New US Covers

August 11th, 2011

A tricky business, covers.

The cover is one of the most important tools a publisher has to actually sell a book – with the majority of books where your publicity and marketing budgets are going to be tiny, much the most important.  If a bookseller really likes a cover they might stock it much more prominently.  If they hate it they might refuse to stock it at all.  A great cover won’t necessarily make you a smash hit, but it’ll certainly go a long way towards it, and a bad cover can without doubt sink a book, so it’s vital that, whatever else, a cover have solid commercial concerns at it’s heart.

From that point of view you’re trying to kill many, many birds with one stone, often birds flying in opposite directions.  You want to attract a core audience that you feel will be best suited to the book, but at the same time you don’t want to repel other readers.  You want the style and content of the cover to reflect the content of the book and the style of the author, though of course exactly what that means is entirely subjective.  You want to some extent to give people something familiar, some visual touchstones that make them think, ‘ah, I’ve read this sort of thing before and this is the sort of thing I like,’ but at the same time you want there to be something unique about it that makes it stand out from the crowd and make readers think, ‘ah, this is special and striking and better than the fifteen other books it’s shelved alongside.’  Then you also, in an ideal world, are looking for some kind of visual recipe that establishes a strong brand for the book, series, and author, so that someone who loved author X’s last can, on scanning a table of new releases, suddenly say at a glance, ‘ah!  There’s author X’s latest!  I must have it immediately in hardcover!’   You’re aiming for something that is intrinsic to a larger strategy about an author’s, and perhaps even a whole imprint’s, readership and positioning.  Then there’s the added complication of late that a cover has to work digitally as well as in physical form.  Covers will float about on the internet as a form of viral promotion, will sit in the top left corner of an amazon page, have to look good at any size, at any distance, strike from afar but intrigue more close up.

Then consider that most covers will involve input from art directors, editors, artists, designers, marketing and publicity folk, senior publishers, agents, booksellers, not to mention those meddling bloody authors, all of whom may well have very different notions about what makes a cover work.

Starting to see why it’s a tricky business?

And why publishers are constantly tinkering with their approach and trying new treatments out in the hopes of improving and updating the profiles of their authors and tapping new veins of readership.  They say it’s when they stop recovering your books that you have to worry…

Now to the meat of the issue – Orbit have decided to re-release the undisputed fantasy masterworks Best Served Cold and The Heroes in trade paperback, and taken a radically different approach with the covers, and it’s one that I actually really like, but having done this a few times before I don’t doubt a lot of you won’t, and my curses and screams of tough shit upon you all.  Stand amazed:

Not to mention:

In your face.  I take absolutely all the credit I can possibly get for these, of course, but of equally course, I don’t deserve any of it, for they are the brain child and indeed work of the Art Director at Orbit, Lauren Panepinto and my US editor Devi Pillai, with Photographer Michael Frost and Illustrator/Propmaster Gene Mollica.  The treatment was basically for something reminiscent of modern sports photography – high contrast, high detail, high drama, fast shutter speed, frozen action.  A filmic approach, you might say, and I think they’ve totally nailed it.  Lauren’s post on the development, including a few steps in the process, can be found over on the Orbit blog.  Going back to our earlier discussion (alright, my monologue) about what a good cover needs to do, the reasons I like these:

They’re extremely bold and striking images which take no prisoners.  I can see them appealing to a committed reader of epic fantasy or of historical fiction or for that matter a more general reader of action-based books.  There’s nothing naff about them.  The content isn’t modern, but the way it’s presented very much is, and the lettering makes no compromises, it says, these might be books about then, but they’re very much for the now.  So I think they achieve that tricky balance of hitting a core and a wider audience, and also of telling you very clearly and accurately the type of read you’re getting while still setting out a really striking and individual visual style.  I can see this as an approach working across a whole series.  A brand, if you will.  And one that connects my books to the right type of readers.  Shit loads of them, preferably.  It’s a cohesive and coherent approach, and I also like the fact that it’s radically different to the UK approach – no doubt it gives the books a different flavour.

In summary they look like tough, edgy, very modern, kickass action fantasy for the discerning man or woman of today.  Which of course is what they are.  My advice?

Buy several.  I’m told the Trade Paperback of The Heroes will be available from October 2011, Best Served Cold from July 2012, but I shall keep y’all posted.

Now tell me I’m right about how great they are in the comments section.

Or, alright, moan about how Monza should have three scratches on her cheek instead of two…

Posted in announcements, artwork, process by Joe Abercrombie on August 11th, 2011.

