The entire publishing/bookselling process is one that fascinates me, and I'd love to know more about it. From my position as consumer of the end product but also, to give it a grander title than it deserves, 'commentator', I'm in touch with lots of people at various points along the publishing chain and so I'm aware of some of the exigencies but I'm often surprised and mystified by perceived breakdowns or missing links in that chain, or indeed what can seem like disproportionate insertions(i).
Mike Faulkner highlighted this in an excellent post the other day - do read what Mike has to say, but his gist is that the writer's voice is the one least heard or most easily ignored:
"... the author, who will eat, breathe and sleep his creation and who will have made it his business to acquire as good a knowledge as anyone as to who his market is and how to reach it, is too often an undervalued resource, perceived as an interfering amateur, and sidelined, patronised, even bullied by a cabal of industry insiders who sometimes go on the basis of Doctor knows Best: 'We're the professionals, leave it to us.' "
I know that lots of writers visit here, so I wondered what you all felt about this(ii). Having delivered your manuscript, how much say do you have about the rest of the process? Cover design is often a bugbear, I know, but what about other links in the chain - promotion, for example? Is your voice heard whenever you feel the need to raise it, or are you drowned out by those who can, by virtue of their position, shout louder than you?
(i)Did not the publishers change the predominant colour of a book in response to pressure from a television programme?
(ii)By all means comment under a pseudonym if you feel the need to do so.