It seems people felt that to run a competition in this way doesn’t value the work of artists in the way it should and that the resulting exposure would have little impact for the winning artist. We think, honestly, that people were upset at the thought that we would get our cover for £50 rather than paying an industry standard fee. Joseph looked into professional original cover art when he was thinking about self-publishing. Quotes ranged from £400 - £1200. Far outside our reach.
Timeline Books is a tiny, independent publisher. We've brought out one book so far, Greg Stekelman’s London Tales. There’s no way it could afford professional rates, so the competition seemed like a fun, cheap way for us to encourage creativity and possibly bring in some visual surprises from ‘outside’ the industry box. But we do understand that working for free or for small rates is a subject that people find upsetting.
Joseph says "Speaking as an author, I’ve yet to make a living wage from writing after twelve years of work, so I can understand why the competition annoyed people. That said, for many years I accepted publication without taking a fee – it was either that or no publication and I needed to get my work to readers somehow"
Timeline Books is an interactive publisher. It’s also a fledging publisher. We’re relying on public comment and advice for direction and help in the project. That’s either democratic, or socialist or something. Whatever it is, it’s very exciting because neither neither of us know what’s going to happen next!So after weighing up the pros and cons we have decided to cancel the contest. We're especially sorry to those of you who’ve made a start on work but we hope you can understand the reasons for our decision.
Meanwhile, panic not, for there is a Plan B (from outer space…)There might even be a Plan C (but we haven't thought of it yet)
We'd be interested to know what you think about this, btw.