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Rules for Anchorites

Letters from Proxima Thule

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The Habitation of the Blessed Cover
prester john
It's not Ghost Rider, I swear!

I'm SUPER curious about y'all's reaction to this--do you like it, does it make you want to buy it, is it evocative? Opinion me, O Livejournal!

It is very pretty, thought it does look like a comic cover.
I'd at least pick it up to see what it was about!

the bits I like:
-it's wildly colorful and impresses me like graphic novel covers often do. it promises mystery.
-Terri's blurb, right there on the front. WIN.

It's a strong blurb, isn't it? Many thumbs up.

I like the luminous quality of the art, but I think I'm a little bit surprised by the style. It doesn't look like the other books I have you've written. This isn't bad, obviously, but depending on how much your story feels like more mainstream fantasy (which this kind of looks like on the cover), it might not work as well as it could.

It's so close to being really great.

I love the lightness of the feathering, except they look like they're coming directly out of her upper arms, and the feathering should go all the way across the page instead of stopping half-way like a background wig to him.

I love the "art nouveau" style (because if they were trying for medieval, they didn't get it), but why is the guy a skinhead? His hair and facial features look too modern, at quick glance like an alternate reality.

I love the way the light hits him, except if it's coming from the book then it's only coming from the far edge of the left-hand page.

I love the way the pages of the book echo the feathers, and I love it enough not to mind they aren't really pages (or else the perspective is way off).

I agree there's something off about the hands.

I love the title, but the fonts aren't so great. The small words are too thin, too small, the big words too big, too flat. It makes the book look cheap: "let's SQUEEZE things TOGETHER to MAKE them FIT so WE can MAKE the KEY words BOLD". You practically expect exclamation points. And your name is apparently not considered KEY to sales.

I've been reading your replies and I'm sorry you've been getting so many negatives, especially since there's not much you can do. But if passing along our comments could at least get the lettering improved, maybe it's worth a try. (Also, maybe they might consider lightening the values overall a little? that would reduce the flaming head effect. :-))

It's a bit busy for my taste, but I like the colours and style...

put him on the motorcycle, and the chick already has tats...

I don't know how helpful this is, but I find that the guy has a confrontational look on his face that is off-putting to me. I'd find it more appealing to pick up if it was the open book with the woman emerging out of it - so as is, but without the dude. But then, maybe the dude is meant to appeal to male readers...

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Now that you say that about the name/blurb, I totally see it. It would be really HELLO I WAS WRITTEN BY instead of "who is this by?"


Blemmeyes. On fire. Riding motorcycles. NOW

Really though it is very lovely.

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His jacket is pretty awesome, and he has hands the size of steam shovels. I wouldn't call him boring, personally.

While not Ghost Rider, it does looks like a graphic novel cover to me--which is not a pejorative, except in the sense that this book is not a graphic novel. But something about the composition, the logo-like quality of the title text and the way it overlays the image, and the not-quite-realist art style seems to hint that the same art style will be contained within, Fables or somesuch. Also feels vaguely YA, safe-for-all-ages...a young person on the cover with a book, for young readers who like books...a monkish Harry Potter and his spellbook. Although something about the head does make me want to Photoshop in an earring and call him China....

It's not an art style that I personally like, but I suppose in terms of trying to sell to audiences who don't know your work already, going in a different direction than your past works makes some sense. (And I imagine the publisher is thinking that it's closest in style to the Orphan's Tales jackets, which I imagine were your most commercially successful books.)

That was my exact reaction as well - that it looks like the cover of a graphic novel. Perhaps that effect will be lessened on the physical object, being (I assume) smaller and thicker than the standard graphic novel.

It doesn't set my world on fire, I must confess. Between the title font and the background art, there's a busyness to the cover that makes my eye shy away from it, rather than drawing my eye to it. Your name is something else that automatically draws my eye, and while I don't know how the spine will look, your name just sort of disappears on the cover.

Kind of . . .Mage source book looking? V. different than your usual cover, I don't know that I would think this book was by you . . .

See, now I'm guessing more that it's Kaluta who did that cover.

the dude looks odd.

I think it is his mutant eyebrows.

I think with the font they chose, an even more illuminated manuscript or stained glass style of art is what I'd have gone with. I don't think the cover would sell me if it weren't already an author I know I like.