If you want success in this business, or in life, it all begins with clarity, being upfront and honest about what you want.
For a lot of us, this can be a difficult adjustment. Many have spent a lifetime dancing around the feelings of others, afraid to really say what they want. To be a successfully published author, the dance needs to end.
The Cover Conundrum
I see the biggest lack of clarity with covers. An author receives their cover and hems and haws over it, maybe commenting about little things like the color of the type or the cat’s eyes. What they don’t say is that they hate it. That the cover looks dated, ugly, and wrong for the book. And so no one knows the author hates it and they change the font color and publish the book.
Honesty Begins with Your Agent
One of the many reasons you have an agent is that this is the safest place for you to be truly honest and yourself. I can understand why some authors are nervous about going to the publisher with a ton of comments and suggestions. Guess who is not afraid to do that? Your agent!
In fact, this is probably one aspect of the job I love the most. I love seeing a cover in its mock-up stages. I love talking about it, sharing it with my team, and going back to the publisher with yay, nay, or start fresh, please.
To do all of this, I need the author to be honest with me first. Which means, making sure I see the cover. I get a little heartbroken anytime I see a cover only to discover the author already approved it, without talking to me. I don’t need to give permission, but my opinion and insight is one of the things you pay me for.
Covers, and everything else about your book, are worth a discussion. It doesn’t mean we’ll always get the publisher to do what we want, but it’s always better to express feelings and concerns than it is to stay silent.