No, don’t run away (yet.) While my family has a tendency to go through the art museum making fun of things and pretending we think the trash can is an installation (it might have been, now that I think about it) and making all the arty people mad (well, guys, we pay our membership. We enjoy at as we want to. We’re not shouting. Stop getting close enough to us so you can seethe at what we say) that is not the sort of talk I want to have (though a stroll through the art museum with a camera followed by a “the Hoyts desecrate art post might be fun.)
I’m talking of art in its right and proper place and not exactly high art, either. (Yes, I know high art. During one of the worst depressions of my life, a book with reproductions of Leonardo DaVinci’s paintings and sketches pulled me through.)
The art we want to talk about here, is the sort of art that is needed in a certain place and needs to be good enough to pass muster in that place.
It’s sort of like the wallpaper patterns painted on canvas and mounted on cubes that are used on hotel walls. As “high art” they fall short of the mark, neither elevating nor communicating any other emotion. As art for your own home, they’d probably get incredibly tiring (unless you’re one of those people who uses his/her apartment as a crash pad.) But as “hotel art” it does break the monotony of what would otherwise be institutionally bland walls, and doesn’t have anything particularly memorable to offend or confuse a fussy guest.
The type of art we’re going to talk about is sort of the same: book cover art.
You must have something on the cover of your books. I’ve already talked about signaling and how to make sure your book fits with its genre. Most designers – and for that matter most artists – you can hire will in fact give you “art” and “cover design” that fits only with the “literary and little” set. This is because until very recently that was who the artists and cover designers who hadn’t quite made it worked.
The other problem with “hiring the professionals” is monetary. I’m now making around $500 a month from my indie (mostly backlog of reverted novels and short stories) publishing. But that is after two years and with my having a lot of backlog. Yes, it’s also on the low side due to these being reverted novels and my only having about a third of them out. I have friends who are making the same from one or two indie-published-from-the-get-go novels.