OK, my last rant was about directed at reviewers/readers. Today, writers are up. Let’s sit down at the kitchen table and have a little talk. There’s coffee or tea over there, but you’re on your own for the donuts.
Like my last rant, this was sparked by something that happened to a friend, a cover artist and writer. She worked long and hard, spent hours on a project for a book cover, delivered to exact specs, and the writer refused to pay her. Handed her a crock of horse pucky about having a valuable learning experience that sometimes things just don’t work out and waved cheerily as s/he went out the door. Oh, and wanted to still use the work.
Excuse me??? So, it’s a sin/crime/grounds for homicide if someone pirates your precious book, but it’s a valuable learning experience if YOU freaking STEAL someone else’s IP???? I need someone to explain that to me using real short words and a lot of pictures, cause I don’t get it. I really don’t. How is it immoral in one case and righteous in another? The only answer I can come up with is, frankly, disgusting. That being, “because this time it’s me doing it, so it has to be right.” Yeah, well, know what? Jeffery Dahmer, Ted Bundy, Timothy McVeigh, Osama bin Laden thought the same thing. Like the crowd that puts you in? I didn’t think so. Either grow a pair and fess up to being a skank or stop being one. Simple.
“But, but it’s expensive to buy cover art! I’m a poor starving writer!”
So, you’re writing for your art, your books are all free, you even pay shipping if people want print, right? No? You have bills? You deserve to be paid for your time? It’s actually a lot of work to write?
Uh-huh. EXACTLY. Or did you think you’d driven up to a CAM (cover art machine) and shoved in a Thank You token as payment in full for push-button art?
“But you should be glad, because it gives you exposure!”
Yeah. So does a stain-covered trench coat and a pair of white crew socks. Ain’t nobody invites that dude home for dinner, y’know? See him in the park, you run, yes?
Guess what happens to you and your books when you shaft your fellow creatives? Yeah. Word gets out, babydoodle, word gets out, and you get put on the shitlist. Before long, it won’t matter that no cover artist (except maybe your kindergartener) will take a commission from you because no one will be buying your freaking books anyway.
And while I’ve got my stomping boots on … just what do you think sells books? Quality writing? Feh. That sells second books, repeat buyers. It’s the fucking COVER that grabs people’s attention. If it sucks, no one except your grandmother is going to give your book a second glance. That’s your HOOK, and if you don’t understand the need for a hook, why do you slave over a blurb, huh?
You need that cover art, and therefore the artist who creates it. They are your ticket to name recognition. (You have to keep up your end by writing good stuff and writing it well.) They are your sine qua non. They are gold. They are your firstborn grandchild. You should treat them that way.
Spoil the fuck out of them. Pay them extra. Send them business. Write glowing things about them wherever you have the chance. Because you fucking NEED them.
Unless you like being grouped with Vlad the Impaler and Al Qaeda. Then go right ahead and be a dishonest unscrupulous thief, because that’s what you fucking are.