There's a discussion going on right now at the Amazon Romance Community about how irksome it is when the cover of a book does not reflect the actual story itself. Some examples....the hero is actually terribly disfigured and he looks like Brad Pitt on the cover, the hero and heroine are Caucasian but there are African-American models on the cover, the heroine is a petite blond pixie-like woman and there is a tall brunette Amazonian model on the cover....etc, etc, etc. Other potential cover issues: they are tacky, poorly executed, embarrassing for readers to show in public, creepy, etc. I have seen readers give books a lower rating at Goodreads, Amazon, etc because THEY DIDN'T LIKE THE COVER!!!!! Jiminy H. Cricket! Which brings me to the reason for this post....as much as authors say, "I'm going to ignore my hideous cover and just know that my writing is good and can stand for itself"-- the truth is....a book is the sum total of all of its parts and that includes the cover.
I see absolutely no reason whatsoever why authors should not be pushing for cover control in their contracts. Why not? Why does the publisher have the ultimate decision about covers? Why can we not have some input, work with the cover artists and make sure the artwork is accurate? Why can't this be a team effort instead of the authors being forced to accept whatever the publisher decides? "This is how it's always been done" is not an acceptable response to this question. So what? The publishing world is in the midst of a huge adaptation due to the advent of ebooks. It is possible for "The Publishing World" to grow and change and adapt...it's a necessity in order to survive in this new technologically changing world. I think authors need to step back and think outside of the box. Just because we have never had input re:covers in the past, does not mean this is something crazy or unattainable. I think discussions should be initiated with agents and publishers, and authors should be included in the "total package"---for goodness sake, that's our book. That's our name on the cover. Allowing us to be included in the final product makes a whole hell of a lot of sense to me.
But maybe I'm just crazy.