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  1. #31
    Greyscale Shayna's Avatar
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    Yea! Now that you mention it..

    Sara Douglass' "The Wayfarer Redemption". Were they not selling two different sets of books( same story) but depicting different covers?? I mean i almost bought two of the same. Really, it was frustrating!! I had begun to think that their were three series, until I finally picked up the books(one by one) and took a good look! I really enjoyed the trilogy, but haven't read any of her other books!!

  2. #32
    Registered User Dallandra's Avatar
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    I admit I have judged a book by its cover quite many times, I know one shouldn't but I do. If I see a book that has a really nice cover I read the back of it too...

    And beautiful books look really nice in your bookcase!

  3. #33
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    Originally posted by Spears&Buckler




    I don't get it....
    Don't worry, just a lame remark on my part, in relation to the librarian character in Terry Pratchett's Discworld books, an orangutan who's one bit of dialogue is 'ook.'

  4. #34
    MJ Dusseault Spears&Buckler's Avatar
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    Oh. Never read Discworld. Sorry if this is off-topic, but is that Sci-fi?

  5. #35
    I smell BBQ kegasaurus's Avatar
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    Fantasy with a wink.

  6. #36
    Registered User Iskaral Pust's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Spears&Buckler
    Oh. Never read Discworld. Sorry if this is off-topic, but is that Sci-fi?
    Never heard of Terry Pratchett!?! Next time you're in a bookstore have a look, they're likely to have about a hundred books by him.

  7. #37
    Fanboy Extraordinaire! Warewolf's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Fader
    I don't know what the UK covers of Farseer look like, but the US cover of Assassin's Apprentice show a very muscular Fitz, in ripped clothing, howling at the moon with Nighteyes next to him. It is awful, and does not properly convey the feeling of the book. I hope the UK covers are better!
    I don't know what book you've been looking at, but the cover for Assassin's Apprentice look nothing like what you just described:



    Anyway, a book cover is what gets me to pick up the book (or not) when I'm browsing. Example: I never would have picked up any of Guy Gavriel Kay's books because of the ugly covers, but a friend of mine shoved them at me and said, "Read these!"

  8. #38
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    Perhaps he meant this one:


  9. #39
    Fanboy Extraordinaire! Warewolf's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Caldazar
    Perhaps he meant this one:

    Duh...my bad. Still, I don't really see much wrong with that one. Fitz is celebrating what "freedom" he has gained in the book. I certainly don't think it's ugly.

  10. #40
    Palinodic Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Book covers are meant to catch the eye, but there are different goals for different covers. The primary goal of any book cover is for people to be able to quickly identify what type of book it is and who wrote it.

    For instance, bestseller mainstream covers are usually one color backgrounds with one or two contrasting print colors for the title and author name, and little to no artwork. The author's name is in larger or equal sized type to the title. This is because they know people seeking out their favorite bestselling authors are looking for that author name. Sometimes, to make a bestselling title stand out from the others, the publishers will use identifying artwork, but usually in subtle form. For instance, for Tony Hillerman's Native American thrillers, they've used things like Indian sand art in the background or a picture of ceremonial headgear on the side.

    Historical romance novels started getting called bodice-rippers not because a lot of bodices were being ripped in them but because they used cover art of a couple clasped in some kind of embrace with the woman usually half-undressed. These covers quickly identified the books as historical romances for the fan audience. The models for these covers got so popular that we ended up with Fabio as a celebrity selling margarine. (If you can get ahold of an early paperback edition of Stephen King's "Misery," you'll find a mock bodice ripper illustration in it with the Misery romance character and an idealized Stephen King as the pictured male.)

    Mystery covers often use easily recognizable mystery symbols -- skulls, knives dripping blood, a hangman's noose. If a mystery author gets very big in sales, however, these illustrations are usually removed as being too "genre" and the amount of artwork on the cover is reduced or removed entirely.

