From Daniel, founder of Jack & Percy Publishing:
Each of J&P’s books should be an affordable work of art so nice you’d want to buy a print of it. So I’m looking for artists who have great work to put on the cover of J&P’s books. Feel free to pitch your own work or refer someone else. Continue reading to learn how to do that.
Pitching Art to J&P
First: What works as a great cover? Well, I’ll explain how I chose the cover of J&P’s edition of Frankenstein.
That book has a subtitle, The Modern Prometheus, which is not widely known, and is rarely printed on the book’s cover. This is odd, because that subtitle communicates the whole of the book’s philosophy. The painting I chose is a beautiful nod to that subtitle, its philosophy, and a modern sensibility that places Frankenstein’s monster at the center of the story.
I want art that looks good and ties well into the story it’s covering. This can be a nod to the book’s themes, its history, or its author.
Below are some of the books that I’m looking at producing next (Pygmalion is underway, so that would have slight priority). If you have a painting or other graphic that you think would work well for any of them, send me a link to your IG/portfolio/Figma/whatever. Twitter is preferred, but the Contact page is great too.
- Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum
- Anthem, by Ayn Rand
- Pygmalion, by G.B. Shaw
- The War of the Worlds, by H.G. Wells
How will I be paid for my art?
My philosophy here: your agreements with me will be non-exclusive by default, unless we arrange something different. You will retain the full rights to your work; I’m just asking for license to use it for J&P books and related marketing.
In addition to your work going on a book cover, if it’s selected, I will reserve space for an explanatory author’s note, written by you and approved by me, to appear at the beginning of the book.
Depending on what other products J&P decides to produce with your artwork (like prints sold through this site), you will retain a majority of the profit.
All that said: this is a new and small business. I can’t pay huge fees–but I’m also not asking for exclusive rights. I want this to be a good deal for all parties involved.
What’s the motivation here?
I started J&P because so many affordable editions of classic works are ugly. And the ones that aren’t are usually expensive.
Since classics are almost always in the public domain, anyone can produce their own version in book form. And yet: both established publishers and individuals produce total wrecks.
Their covers are too glossy, the paper doesn’t feel good on the fingertips, and the thickness of the books is often at an uncomfortable ratio with their cover surface area (thin book, huge surface area–not good for novels).
Complicating all of this: on sites like Amazon, many individuals upload their own versions of classic works that have been haphazardly slapped together. The cover might manage to look OK, but the book’s interior is a total garbage fire (font is too tiny, too much of it is crammed onto one page, sans serif fonts for heaven’s sake).
So my solution is simple: don’t do the ugly stuff. Make books pretty, make them affordable, make them feel nice in the hands, partner equitably with artists.