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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!

to be honest, i find it a bit of a turn off. the font is awkward, to say the least, and the image just kinda loud and garish, and not what i would associate with the title (having not read the book, it's difficult to say if its a fair enough cover, but i wouldn't have said loud and garish described your writing). in addition, there's just a few basic artistic errors, such as with the hands, that strike you the moment you look at it.

In general, I love the cover. However, I was unable to read the 'H' in 'Habitation' as a letter, and thus couldn't read that word until I picked up on it from your post. Blackletter can be difficult for moderns.

It's a bit too busy, and it reads as a YA Fantasy cover, sadly. Too much going on, in a somehow "young" or, almost, naive art style. I would have hoped for something a bit more elegant and subtle, personally.

Busy and comic-book-y. It looks like a graphic novel cover.

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It doesn't upset me. I didn't have any input on the cover.

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I appreciate your honesty--I do hope you'll read the book anyway, and I do hope changes are made.

It is very attractive and it gets my attention, but if I was utterly unfamiliar with the work my first reaction on opening it would be utter confusion.

Because it doesn't look like a book cover to me. It looks like a graphic novel cover.

I definitely won't mind owning it, tho!

Pretty much What They Said: highly reminiscent of YA fantasy/graphic novel/RPG supplement; poor placement of your name; rather unreadable text, plus the bonus sentiment of oh god I can't look at him and not think Miéville. :P I want to put the subject of this painting in a black tee and give him piercings. I do like the book and the woman and the echoing of pages/feathers/fur trim. Stylistically, it does draw me into the image.

I'm -really- surprised to hear that the artist is Rebecca Guay, though. It doesn't seem to be the sort of book that I'd usually associate with her style -- flowy, feminine, much faery/Rackham/Arthurian influence, lots of trees and beautiful animals and long hair blowing in the breeze, etc. Could be part of why this is merely okay rather than amazing.

If it -were- a YA fantasy or graphic novel, I'd be all over it. In the adult sci-fi/fantasy section, while it will stand out amongst all the somewhat skeezy photo covers and such, (and that makes it more appealing in my view) it would look a little out of place, particularly in company with your other books.

Hrmm, it's not terrible but it reads as very YA to me, very comic-y. I honestly think it promises a very different book that the one I know is inside. I think my issues mostly have to do with the font of the title and the guy though - I agree with the person who said the guy's expression isn't very appealing and the perspective issues are distracting. I also agree with the person who suggested that removing him entirely would make the whole thing a lot better!

That said I'm ridiculously excited for the book :). I know authors sadly don't get a lot of say in cover art and feel like that's such a shame... I love your illuminated manuscript idea!

Your books need to be this beautifully designed: http://www.foliosociety.com/bookcat/396/CKC/kelmscott-chaucer
so they match, and therefore truthfully advertise the contents. Or else, what's the point of book design?

I agree that your name in gold would be better -- you're a selling point, so it should pop more. I like the teal behind "A Dirge for Prester John", and that bit is good, but I'm really not fond of the font or sizing on "Habitation of the Blessed". That would put me off the book if I didn't know you and wouldn't be looking for it; it just comes off like SUPER CHRISTIAN BOOK HERE YAY, rather than an interesting Dark Ages fantasy.

I love the big central magical-seeming book, and the woman in the background's expression. I'm not so fond of the weird hands, as others have mentioned.

I'll be honest, that cover design says "RPG sourcebook" to me. Too busy, the Foo: the Bar title format, plus the art style, I think.

I will certainly buy the book, and push it on friends. (I'm on my... fourth copy of Palimpsest now. Maybe fifth? Sixth? I've lost count.) But I forsee myself having to excuse the cover art.

Oh well. They can hire a different artist and designer when it goes into its second edition, and maybe then they'll do it up right, illuminated manuscript-style. :-)

To me, this cover doesn't do justice to your work. I love the poetry in your writing, and especially that you require me (the reader) to actually be there and invest something in the book and even *gasp* learn something from it. To me this cover doesn't say that. This cover, to me, looks like an action-filled book that is instant gratification. If you were any other author and I didn't have such complete faith in your ability to write work that I absolutely love and enjoy every single word of reading, I likely wouldn't purchase this book.

At the very least, I'd like to see your name bigger, more focus on Prester John, and more legible fonts with more even sizing.

I shall certainly be buying it.

I'll third the RPG rulebook comment, and everything else that has been said about the weird hands and the fonts. The guy in particular looks more like an art deco drag queen caught during a costume change than a Greek presbyter in Ethiopia.