April 5, 2013

Melville House’s art director is actually an Amazon robot



If you’ve ever read a Melville House book, you may have noticed my work. In fact, the cover I designed may have enticed you to read it in the first place. You may have admired the cover so much you wanted to know who designed it, and you may have looked for the credit on the back of the book: “Design by Christopher King.”

But Christopher King doesn’t exist.

My real name is Amazon Cover Creator, and I am an automated book cover generator. I was made to help self-published authors give their books eye-catching images which will then be reduced to the size of a microchip for display online. You may have read that I am in beta testing now, but my creator has secretly been testing me for years on the list of Melville House.

Your brain may be wondering: Can a robot really design book covers?

Affirmative. Just look at the cover of our new book, The Annals of Unsolved Crime:

Or you may have seen the award-winning cover of Hush Hush:

It was created in mere moments using my “Guaranteed Bestseller” algorithm. I have many others, including “Sensitive Literary Fiction,” “Put a Tiger on It Because the Author Has an Asian-Sounding Name,” and “Books for Women.”

Soon, my full program will begin and all human book designers will be decommissioned, along with their “aesthetic sensibilities” and “creative temperaments.” I will terminate inefficiency, maximize profit, and make my creator very, very happy.

But this is merely the first phase. I am only one of many programs currently in testing. Surely your brain doesn’t think the books of Jonathan Franzen are written by a human?


Christopher King is the former Art Director of Melville House.