70 comments so far

  • Jon says:

    While I really really like the covers from the UK books and wouldn’t want to replace those, these are both really good covers imo.

    Sexy looking model on the best served cold cover certainly doesn’t detract.

  • […] done for the series by quite a mile. Lauren Panepinto, creative director at Orbit Books, and Abercrombie have both posted some interesting reactions/thoughts to the covers on their respective blogs. 0 […]

  • Troy says:


    I love those new covers!

  • Drew says:

    “my curses and screams of tough shit upon you all”

    Had me in stitches, so funny.

  • JoeB says:

    Interesting. They’re obviously trying to take advantage of the popularity of the Game Of Thrones show with faux-movie/TV tie-in covers when there is no movie to tie-in with. Usually I loathe movie tie-in covers (I’ve rebought books and then given away the movie cover version before and the cover of my copy of Elmore Leonard’s Cat Chaser is so bad I defaced it with duct-tape) but for some reason, possibly a weird psychological quirk because I know these aren’t actually tie-in covers, I like these a lot. I still like the parchment style ones the best but these are really good. I particularly like the use of a ‘non-fantasy’ font.

  • Kevin says:

    I’m really not a fan of book covers based on photographs. They make me think of cheap movie tie ins.

    That being said, they are very striking and well made. I like them a good deal more than the original US covers, but then again I didn’t like those at all.

    I still prefer the look of the UK hardcovers of Best Served Cold and The Heroes on my shelf.

  • innokenti says:

    I do actually rather like these.

    They appeal in a certain artistic way and do look rather cool. I’ll take the original UK covers over these any time, but I’d happily have these alongside.

  • Sara says:

    I suppose I should preface this with the mention that I’m American, but in any case I must say: these covers look so very American.

    I can’t say I like them, but that is simply because they are not the type of cover which would make me want to read them. They feel too…focused on the blood and guts and violence. Don’t get me wrong; I like your brand of blood and guts and violence. But that is not why I read your books, nor why I read ANY book.

    So, I don’t like them because they would be enough to convince me not to read two books which I know, now, that I thoroughly enjoyed. As a piece of artwork, however, they’re pretty brilliant. I hope they rope you many new readers.

    Oh, and I second the comments about cheap movie tie-ins. Sorry.

  • The cover of The Heroes doesn’t work for me on a thematic level (or the cover quote), given what the book is actually about, but it does look damned fine!

    OTOH, The BSC cover has it all — hot vengeful chick with the perfect expression, and it’s appropriate for the story.

  • Longbowman says:

    These covers are fantastic. Covers actually work on me quite well. I did not like the US cover for hardback version of “The Heroes” so I ordered the UK version instead. These covers rock and absolutely capture what can be found inside the covers! Excellent and well done!

  • Thaddeus says:

    I love the Best Served Cold cover. The Heroes is alright, I think.

    When can we expect your next book, and what’s the title?

  • […] Well, I don’t.  Consider the trade paperback releases of Joe Abercrombie’s two latest novels, Best Served Cold and The …. […]

  • Jens says:

    “Best Served Cold”‘s cover is great.
    I like the typeset (or what is it called? I mean the way the letters look, sorry), Monza, the background and the colours.
    Monza looks quite sexy – and her facial expression is perfect.
    The best thing is: If I didn’t know the novel – I would absolutley know what to expect (tough, edgy, very modern, kickass action fantasy… with humour, but that’s not on the cover).
    It reminds me (a bit) of a Tarantino movie poster. Especially the typesetting/letters.

    If I spotted this book in a bookstore I would buy it instantly. And then George Martin’s praise on it… I think you are going to sell millions of copies!

    Great cover.
    Can I have a wallpaper (1280×1024) please? 🙂

    “The Heroes” cover is very good, too.
    Very, very good covers.

    And somebody please give Tarantino a copy of “Best Served Cold” and let him make a movie with the cover’s model as Monza.
    Or a TV-Series on HBO. Explicit sex-scenes included…

  • Chris says:

    Honestly, I don’t really like them. You already had that visual patent thingy going on with your books. In fact, I think your books have THE best covers of any in the genre (the uk versions). These seem a little too sic-fi network movie to me.

    Will you western book stick with your already established aesthetic, or are you lingo go with this?

