in the last day or so there's been something of a furore over Terry Goodkind's public criticism of the cover art on his latest novel, Shroud of Eternity. He made a post on Facebook ridiculing the cover art, which has received a lot of attention and a direct response from the understandably offended illustrator, Bastien Lecouffe-Deharme:
Goodkind's eventual response to the storm of criticism he received included the following paragraph:
My dissatisfaction with the art isn't the artist's fault, of course; the art was commissioned and directed by the publisher.
The intention of our contest was to instead encourage my publisher to devote more thoughtful consideration with the artwork they wrap around my books.
A previous post by Goodkind on social media, coming in between the two Facebook posts linked above (which I can't find directly now - perhaps it's been deleted - but it can be seen quoted e.g. here), says:
Bastien, we never worked together. I've never met nor have I ever even spoken with you. We've never exchanged a message before today. And I never told you what to create for this cover. All of that was between you and the publisher.
Goodkind's responses suggest that the cover art was worked out between the publisher and the illustrator, without consulting him (the author). Without judging the rights or wrongs or who said what or indeed anything about this particular case, I'm curious about whether this is common practice in today's novel publishing industry.
Is it common practice in publishing for cover art to be designed without direct input from the author?
- I'm asking about situations where the author is still alive.
- If it makes a difference, assume first publication rather than a new edition of an existing novel.