Thursday, February 01, 2007

Not The Mothman Prophecies

Our mass market paperback designer (and frequent Art Department commentator) Pablo Defendini did some great redesigns for The Mothman Prophecies. In the end they got nixed by Sales and Marketing -- I think they are just too harsh for a mass market audience -- but cool looking nonetheless. They have a great sense of scale about them...I can easily imagine them as gigantic posters.

From Pablo: "The tone of the book is quite dark and hazy. Keel brings up more questions than he answers, lending the book a confusing and schizophrenic atmosphere.
This is what I was trying to convey for the cover. I think these comps might have been a bit too subtle --or not eye-catching enough-- for a mass market edition, though."


I should say here that, when I say something has been nixed by Sales, that doesn't necessarily mean that I disagree with them. Sometimes, sure, but everyone really is on the same team. I very much enjoy working with our Sales department. It's easy for us, in the art department, to fall in love with an idea that just isn't communicating to someone with fresh eyes or different concerns. (You know, little concerns like convincing bookstores to carry or books.)

No, the troubles begin when you have "committee" designs -- when we're stuck trying to please two or three parties at once, all with a very different idea about what the book is, or should be. They are the titles that we are supposed to make look like men's adventure, romantic, self-help books, that have a touch of dark fantasy and might be suitable for older teens. We seem to publish "that" book about once a season...and it's never pretty.


Patrick Nielsen Hayden said...

"Make it look large, but somehow small. You can do that, can't you?"

Carl V. Anderson said...

I like them and am glad we got to see them eventhough they weren't used. As usual I enjoy the little insights into the publishing world, especially from the art/design side, as it is terribly fascinating.

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