WorldCon is grinding to a close - only one day to go. I've been attending various panels where the discussion members have been cover artists, and their frustration at declining budgets and the rise of photograph covers was palpable.
While the cover is not the book, they have always been an important part of the book for me. I've seen some spectacular photographed covers, but I far prefer painted, and certainly sympathise with artists who are shut down by marketing people merely for asking a question, or daring to want to talk to the author. Fortunately this attitude doesn't appear universal in publishing, but it must be uncomfortable to work in such a situation.
The panels were also very informative regarding how the covers are laid out and composed. I do enjoy learning something useful.