Are Algorithmically Generated Book Covers the Future of Publishing?

Best-selling science fiction and fantasy author Christopher Paolini probably didn’t think his latest book would be talked about because of its cover. The one who notably wrote the saga Eragon his new book will be released in a few months, FractalNoisewhich is an integral part of a series he called the Fractalverse – and whose visuals were generated by an artificial intelligence.

As soon as the cover was unveiled, fans expressed their first doubts. On Twitter, smart guys quickly made the link between images, which was generated by artificial intelligence. This had of course been rearranged, although no designer or artist’s name appears on the back cover or inside the book. An element that surprised more than one, the publisher Tor Books having rather the reputation of promoting the work of those who make up its visual universes.

Faced with the many hostile reactions, the publishing house decided to publish a message on Twitter in order to appease the spirits: “During the process of creating this cover, we purchased an image from a renowned illustration bank. We did not know that this image was created by an artificial intelligence. Our in-house designer used it to create our cover, which was presented to Christopher for approval.”

“Due to production constraints, continues the press release, we have decided to continue with the current coverage. Since its inception, Tor Publishing has always appealed to creators from the science fiction and fantasy worlds, and we will continue to do so.”

But according to Gizmodo, there is a catch: known for its high-quality covers, Tor Books should have realized sooner or later that the image used was not the work of a human being. The apologies posted on Twitter are too timid, believes the American site, which draws attention to the fact that the publishing house does not commit to no longer using illustrations generated by artificial intelligence.

In France also

In addition, the decision to keep this cover (for a book that will probably not be released before May 2023) makes graphic designers cringe. Tor Books had plenty of time to backtrack and call on designers to imagine a new visual, but opted to maintain the current design. What goes wrong in the middle of visual creation.

In France too, visuals generated by algorithms are starting to appear and make people talk. This is the case with the cover of poster girlthe latest novel by Veronica Roth (Divergent), for which an artificial intelligence is credited. “Artwork: © IA Midjourney”can we read, as indicated by Livres Hebdo.

Many criticisms were leveled, including on the quality and consistency of the image used – the asymmetrical eyes of the young woman featured on the cover were talked about, as was a possible eyebrow issue. But the publication of this novel published with us in November 2022 could well pave the way for a new generation of book covers that will not have cost a penny.

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Are Algorithmically Generated Book Covers the Future of Publishing?

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