On March 1, Patrick Wensink’s newest novel, Broken Piano For President, was published. A few days ago he received a cease-and-desist letter from Jack Daniels regarding its cover design. The Tennessee whiskey brand thought his book looks a bit too much like its signature Old No. 7 label.
But this was a cease-and-desist order with a side-helping of Southern hospitality. It states,
“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.” Furthermore, Jack Daniels offered to pay “a reasonable amount towards the cost” if Wensink changed the art sooner than the reprinting, including the digital cover.
While the cover is changing, Wensink—in true Southern form—declined the offer from Jack Daniels. He blogged about the experience:
If it wasn’t signed by some lawyer, I’d imagine ol’ Gentleman Jack penning it himself, twirling his bushy mustache.
In case you’re wondering, no, my publisher, Lazy Fascist Press, will not be taking them up on their offer. We’re proudly independent and don’t need any of that sweet corporate booze money to redo the cover.
Click on the letter to make it larger: