Just hours ago, I announced a contest to vote for and, if desired, even design the cover of my book due out next year. This contest had been suspended, please do not submit designs.
Here is why…
My sole goal in creating this contest was to take a creative process that was usually reserved for a small number of in-house designers and open it up to anyone else who wanted an opportunity to let their creative talents be considered for the cover of a book. And, I wanted people to be able to have a voice in then choosing what covers most appealed to them.
I genuinely thought it was a nice thing. Designers would get exposure through the public display and voting process and everyone could have a voice.
I was blown away by the response, though. Many people e-mailed excited about the opportunity, but then a post on a design website about the contest revealed something that, honestly, horrified me.
It seems there is a practice in the design niche for certain entities to run contests that, though they are dissimilar in many ways from what I was doing, are designed largely as a means to exploit designers, take the work product from large numbers of people and use all the creations in many different ways without having to pay for any of it.
I was mortified, especially to think that what I was doing could be in any way construed as exploitation. That is so very far from what my intention was. I shared how I believed what I was doing was different in the comments on that blog as well as below.
But, here’s the deal…I do not want to be associated with even the “perception” of exploitation, especially because I am a creative professional, myself.
Respecting those with whom I work and associate is ciritically important to me. It’s been a touchstone of everything I do.
So, I am discontinuing this contest, effective immediately, in an effort to demonstrate my sincerity and strong desire to distant myself from the practice of exploitation. I thank all those who’ve shared their voices on the topic and engaged me in conversation, without jumping to any conclusions about who I was.
And, of course, I apologize for any discontent or unease this has caused anyone. And, I thank everyone for understanding what began as a good-intentioned attempt to let people have a voice, but went astray.
Wishing you all, as always, a wonderful week ahead
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