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Next Interview with a Tor Employee


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So in this months installment of my insight behind the madness that is publishing I'm pleased to announce that I have Irene Gallo lined up. Irene is the Art Director at Tor and directly handles contracting of artists for their books. All I can say is what I tough job. Do you have any questions you would like to ask? I'll throw on my list of questions here shortly as soon as I get the time, but in the mean time feel free to preemptively by pass me and get your questions up!

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Assuming this position deals with art like cover art...

When it comes to choosing a piece for the cover, who chooses what scene? The author? Editor? You? And how is the scene conveyed to the artist? Is the artist sent that portion of the book to read, to create his/her own mental image from the author's words?

Once the scene is chosen and the artist works on it, I imagine that various sketches are proposed by the artist before a final version is chosen and created. How many sketches are usually needed - and does that simply depend on the artist's skills?

What determines whether or not a front cover or a wraparound cover is used? And along with that, what are the criteria used to determine just how much of the painting needs to be left "empty" for the text?

What media are preferred? Digital? Traditional materials like oil? If traditional media, on what - canvas? gessoed masonite? What sizes are preferred? With physical paintings, does the artist have to send the finished piece to the publisher, or is a high resolution and high quality digital photograph sufficient?

Does the artist get to retain the piece and copyright, or are they considered works-for-hire, and the paitings/copyrights belong to the publisher?

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I've got a question.

How come in some books, the cover represents a particular moment (for example Hero of Ages hardcover with Vin & Inquisitors), while others merely give the "tone" of the books (like the Way of Kings). Is that an author choice, an artist choice, or your choice?

Also, what do you think of having "wordbuilding" images in books?

And why does nearly every Fantasy book have a map?

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This two questions... this depends on the editorial, at least in my country. I don't know Tor's policy, so I thought it would be interesting to ask.

Does the author get to see a sketch of the cover art before it gets approved? Or any version before the final one? If it is so, can he make any suggestions if something directly contradicts the story's facts?

Supposing the author had in mind a particular artist for designing the cover, can he suggest him to be the artist? And what are the probabilities the editorial (Tor in this case) will accept?

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