Thursday, August 25, 2005

The next time you're laughing at a cover, please spare a moment's thought for the unfortunate author....

Being a romance author, I'm used to having my covers mocked. I'm used to having romance covers in general mocked. And to that, I usually say, "Meh." It's like shooting fish in a barrel. Way, way, too easy.

I do wish the folks who snark would spare a sympathetic thought for the author who labored for weeks and probably months on the contents, though. With few exceptions, romance authors have no say over the covers, and trust me, I know when I've got a snarkworthy one. It's not a pleasant feeling, to put it mildly. I feel...well, terrible is probably a good word to describe it. Disappointed, too. It's like you've labored to make something beautiful and somebody comes along and slaps a really ugly coat of paint over it. Yes, the thing you created is still there, and underneath that paint, it's still good, but the first thing people are going to see is that paint.

I confess I also snark about my less-than-delightful covers. However, it's a very different thing to snark about one's own cover than to hear somebody else make fun of it. As Lucy Maud Montgomery writes in Anne of Green Gables, "'Oh, but there's such a difference between saying a thing yourself and hearing other people say it," wailed Anne. 'You may know a thing is so, but you can't help hoping other people don't quite think it is.'"

That is so true.

On the other hand, when you get a really beautiful cover, it's a complete and total thrill. But even then, I know some people would find something to snark about here. It goes with the territory.


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