The folks at Jack Daniel’s recently saw the cover of Patrick Wensink’s book, “Broken Piano for President,” and sent the author a friendly letter asking him to change his design. “We are certainly flattered by your affection for the brand,” a Jack Daniel’s lawyer told Wensink, but…
Because you are both a Louisville “neighbor” and a fan of the brand, we simply request that you change the cover design when the book is reprinted. If you would be willing to change the design sooner than that (including on the digital version), we would be willing to contribute a reasonable amount toward the costs of doing so.
The lawyer asked for a response by today. Here’s what Wensink tells Romenesko readers:
I’ve never received a cease and desist, but I don’t imagine they’re all this friendly. While I’m sad to see Broken Piano for President’s artwork go, my publisher has decided to change the cover art in response to Jack Daniel’s request. Jack also generously offered to help pay for a new cover, which I also bet doesn’t happen often. My publisher, Lazy Fascist Press, will be funding the new artwork themselves, though.
In response to controversy: Broken Piano is currently in the Amazon Top 100, which is unthinkable for a small, independent press book like this. I spent six years working on this novel, so I’m incredibly pleased and flattered by the response. Of course, I plan to celebrate like Hemingway and Fitzgerald before me…I’m going to go change my son’s diaper.