The woes of the privileged

Once upon a time I wrote a story.

It got published in an anthology. (I was pretty excited.)

Now my publisher wants to print a limited edition novella of my story.

Not the whole anthology, just my story. On its own. My name on the front cover.

So far, this is all rather fairy-tale-ish.

And then?

And then I come up against a dilemma I never expected to encounter in all my days.

The cover artwork is hideous. And when I say it is more hideous than a putrid vomitus mass I am not exaggerating.

It is truly awful. Embarrassing.

And now I am stuck.

It is ugly enough I don’t want it to see the light of day. I literally do not want my name attached to it.

And yet.

Is this small minded vanity?

Shouldn’t I be proud, no matter how it looks?

Shouldn’t I believe you can’t always judge a book by its cover?

I am more wounded, I think, that the artwork in no way reflects a story I worked very hard to build. it is a tale of sight and seeng. Of using your eyes as if for the first time.

Here especially I wanted to paint a picture with my words — and somehow the picture that resulted is a chaotic hot mess.

My pride is bruised. That both the artist didn’t get it, and/or that my words have failed to evoke anything other than this. It’s hard not to feel like this is some sort of failure.


These glamorous first world problems suck. I’m off to get the peas out of my mattress.

3 Responses to “The woes of the privileged”
  1. Anika says:

    I NEED TO BUY IT IMMEDIATELY. And in this age of e-books, who cares about a little ugly cover art?



  2. Can we see it? I once entered a poetry contest by writing a poem in like ten minutes and sending it in. A few weeks later I got a very excited voice on the phone telling me I had won, and was being named Poet of the Year!! AND…it would only cost me $250 to get that on a plaque and have my poem published in anthology. They also sent me a certificate in the mail, which I still have years later, just to prove I was Poet of the Year…and they would have told the world for only $250. Needless to say, I did not send them any money. You however, did not have to pay for this, so I vote that you show it off with pride….I only spend a moment on the cover of any book and then go to the first page – it’s the font of the writing that pulls me in or out of reading something.


  3. I don’t think you should beat yourself up for being upset about the cover. Would it be better to fake not being upset because there are children starving somewhere in the world? You’re allowed to feel disappointment even if you do happen to live in the first world (just my opinion).


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