Book cover

Hi Brooke!

Can you help me navigate this situation?

The maths:
– I’ve written a new cookbook (my 5th) that is scheduled to come out in the spring.
– Yesterday I received an email from my editor sending me two virtually identical covers (same photo, title in two different styles) and presenting them as the final choice, validated by all their in-house departments. She says all I need to do is pick the title style among the two.
– I was not involved in or invited to any previous discussions or exchanges about the book cover design.
– Our publishing contract states that they have the last word on cover design but “Publisher shall consult with the Author regarding cover presentation and jacket design”.

The drama:
– This is not the photo I would have chosen as a cover shot.
– I don’t think it successfully conveys what the book is / is about.
– I hate that my editor did not think I should be involved earlier in the process.
– I feel stupid that I did not email her every week to ask “Is it time to discuss cover design?” so she couldn’t do it in my back.
– I hate that she just dumps this final choice on me with excited exclamation marks and pretends picking the title font is “consulting with me”.
– I hate that she’s trying to intimidate me by mentioning how many people were involved on their end (subtext: it would waste a lot of people’s time if we were to go back on this choice).

Thanks to my VIP mind management skillz 😉 I see that I am hating much more on the editor not including me in the process than on the cover itself. I see that I can’t form an objective opinion on the cover because it was dumped on me, and I feel robbed of the chance to compare it to other options and see if it is, indeed, the most suitable one.

I wonder how you would recommend I handle this, both in my mind and in terms of action? I have drawn up two models.

My unintentional model:

C: Editor emails book cover saying it’s the final choice
T: I hate that they designed the cover without involving me
F: Disrespected, outraged
A: Email my agent to vent (there were all caps involved), ask her to intercede (<– this is what I’ve already done)
R: I’m hating the process

My intentional model:

C: Editor emails book cover saying it’s the final choice
T: Nothing is final at this point; I want to have a bigger say than that
F: Calm, determined
A: Have my agent ask that we review the other options
R: I do everything I can to have my say

Thank you for your insights!

Clotilde in Paris.