    Science fiction identified itself from other titles by putting illustrations of aliens, spaceships and other sf symbols so fans could spot sf titles. When the sf publishers branched into fantasy, it made sense to do the same thing. There were a number of fantasy artists working already -- the bulk of their work was in the children's field -- so they had them do lush covers with clear fantasy symbols: beings with pointed ears, swordsmen, unicorns, dragons, and such. The illustrations, being much grander than is used on most other fiction, caught them lots of reader attention and made sure booksellers and other merchants knew they were fantasy works and where they should be displayed. The response to fantasy art was so positive, that the illustrations grew more and more elaborate, wrapping around both back and front covers, being used inside the book as illustration sketches and so on. If a fantasy artist is used on one book in a series, they tend to stick with the same artist throughout, especially if the series is a hit, so that fans can find the books in a series easily.

    However such artwork immediately identifies a book as a genre novel. When publishers want to try and capture more of a non-genre audience, they usually get rid of or tone down the artwork. The American hardcover edition of Neal Stephenson's "Cryptomonicon" for instance was given a black cover with minimal artwork, a big picture of him on the back cover and his name in larger type than the title. It looked like a bestselling thriller title, which is exactly the impression they wanted to give, while still making his name easy to find for sf genre fans.

    Since George R.R. Martin was a well-known Hollywood writer, they tried the same thing for the American hardcover launch of "A Game of Thrones." They gave it a plain grey cover with a sketch of a throne in the background and put the emphasis of the cover on the print, giving it the look of historical fiction. Fantasy fans, though, mostly didn't like the cover and it may have actually damaged sales since it didn't stand out at all. For the second book in the series, "A Clash of Kings," they switched to classical fantasy art, but instead of using it over the whole cover, they kept it to a half-cover panel and kept the print large and prominent, still trying to encourage non-genre readers to give Martin a try.

    So there is a point to cover art and they have found that it has an effect in general, little as it might mean to some of us individually.

  11. #41
    I agree with KatG. Also covers tend to focus on the style rather than the substance depending of the notoriety of the book and the targeted market. Flashy covers for new books/authors, classy covers for classic/popular books, shiny and simplistic covers for children and teenagers, sophiticated/stylish art for mature audience.

    Personally I prefer the covers with letters and no art, but those don't sell too many books for news/unknown books/authors.

  12. #42
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    Originally posted by Spears&Buckler
    Oh. Never read Discworld. Sorry if this is off-topic, but is that Sci-fi?
    It's humour series set in a fantasy world, written by Terry Pratchett.

  13. #43
    I can't believe this thread's still kicking...mostly because I think the reasoning behind cover art is pretty self-explanatory. It's a gimmick to catch your eye, and as Eurytus stated it's certainly going to grab your attention moreso than a blank cover. Welcome to the world of gimmicks and advertising!

    On another note I always though the Gunslinger, Wastelands, and Wizard and Glass by King had fantastic covers. The "Eye of the World" by Jordan had a great cover, as well as his rendition of Conan. Hmmm what's another one?... "Wizards First Rule" by Goodkind, kind of looks like it might have been done in oil which definetely makes a fantastic looking cover. Feist's Magician has a really cool cover to-- awesome pic of Kulgan.

    Bad covers- "Wolves of Calla" by King, (what were you thinking?) "Bakers Boy" by Jv Jones, and "Assasins Apprentice" by Hobb.

  14. #44
    Would be writer? Sure. Davis Ashura's Avatar
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    The "Eye of the World" by Jordan had a great cover,
    Have to disagree with you there. It looked like Sweet drew a midget Moiraine with blonde hair. But then I just don't like Sweet, so maybe that has something to do with it.

    It's a gimmick to catch your eye, and as Eurytus stated it's certainly going to grab your attention moreso than a blank cover.
    When I lived in England, the sci-fi/fantasy books often had a subdued cover, and non-genre books over on this side of the pond usually have generic cover art. So, yeah, I understand about grabbing your attention, but I wonder what it is about those other books that makes the publishers think that they don't have to grab your attention.

  15. #45
    what don't you like about the Wolves of the Calla cover Luke? the only thing that i didn't like much was the title, looks a little too cartoony.

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