Monday, December 13, 2010

Creative Control

A question: how many of you out there are intrigued by creative control of your book as a product?

What with the grand advent of self-publishing, I've been wondering about this a bit. In traditional publishing you don't really have much say. You get the words in line, the publisher handles the rest. Why let a writer have a say, when it's possible they don't know what they're doing?

But with self-publishing writers can gain control over many of these aspect. Paper and font and design and, of course, the cover. Because writers are creative people, and will often have other creative interests, like art, design, computer graphics, etc. But even without those skills it has to be tempting...

I think a lot of writers have such clear images of their stories, and these images translate into ideas and desires about the book itself, about the book as a physical object. They can picture a cover, how their name is printed, whether it's glossy or matte...

So what about you? Do you ever have that urge to do it all yourself? My friend Renee did this, and I think she enjoyed finding the images, deciding what she wanted the cover to be like... but with this came all the little details that are a headache, most likely, without an expert. Page layout, file formats, embedding images...

So what do you think about creative control?

6 comments:

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

I was glad to have a small publisher in this regard - I had talented artists working the layout and cover design, but I also had a LOT of input. I think that was about the perfect mix for me. I like having input. But my artistic talents are restricted to words on a page. :)

Matthew Rush said...

I would love to have a say in cover design, but I would trade it for the investment in marketing, and not having to be involved in page layout. That is one thing I could not imagine ever having the patience for.

Ted Cross said...

I have VERY strong feelings about my cover. Enough that I would be up in arms if I saw them trying to give me one I considered bad. I would like to have some say, though I really don't wish to go the self-publishing route. If I did end up doing self-pubbing, I would like to commission several great paintings as well as an awesome map so that I could make the book really stand out.

Bryan Russell (Ink) said...

I think for my fantasy novel I have very strong ideas what I DON'T want. Ha ha! Anything but that. Maybe I'll do a Brer Rabbit...

"Please, oh please, don't throw in me dat dere briar patch!"

Reesha said...

As far as page layout goes, just use LAX. It's a free program you can download that's used by many publishers to form the layout of a book. I've found it too odd to actually write in, but copying and pasting into it works well.

Nate Wilson said...

With my design background, I'd love to have some say when it comes to my cover, fonts, and layout. And veto power.

But full creative control? That sounds like a ton of work. My time would likely be better spent writing, or doing my best to market myself and my book. (Unless, of course, I end up agentless and go the self-publishing route. Then, I'd make that novel shine. Possibly literally.)