Sunday, 22 November 2009

You see?

‘At least CB editions don’t try to outdo other publishers in the garishness of their covers,’ remarked a blog review of last year. Not least for reasons of thrift: what the typographic covers bypass is the whole longwinded process of the author preferring one image and me another and the designer going her own way – and then this: when we do find the perfect photo for a book (in this case, a CBe title for next May), and the author is happy and I’m happy and the photographer is happy to take a free book or two in lieu of a fee, there’s still a spanner lying around for someone to throw in. The girl in the photo, taken two years ago, is now with an agency that says using this photo on a book cover would be ‘detrimental to her career’, so no release.

The photo in question is beautiful (and also unsettling and funny), and so is the girl. It cannot be – can it? – that her agency minder thinks that having her on a book cover implies she reads books, and that this an unsexy thing to be implying? If so, the minder clearly hasn’t seen any of the several photos around of Marilyn Monroe reading (one of which was used on a recent Faber cover).

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