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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a cover artist that I really liked.  She did some photo manipulation and typography, but I told her which images I wanted to use.  I did not ask her to review the book because I felt it would be a conflict of interest.  However, she did, and she left a pretty bad review of it.  Now, I'm not saying she's wrong to do that or that her review is wrong, it's just that I've having a hard time wanting to do the sides and back of the book that I've already paid her for because I'm hurt.  What would you do in my place?  She did say she liked the cover in the review.  
 

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Oh wow. I don't blame you for being hurt. It's one thing to get a bad review from a stranger, but to get one from someone that you've worked closely with must feel like a kick in the teeth. Of course she has the right to leave that review, but you also have the right to choose a cover artist who doesn't go out of their way to blow your sales. Yikes!

ETA: I don't see any reviews on your books on Amazon, so I'm going to assume it's on her own blog or Goodreads? Still a hurtful thing for you, but not as likely to do much damage.
 

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I would consider moving on. You're right, of course, she has every right to review your book, but I would hope my cover artist, formatter, editor--anyone involved in the creation of the book--would realize that sales could effect their own future income and choose not to leave a review if they don't like it.
 

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Dick move in my book.  I'd for sure find another cover artist.

She could have just said nothing (Thumper's Mom:  "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all") but instead she slammed your book but complimented her cover work in the review?

I'm sure there will be a lot of comments on this thread about ethics and professionalism.  My take is that it's not unethical for a person who worked with you (beta, editor, artist, etc) to review if they read the book, so long as they divulge their relationship.  And personally, I'd never say a negative thing about a person's book if I acted in one of those capacities - I'd rather say nothing at all and keep the relationship.  That's just common business sense.  If you want to help the person, you can privately email her and tell her what you thought.
 

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I wouldn't give any business to someone who hurt mine. It's fine to have an opinion, and she's entitled to leave a review just like anyone else, but there are enough other cover designers out there that you don't need to swallow that.
 

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Bruce Blake said:
...and choose not to leave a review if they don't like it.
Exactly. Having any kind of business relationship with someone and then trashing their business is rude, disrespectful, and ultimately self-defeating.

I'd fire her @$$ instantly.
 

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Not unethical, but Elle's right. A real dick move, particularly for her to say she liked the cover while she trashed the book. (The cover she did, natch.)

I'd work with someone else in the future. I'm so sorry you're dealing with this.

And DON'T EVER read Goodreads reviews. Ever.
 

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It's a conflict of interest. Someone who worked on your book should not be leaving reviews. And she should not be complimenting her own work.
 

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It's not in professional bounds to review your own product. Since the cover is part of the product, she violated Amazon's TOS. You can have the review taken down, or just ignore it. As a cover artist (and as an editor in the past) I would never review a book that I had contributed to as a professional (I think beta readers are another matter). Speaking only for myself, I would finish the contractual engagement with the cover designer and then never use that designer again. No matter who you're working with, you shouldn't feel uncomfortable dealing with them, and you should be working with professionals who have a sense of professional ethical bounds.

That in reviewing your book poorly, the designer gave a good review of the cover -- well, that's just sleazy.

(And to those stating that she has a right to leave a review, according to Amazon's TOS, she does NOT have a right to leave a review, as she has a financial interest tied up in the product.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
lorelei said:
It's a conflict of interest. Someone who worked on your book should not be leaving reviews. And she should not be complimenting her own work.
What should I do then? I don't want to be someone that overreacts to a bad review, but yeah. Should I just tell her to keep the payment for work not done and hire another cover artist asap and just have $150 blown out the window? Live and learn?
 

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Amanda Brice said:
And DON'T EVER read Goodreads reviews. Ever.
Wish I'd had that advice earlier ;)

As for the cover designer, leaving a bad review of your book was uncalled for. I don't think I'd want to work with them again if that happened to me.
 
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ellecasey said:
She could have just said nothing (Thumper's Mom: "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all") but instead she slammed your book but complimented her cover work in the review?
This is the part I am having trouble wrapping my head around. This doesn't even make SENSE. What exactly is the end-game here for the cover artist? It can't be an attempt to drum up business. What is the sales pitch? "Use my cover art service, get a one star review for free?"

