Recently, I added a field to my review template, and I wondered why I’d waited so long. I use the UBB plugin from Nose Graze (that’s a referral link, by the way), and there’s a field right there for Illustrator. One I’d never added to my template. Why had I been ignoring it?
I think it comes down to the fact that we rarely think about the illustrator unless the book is a picture book (which I don’t typically review on the blog), so I didn’t even really think about adding this to my review template. It wasn’t until I reviewed a middle grade book where I specifically commented on the adorable illustrations that I realized the issue. Suddenly a light bulb went off in my head: Wait, why haven’t I credited this person anywhere?
The phenomenon was not entirely my fault—the book in question was for a blog tour, and when I went through my tour materials I realized the illustrator’s name was nowhere to be found. In fact, I had to do a fair amount of searching to find his name! What’s up with that?
And then there’s the elusive cover artist. Why do I call them elusive? Try to look up the cover artist for your favorite book. Go ahead, I’ll wait…
Wait, are you coming back? Like, ever?
The sad truth is that sometimes this information is really hard to find. I recently read a whole series of posts on Novels and Waffles called Going Undercover, where Kat interviews different cover artists. The title of the series is a cute play on words, of course, but it often really does almost feel like you need to be a detective to find the cover artist of a book.
This series inspired me to add another new field to my review template for Cover Artist. These poor souls are so forgotten that I had to create a custom field for them, and I can’t link to them on my blog (I might request this as a feature to be added to UBB). I could have used the Illustrator field, but I wanted to delineate between books that have illustrations throughout and books that only have an illustrated cover.
Every. Single. Cover artist. in Kat’s Going Undercover series mentioned how they wished people would credit them.
How often do we go on and on about the beauty of book covers? How often do we post about our favorite covers (in specific posts about covers or as questions in tags, etc)? How often do we post Bookstagram pictures that specifically highlight the beauty of our books? And yet, when was the last time you credited the cover artist in any of these posts?
If you’re anything like me the answer is … um, never?
I’m vowing to change that, and I challenge you all to do the same! Maybe if we specifically request this information more often (especially for tours and such) it will be easier to come by. If it becomes standard practice to credit illustrators and cover artists, the information will become more readily available. I’m even going to add a link to the cover illustrator’s website or social media below the author’s info whenever I can.
Do you ever credit illustrators and/or cover artists in your posts? Do you think illustrators deserve more love? I want to know!
This post has been linked up to the 2019 Book Blog Discussion Challenge