Kindle Forum banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
431 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I do paperback versions for author, I usually give them a version of the cover without any text so they can use it for website banners and such. For authors who don't need typography, they ofcourse get the version without any text on it in case of ebook covers.

This particular author whom I have worked with a couple of times majorly changed the first cover adding more elements to it. That was one of my initial works & I wasn't really sure of the terms and such back then so I let it slide. This time, the cover was uploaded with tiny text in a corner for everyone to play with and everyday I see some or other fun version of it overlaid with texture and what not. This honestly hurts me a little every time I see it.

I'm sure authors here will understand as they wouldn't like someone to make changes to their writing without even mentioning it to them. However, should they? Once someone has bought it. I am not sure if what I am feeling here is unreasonable. I most certainly don't want to take away the rights of an author to make small changes like adding text to the image or banner. Is this something I have to learn to live with?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,679 Posts
I like your work. It's very awesome. I was a photographer before I turned writer, so I know what you're talking about to a T. What we did to try and deal with it was to minimize the issues. I didn't sell the files, ever. We were super exclusive. I also told them that the'd b dead to me if they did something stupid (ran copies, used it on a billboard, sold it to a magazine, etc). Since your clients need a digital copy, that doesn't work for you. You can be more specific in your contract that says the images cannot be manipulated in any way, but ppl still do it. Most clients think they bought it and don't understand exactly what is theirs. I think you need to let it go, unless she's reselling it. Kind of sucks. Don't resell to ppl who do that if it bothers you. Your stuff is REALLY good. I dont think you'll have issues finding new clients. You have a unique look.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,751 Posts
It depends on the terms of the transaction. For my cover artists, because I am a bit slow on the head I generally don't make a big deal out of it. I make an ebook cover, a print book cover, maybe a banner or two for the Facebook page, and that's it. I'd like to think there's more that I could do though and they wouldn't mind, but I'd be happy to ask.

I do agree that it's pretty rude (and probably against the spirit of the agreement, if not the letter) for them to post the image for "everyone" to play with (on a stock art page or something?). That's not what the implicit terms of the arrangement were, although the main question to ask is: is this an exclusive work? Who owns the rights? Does the copyright belong to you and you are letting them use it as a cover, or does the copyright belong to them?

If it's the latter, I'll be very surprised since that's usually hella expensive (for reasons you're just now discovering), and if it's the former you have the technical right to ask him to stop distributing the picture in that fashion. It's up to you, though, if you think making this client angry (who loves your work, obviously) is worth stopping what's happening.

Might I suggest a politely worded email to the tune of: "I see you've done this, this hurts my business for reasons of A,B,C, and causes me personal distress for reasons of X,Y,Z. Could you please remove the image and maybe post a small note why?"

Edit: Also, I want to say again, your pictures are the most bestest things ever. I wish I could afford. ;_;

Edit2: Maybe you could ask them to watermark the image in the same way as your DeviantArt profile does?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
431 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The paperback version was uploaded with a small title in the corner, otherwise as is on facebook. The author doesn't write in English so I can't even understand whatever is written.

I have only sold her the rights to publication as mentioned in my terms.

The author is contacting me again for another cover. I will have to specify it clearly that they can't do so and so again with the next cover and they should stop doing what they are with the current one.

David, I think your covers for Rakshasa series are couple of the best ones I have seen on KB.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,648 Posts
The Dark Rayne said:
...This honestly hurts me a little every time I see it.
...
For some of my series, people read and return the books at a rate of 10%. They're not dissatisfied customers. They go through from 1-6 and read and return in sequence.

Being an artist means having your work stolen.

It is just a shitass but true thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,600 Posts
I think there's a fine line, depending on what they're adding. If they're adding something to the actual art, I'd say they shouldn't be able to. But if they wanted to add a tag line, or a 'Book X of Such&Such Series' or a logo or something like that, I don't think that should be grounds for complaint.

OTOH, putting it up for everyone to play with is definitely a big no-no, IMO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
431 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Dalya said:
Being an artist means having your work stolen.

It is just a [crap]*ss but true thing.
True story.

Shayne said:
I think there's a fine line, depending on what they're adding. If they're adding something to the actual art, I'd say they shouldn't be able to. But if they wanted to add a tag line, or a 'Book X of Such&Such Series' or a logo or something like that, I don't think that should be grounds for complaint.

OTOH, putting it up for everyone to play with is definitely a big no-no, IMO.
In the first cover, a person as prominent as the one already in the artwork was added. For the second one, I keep seeing fans posting played around pictures of the cover art on fan page.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,200 Posts
Dalya said:
For some of my series, people read and return the books at a rate of 10%. They're not dissatisfied customers. They go through from 1-6 and read and return in sequence.

Being an artist means having your work stolen.

It is just a [crap]*ss but true thing.
You know, I never used to think about this much, but book 2 and book 3 both have the same amount of returns. Exactly the same. I find it hard to believe all 12 people accidentally purchased both books, or all twelve purchased both at the same time and decided I suck rocks and returned them both. I mean it's possible, but it's suspicious. Very suspicious. And it's a trend I'm seeing month after month. It's still about 1% so not something to get all up in arms about, but every time I think about it all I can think is, I gave you the first one for free. Jeez!

I don't know the answer. I guess Id' be inclined to let it go. But I'm passive like that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,307 Posts
If they're doing it as a form of fan art and not profiting in any way, I'm not sure what you can or should try to do about it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,917 Posts
Well, interestingly enough, I had a fan take the cover you designed and put a quote from my novel on it and turn it into a banner.  I use it on my FB page now and I adore it.  It's fan art, the reader was both a fan of mine and yours. 