Robin,

Have you actually spoken to the artist about it? I don't know where the review appears (it's not on Amazon) or which book it is for so it's hard to understand what happened here. But I can't even fathom the artist's motivation here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Keri Knutson said:
It's not in professional bounds to review your own product. Since the cover is part of the product, she violated Amazon's TOS. You can have the review taken down, or just ignore it. As a cover artist (and as an editor in the past) I would never review a book that I had contributed to as a professional (I think beta readers are another matter). Speaking only for myself, I would finish the contractual engagement with the cover designer and then never use that designer again. No matter who you're working with, you shouldn't feel uncomfortable dealing with them, and you should be working with professionals who have a sense of professional ethical bounds.

That in reviewing your book poorly, the designer gave a good review of the cover -- well, that's just sleazy.

(And to those stating that she has a right to leave a review, according to Amazon's TOS, she does NOT have a right to leave a review, as she has a financial interest tied up in the product.)
It was good reads, not amazon. I know she has a right and I'm glad for the feedback. I'm not wanting argue about her right, just was making sure I wasn't overreacting in not wanting to work with her now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Bards and Sages (Julie) said:
This is the part I am having trouble wrapping my head around. This doesn't even make SENSE. What exactly is the end-game here for the cover artist? It can't be an attempt to drum up business. What is the sales pitch? "Use my cover art service, get a one star review for free?"

Robin,

Have you actually spoken to the artist about it? I don't know where the review appears (it's not on Amazon) or which book it is for so it's hard to understand what happened here. But I can't even fathom the artist's motivation here.
I wrote her asking for clarification, I always want to improve, even if I'm hurting. Her review is the only one that mentions grammar and she said it had tons of grammar errors. I was confused by what she meant by grammar errors so I asked her. It's on Goodreads. It's not a one star, just a did not finish, and she sounded like she wanted to like it, just couldn't.
 

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Some say honesty is a virtue.  If she didn't like the book that's fine.  However if you don't have something nice to say, don't say it at all.  That's what my mother taught me.  Also from a business standpoint.  That is her art/work representing the cover and she is harming the chances for it to be successful.  Number one rule is not to bad mouth your own company, vendors, or competition.  I don't know what your personal relationship is like with her, but I simply would not require her services in the future and leave it at that.  
 

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robin_hart said:
What should I do then? I don't want to be someone that overreacts to a bad review, but yeah. Should I just tell her to keep the payment for work not done and hire another cover artist asap and just have $150 blown out the window? Live and learn?
Unfortunately, you can't break a contract just because the other party is clearly not quite right in the head (What was she thinking??)
If your down payment on the work is non-refundable, you'll have to walk away.
 

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Are you happy with the cover? If so, you still got a cover you liked. I don't know what your agreement with the designer is, but is sounds like there is some unfinished work on the cover -- you can either see it through, make an agreement to have the fee pro-rated for what's already been finished, or just fire her and lose the money.  Personally, if I was happy with the cover, I'd take one of the first two options.
 

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robin_hart said:
What should I do then? I don't want to be someone that overreacts to a bad review, but yeah. Should I just tell her to keep the payment for work not done and hire another cover artist asap and just have $150 blown out the window? Live and learn?
tell the artist you have second thoughts on her services and ask for a partial refund.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
"It sounded nice, but then things - there was too much 'extra' writing that could've been cut out to tighten up the writing, too many words that didn't really belong in the sentences they were in, and too many grammar errors for me to really enjoy the writing. It's a shame - I really liked the premise, and that cover's just gorgeous."

Here's the review.  It's not flaming, it's just kind of, unnecessary, along with the plug for the cover...
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
SBJones said:
Some say honesty is a virtue. If she didn't like the book that's fine. However if you don't have something nice to say, don't say it at all. That's what my mother taught me. Also from a business standpoint. That is her art/work representing the cover and she is harming the chances for it to be successful. Number one rule is not to bad mouth your own company, vendors, or competition. I don't know what your personal relationship is like with her, but I simply would not require her services in the future and leave it at that.
I had thought the personal relationship was quite good. I guess I should just like the covers, but then again, I chose the images and I can have someone else do the typography in a different style. I would never go back on a contract, but we never signed one. Either way, I guess you're right. I'll think it over.
 
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