Whenever I do a signing, a book fair, or a school visit, people ask me about my book covers. Who makes them? How are they chosen? Do I help draw them? Do I design them? Do I get to say yes or no about which cover gets used?
My answers are I don’t always know, I definitely don’t always know, No (no stick people, right?), Definitely no, and No. Seriously, most authors have very little say in our titles, much less our covers. Bloomsbury and my editor have been kind to me, asking me what I think, and sometimes redirecting if I truly hate something. That’s not what usually happens in the print publishing world.
Creating cover art that will grab attention and help to sell books is its own profession, totally separate from my scribbling and storytelling. In fact, in the computer age, it’s downright awe-inspiring. The studio that created the cover for Beyond the Wall, the essay collection focused on George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series, which contains my essay The Brutal Cost of Redemption in Westeros, or WHAT Moral Ambiguity?, put out a time-lapse video about it.
This shows what it takes to make a single book cover–and this wasn’t even the cover that got chosen! Give it a look, and be amazed.