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Look what they've done to my book, Ma.

This’ll date me, but the other night I found myself singing an old Melanie Safka song — Look What They’ve Done to My Song, Ma.” If you don’t know it, there’s a recording here of her singing it . It goes:
Look what they’ve done to my song, Ma.
Look what they’ve done to my song,
It was the only thing I could do half right
And it’s turning out all wrong, Ma.
Look what they’ve done to my song.

And not that I’ve written any songs to be ruined, but I’ve just seen the new cover HarperCollins have given to the republication of my very first book — Gallant Waif. Here it is.

The thing is, that book is about a young woman who has returned from following the army with her father and brothers—all now dead—and she’s got no money and no home, and is in a desperate way. 

She’s given a position in a rundown old house where a wounded former soldier has holed up to hide from the world. 

This is a ‘sweet” book with only a few kisses. It was a RITA finalist for “Best First Book” too.

So they’ve made her look like a courtesan.

This was the original cover. So much more fitting to the story, don’t you think? 

 

 

I would write to the publisher and ask them to change it, only this whole thing was done without any attempt to inform me, and I have no idea who to contact. My original editor left the publisher long ago.

So now, all I can do is feel sad about the inappropriate cover.

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Mary Kinsey
Mary Kinsey
5 days ago

Luckily for you as a Kindle user I never see the cover. But it’s offensive that some idiot created a cover that has no relation to your story and that you weren’t given input.

Anne
Anne
5 days ago
Reply to  Mary Kinsey

Thanks, Mary — yes, it makes me cross and a bit sad.

Joyce Mitchell
Joyce Mitchell
5 days ago

Glad I have a copy of the original.

Anne
Anne
5 days ago
Reply to  Joyce Mitchell

Thanks Joyce.

Marianne
Marianne
5 days ago

I feel kinda sorry for whomever slapped that cover on it, too. They obviously hate their work.

Anne
Anne
5 days ago
Reply to  Marianne

Thanks, Marianne. Yes, I guess they just grabbed the first generic cover they could find.

Priscilla Payne
Priscilla Payne
5 days ago

That is a terrible thing that they have done to your book. A total misrepresentation of the story between the covers. So sorry they did this without even talking to you

Anne
Anne
5 days ago

Thanks, Priscilla — with this publisher, the author is often the last to know these things, and when you do find out, it’s too late.

Constance
Constance
5 days ago

It’s ridiculous, isn’t it, that no one at the publisher cared enough to read the book first! There may be no way to get it changed at this point, Anne, but you should still make the publisher aware of your displeasure—you’re an award-winning, highly popular author — at least it might make them more respectful in the future!

Anne Gracie
Anne Gracie
5 days ago
Reply to  Constance

Thanks, Constance — yes, ridiculous and annoying. But I think I just have to suck it up. :(

Pam
Pam
5 days ago

I am so sorry that you had no input. It doesn’t seem right. :(

Anne Gracie
Anne Gracie
5 days ago
Reply to  Pam

Thanks, Pam. It’s frustrating.

Liz Fielding
Liz Fielding
5 days ago

Hugs on the nightmare cover, Anne. Obviously created by someone who didn’t care enough about the book to check so much as the blurb. Or that the reader will be expecting something very different.

Anne Gracie
Anne Gracie
5 days ago
Reply to  Liz Fielding

Thanks, Liz — the irony is, they’re calling this “republishing” in order to hang onto the rights. Slapping a cheap generic cover on it is hardly what I’d call “republishing..” But . . . lesson learned.

Christine
Christine
4 days ago

What a nightmare of a cover – what idiot decided that would be good? Do people get paid for this? Betting it was a man who has never read a romance. Thing is it isn’t even bad enough to be ironically good like some of the really old school ones. She has bare shoulders but not clothes falling off, but he is shirtless. Just all round pitiful effort. So sorry that you have to endure this. If it is any help I did not read the original and so will be buying a copy of this if I can get… Read more »

Helen Sibbritt
Helen Sibbritt
4 days ago

Oh Anne, that is not the cover for this book, I am so sorry they have done that, it is a beautiful story, I sometimes wonder if the cover designer actually read the book first :(

Have Fun

Helen

Elizabeth Manson
Elizabeth Manson
4 days ago

Unfortunately, it is quite common for covers not to reflect the story, or even the description of the main characters. Covers without people leave it to the reader to discover.

Alison
Alison
4 days ago

Oh, Anne… I can’t believe they didn’t do you the courtesy of consulting!

Maree
Maree
4 days ago

I always say in my head, “well OBVIOUSLY someone didn’t read the book!” So sorry.

Malvina
Malvina
4 days ago

So sorry, it isn’t the best of covers. But everyone, do read this lovely book! Maybe time for a re-read…

KarenG
KarenG
4 days ago

I remember Melanie. I believe she passed away in the past year or two. Good song, and it really captures what I’m sure you are feeling. I’m betting no one at the publisher bothered to actually read the book.

Sandra Edwards
Sandra Edwards
4 days ago

Corporate greed at its finest. Sex sells more than integrity and being true to the story.

Meagan
Meagan
4 days ago

Can you contact your original editor and ask if they have any suggestions for who to contact?

Fay Thomev
Fay Thomev
4 days ago

That’s very poor form from the publisher. I looked up Harper Collins and they have a feedback email address, but who knows if it would be worth your while to write:

Please email feedback regarding HarperCollins Publishers Australia products or services, or this website, to feedback@harpercollins.com.au

Susie
Susie
4 days ago

How incredibly disappointed you must be feeling Anne. One can only wonder what the people at Harper Collins were ‘thinking’ when they came up with this travesty.

Patrica
Patrica
4 days ago

I ignore the cover mostly and enjoy the story. I had to give my original copy of this book to the Brotherhood as I had to move in to smaller accomodation. I miss it very much. I have ordered a new copy though and will enjoy it just as much as the first time I read it.

Simone
Simone
4 days ago

Ist’s offen the same with translations. I’m living in Germany and am sometimes sad (or mad) about the new titles or covers. Luckily I’m able to read Your originals. It’s a sad thing that You have never been asked

Lyn Brown
Lyn Brown
3 days ago

It has long been a bugbear of mine. The producers of the covers clearly don’t read the stories they are asked to illustrate for. It is very sad for the authors and very irritating for readers (and I am one of those who correct misprints with a tippex mouse so that I don’t get annoyed again when I re-read the book down the line). The fact that sex sells, hence the salacious covers, is no excuse. Indeed for some historical novels set in a more genteel era it is in fact deeply offensive. I agree that authors should have input/insight… Read more »

Barbara Johnson
Barbara Johnson
1 day ago

I hate when a cover is outright sleazy sexy. My family teases me as it is for reading “smut” books. I am appalled that your publisher would do that to you.