I think there is some creative liberation we as writers give our fans, though, it might not seem like the same thing to a cover artist.  We have fan fiction, where "worlds" or "characters" show up, endings are altered, various viewpoints explored.  Some go on to be published and money is made and for the most part (a la Hugh Howie) author's tend to be gracious about it -- though, Hugh Howie is the gold standard. 

And yes, people buy our books, devour them and return them.  That happens. 

But, I'd say if you're uncomfortable with it, bring it up to the writer.  It puts the ball back in their court.  If cover alteration is something they encourage from their fans, then they may decide to use someone else for their newest creation, but at least you're not compromising your position on how you feel your art should be used.  Or, on the flip side, they may apologize and have you create a new cover and you won't run into the same issue again. 
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,648 Posts
Deanna Chase said:
You know, I never used to think about this much, but book 2 and book 3 both have the same amount of returns. Exactly the same. I find it hard to believe all 12 people accidentally purchased both books, or all twelve purchased both at the same time and decided I suck rocks and returned them both. I mean it's possible, but it's suspicious. Very suspicious. And it's a trend I'm seeing month after month. It's still about 1% so not something to get all up in arms about, but every time I think about it all I can think is, I gave you the first one for free. Jeez!

I don't know the answer. I guess Id' be inclined to let it go. But I'm passive like that.
GOSH 1% !!! I WISH! No, it's around 10% for me, for anything with dirty words in it.

I do let it go in the sense that I don't put DRM on the files or include any kind of downer messages. I'll complain on occasion around here, but that's the extent of it. ;-) I'm weirdly proud so many people steal my books.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
877 Posts
I think that Ashley makes a really good point.

If the writer is not the one intentionally having people change things and repost things, I don't think she is necessarily violating the spirit of the agreement. However, her modifying your cover WAS a violation of the spirit of the agreement.

Fans very frequently take book covers, movie art, celebrity photos and do what they want with them. They don't mean anything by it, quite to the contrary. They do it to celebrate and honor something they love. To them, that image becomes representative of the whole, and they want to show off their love for it.

Look at all the book blogs and all of the images they have for their favorite series. I find it unlikely that the cover artists are creating all those images. If fans of a book are using the graphics to pay tribute to or promote that book, I think it is a good thing. If fans of a book, or even not fans of the book are taking the image and using it to feature or promote something totally unrelated, then I think you have a valid position from what to say you are the copyright holder and to ask them to discontinue the behavior.

Unfortunately, but posting the image without prominent text, the author has (probably unwittingly) enabled the situation.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,555 Posts
As someone who prefers to do their own font work, I sometimes have to change some things on covers to make what I want work. I don't think I'd ever add a person or something (that is the artist's job, after all).  For one cover, for example, I had to move a demonic head from one side to the other. I didn't change the art, just shifted part of it. Another, I had to color a tiny part of the image.  For these, I had the artists' permission. I always make sure that I am allowed to make minor changes to art I license because I never know until I'm putting text on something or looking at how it fits into a series etc, what changes might be necessary.  If I needed major changes though, I'd probably just go ask the artist and either work out an additional fee or something like that.

I think it's good to work this stuff out with clients in advance.  Allowing minor changes seems sane to me, asking that they check with you for major changes (like adding people to the image) seems reasonable as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,274 Posts
Dalya said:
GOSH 1% !!! I WISH! No, it's around 10% for me, for anything with dirty words in it.

I do let it go in the sense that I don't put DRM on the files or include any kind of downer messages. I'll complain on occasion around here, but that's the extent of it. ;-) I'm weirdly proud so many people steal my books.
I may or may not be inclined to pirate my own works for people. Of course, being in Select, I would never do such a thing or anything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,251 Posts
I'm confused. That's probably because it's not quite six a.m. and my caffeine levels are nowhere near cruising altitude... ;D

Neither of the below scenarios is necessarily right (legally / morally speaking), just my take on them.

Do you mean the situation is:
A) You made them a cover for The Greatest Book by Jane Author and she is dinking with said cover, tweaking font, etc. and so forth (or allowing her friends to do so) but the cover is staying with the book for which you contracted? If so, I think that's going to have to be something you learn to live with, even if it looks like crap and makes your heart weep every time you see it. Sure, you could make it against your ToS in contract, but I don't know that I would. Authors are going to want to dink with their covers, and they figure they paid you for it.

or
B) She is not only using the cover for The Greatest Book, but also The Next Greatest Book and The Third Greatest Book. She is also allowing her friends (and anybody else) to use the cover files for their books and God knows what else. If this is the case, I'd be beyond livid, cease and desist letters would be being drafted and sent out certified mail, the whole nine. I get worked up about principles and such, though, even thought it's not really cost effective or productive.

or
c) Some other scenario which never entered my cobweb-riddled brain?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,251 Posts
Monique said:
If they're doing it as a form of fan art and not profiting in any way, I'm not sure what you can or should try to do about it.
This. Still catching up on the thread. But, yeah... I know what you're talking about. It probably makes you cringe / cry / burns you a little every time you see it, but it's probably bound to happen. Honestly, if I were the author I don't think I'd want fans dinking with my covers like that, for much the same reason. Ugh. But - that's probably something I'd just suck it up and shut up about.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top