In Part Two of his blog series on the Publishing Death Spiral (read Part One here), science fiction author Norman Spinrad, author of Bug Jack Barron, Child of Fortune, and The Iron Dream, talks about “My Own Death Spiral,” and seeing the cover art for his novel The Druid King the first time:
Knopf’s star art director… had taken photos of some gnarly twigs and photoshopped them into the letters of the book title. Murky brown against black background, no other illo. Suck City in terms of rack pop. My heart sank when I saw it… To give you an idea of how bad the cover really was, when the book finally came out, Dona and I looked for it in the new books rack. It wasn’t there! We couldn’t find it. Major panic! We finally did. It turned out we had looked past it three times without noticing it. And I was the author.
You can read the complete post, along with lively comments from Jerry Pournelle, Paul Riddell, and Knopf Art Director Chip Kidd, here.