Monday, December 14, 2015

[Discussion]The Publisher's Crime

I'm trying to be clever guys! Get it, The Winner's Crime, the Publisher's Crime? 

Oh well, I tried. 

Regardless, by now, everyone knows about the ol' cover switcheroo of The Winner's Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski. I personally adore this series and it was the cover that initially drew me in. 

Because let's be honest, when you're at a bookstore or on GoodReads, you're going to pick up the title that has a cover that appeals to you. We can argue that we shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but that's what the publisher is doing every day. 

Macmillan decided that the original covers weren't selling so they switched it up. In my opinion, for the worst, but I've griped enough about that on twitter. I'm still trying to figure out a way around this godawful coverNow what I wonder is what audience do they think that this redesign will attract?

The publisher has done both Marie and the series a huge disservice in my opinion, and I will tell you why. 

1)Throne of Glass comparison
Many people have pointed out that the designs awkwardly look a lot like the Throne of Glass series and if that's their market, they're going to disappoint a lot of readers. Maas' series and Rutkoski's series have very little in common, but yet, both  covers boast a girl with fighting garb and twirling around steel. If a reader picks up the new Winner's Curse series thinking that it's going to be a high-fantasy fast-paced book about an assassin and love interest they're going to be solely disappointed and less likely to recommend the book to others. Yes my marketing experience is fairly basic, but I know no one likes to be lied to and that's what I feel like this new redesign is doing - it's lying to potential readers.

2) Lack of Response
The Fierce Reads twitter account dropped the bomb regarding the cover redesign and clearly did not get the response they were hoping for. To make matters worse, they said something silly and immediately regretted it. Fierce Reads was able to delete the tweet and quietly pretend that nothing happened by retweeting more positive tweets about The Winner's Kiss excitement and promoting other MacMillan authors. And at 5 PM they were able to power down their computers and go enjoy their weekends until Monday's 8:55 AM meeting. 

Does Marie Rutkoski get to do that? No, her twitter account is her personal account. People demanded an explanation and FSG wasn't giving them the answer they wanted, so they turned to Marie. I can't even imagine what her poor mentions/DMs looked like. It must have been hell. So Marie is in the position of defending her publishers poor  decision. 

This is what frustrates me the most about the situation. This. Is. Not. Marie's. Job. She is not here to pick up the pieces after FSG has royally goofed up. She should not have to spend her weekend trying to respond to concerned and angry readers. 

I am disappointed in MacMillan for both those reasons, I hate that they think that they have to keep up with the Jones', but even more, I hate that they put one of their authors in this situation. They owe her an apology and they need to take control of this situation.

What do you think about the whole cover fiasco? More importantly, what do you think FSG's Marketing meeting will look like today?


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