of us as we grow in our field. This is always appreciated. I’ve been brought to tears over mentions to my part in books like My Girlfriend Bites by Doug Solter and The Storm Behind Your Eyes by Alicia Kat Vancil. So authors, take a moment to think about all the people who have helped you book along the way, and as Mallory says, consider giving credit where credit is due.
When I browse through Amazon, or any other book retailer site, I am always clicking the “look inside” feature. I want to check out that copyright page to see who created the awesome cover for your book. Sadly, much too frequently I find that authors are not giving credit to their cover artists on the copyright page…and it leaves me angry, disappointed, and wondering… why?
Let’s start with where this is happening. The answer is simple and complex all at the same time, so I am going to start with an example…
I went to the website of an author. I saw a series of covers they had for their books and loved them!! I searched all over their site trying to find a credit or mention anywhere about who created those fabulous covers. The problem was – it wasn’t there. On the entire website, there is not one mention of the cover artist. I then followed their sell links, hoping to find it there. They had a “look inside” on their eBook, but no credit for the cover art anywhere in it. The acknowledgments were there, and included a thank you to their editor, marketing guru, beta readers, etc. Still no cover artist. I clicked over to their other formats and still found nothing. No matter where I looked, I could not find who had created those awesome covers. And this was not an isolated case. I have found it to be quite common.
So why is this so important? For several reasons…
- Giving credit is just the right thing to do. Someone created your cover, which is part of the product you’re selling. The credit is given to you for writing it, and the credit for the cover on that book should be given to the artist.
- You write a book and certainly want everyone to know you wrote it, right? You want them to know who you are, so if they like your work they buy your next book. Cover artists want their name to be attached to the work they do too. If an author sees a cover they love and wants to contact that artist, they need to have easy access to find them. Cover designers gain notice and new work through their current work, but that is impossible to do if no one knows it’s their work to begin with.
- Not all, but many artists retain the copyright to their work, but give an unlimited license to the author to use it as the cover of their book. This means that just like you have a copyright in your book because what you wrote belongs to you, the artist needs a copyright/credit because the cover of that book belongs to them. But even if you do have full copyrights, you should still be giving credit.
In short, it’s important to give credit where it’s due. Cover designers make their living much the same way you do and not giving them credit is a great disservice to them and their art. Not having it has likely cost them potential clients already. And I am sure that many of you never even thought about it before and are feeling bad right now that you have left this detail out of your credits in your book and on your website. You can however correct it for the future in your current books and any new books moving forward.
So I urge you all to go update your copyright pages, add something somewhere on your site about who created your covers with a link back to them, and share this with authors you know. The only way to correct this is by being aware and taking the steps to fix it.
About Mallory Rock:
I work with authors to bring their literary works to life through covers, interior graphics, layout & formatting, cinematic book trailers, custom world maps, web graphics, and promotional materials. I am the art director at the author PR firm Novel Publicity, cover artist & print formatter for Evolved Publishing, and also work with Indie Reader providing custom cover and promotional graphics services. I have worked with authors like NY Times Best Seller Bella Andre and also with The Tannenbaum Company creating a look book for a fantasy novel turned screenplay.
I am an avid reader and enjoy books across many genres. But I have a very fervid love of dystopian and fantasy novels. I have been known to devour up to a book a day when my busy schedule permits. I enjoy combining my love of literary works with my artistic skills to help authors bring their work to life visually.
Check out Mallory’s work on her website.