I had a phone interview with a high school student in a life planning class. She had all sorts of questions about the publishing process, including “how much control do you have over the illustrations and the cover?”
Most writers get “input” rather than control. I often see initial sketches from the illustrator under consideration for a project. Then I see rough artwork so I can comment about accuracy. And I see the final versions so I can squeal over them. But as for veto power: zero.
Fortunately, the editors and art directors at publishing houses usually have much, much better visual taste than I have, and I trust them to make great decisions.
As I learned last week, I should be grateful that I at least have input. I sat down with two actor friends as they watched their newly released movie for the first time. Before it began, one of them turned to me and said, “You have to imagine you wrote your text, sent it away, and you have no idea what’s been done with it. That’s how we feel right now.”
ACK! I don’t have that much trust.
As we watched the (wonderful) movie, they said things like, “Oh, they cut a lot of that scene,” or “that part looked so different when they shot it.”
What a strange thing, to create something and then leave it entirely in the power of someone else. It would be like handing someone your egg and hoping that after it’s hatched and grown, you admire the finished creature.
I’m so glad I get to watch my creatures grow.