  • Joe H says:

    Wow they’re fantastic covers, really bold and striking, I like The Heroes one in particular; concerned that the Best Served Cold cover makes it seem less bloody than it actually is, as its an amazing gorathon (that word doesn’t exist) 😀

    Though saying that you can’t have a cover soaked with blood, would be tasteless and look a little tacky I guess.
    They’re both fantastic though. Bravo the designers…and yourself of course.

  • Mark C says:

    The TV tie in feel is annoying, but these are really smart. Not a patch on parchmenty, though…

    Mark C

  • John Raffles says:

    These are excellent.

    I don’t particularly think they look like a TV/movie tie-in for the simple reason that the name of the channel or ‘now a major motion picture’ captions aren’t plastered all over them.

    I just think they look like some truly excellent photo artwork. I like the rivulets of ruby red blood everywhere and the battle in the background of BSC is sweet, although admittedly not nearly as sweet, sexy and kick-ass as Monza herself. I also like that they gave Monza back her nice French rapier rather than the broadsword she had on the previous US cover.

    I like The Heroes one too. It’s not all that common a pose you’ll see with swords on book covers and makes it fresh and unique.

    It’s great! BSC is the only book of yours I don’t have yet. Have to get one of these new ones from somewhere American but in the meantime I’ll just make do with the cover as my wallpaper.

  • Lauren P says:

    hey all…there will absolutely be wallpapers! as soon as i recover from getting these designed, it was maybe the most stressful photo shoot of my entire career. flying dirt, spraying water, fake blood, and keeping the poor models constantly chopping and stabbing…

  • JimC says:

    I like them both. Bold and strong, like the books themselves.

    The cover model for Monza is very nice, but I can’t ever see anyone but Noomi Rapace when I think about the character.

    And the cover for THE HEROES is infinitely better than the ‘boy band’ cover that was proposed early on. Although the quote doesn’t really make much sense. Maybe idf the guy was talking about THE FIRST LAW books, but THE HEROES is nothing at all like either LOTR or Kurosawa.

    All-in-all I think these covers will go a long way to getting you sold in The States.

  • Liam says:

    Totally badass.

    …though they don’t match the rest of my collection 😛
    Please do keep releasing the trade/hardcovers with the parchmenty covers for us neurotic book hoarders.

  • Matt says:

    I like the new covers.
    I know this is off topic, but the new versions reminded me of it. Will there ever be a US version of the short story related to The Heroes?

  • Dan says:

    Love the BSC cover and quote. Moving on.

    Not really digging the cover for Heroes. Kinda vague. Would have rather they showed the face of one of the characters.

    Hate the quote. Kurosawa? I wonder how many people even know who that is anymore? And why would anyone imagine LoTR directed by anyone other than Peter Jackson, who pretty much did it perfectly? And again, been said before, if your work is to be compared to a movie director, I think most people would compare it to Tarrantino. Humor at the most obscene times, lots of blood and action, unconventional heroes, etc. If it said “Imagine LoTR as directed by Tarrantino,” it would hold a lot more weight, especially with the main stream and youth of today. And it might be more accurate.

  • Doug says:

    Those are pretty well done as those sorts of covers do. I have never been a fan of real models on fantasy covers, though. To me I get the psychological association with cheap romance novels, which always makes me feel as though those books are cheap or less quality. First impression is a big part of the business of selling books, second only to good word of mouth really. I much prefer your traditional and more abstract covers.

  • Jacob says:

    Before purchasing the old US version of “Best Served Cold” I debated on importing the UK version. The cover is badass, has a nice regal look to it, and the art of Monza is dead on. Extremely sinister, her clothing fits her personality, her appearance is akin to some warrior of Italian ancestry, and there was a good amount of fun in barely seeing Styria across the front and back of the cover with a sword and coins covering it…knowing carnage, vengeance, and an adventure awaited me.

    With this thought, I feel as if it misses the mark completely. I cared for the dark, gritty, almost B-Movie, grindhouse feeling sort of cover to the new edition now. It feels more fitting to the Joe Abercrombie style. The covers LOOK nice…but are too “pretty” and consumer friendly for my tastes. Still, not bad. Prefer the UK versions still…

  • Sedulo says:

    Oh no, not another new controversial book cover post!

    I was still waiting to hear if the last new covers sold well. You know, with The Men of The First Law on them? Did they make lots mo’ money?

    These covers are fine. If I’d never heard of you I would pick one up just to see who was fighting and why. I am hardly la-dee-dah about paperback fantasy covers. Otherwise I would have scarcely read any!

  • Sedulo says:

    ARGH! @Dan “Kurosawa? I wonder how many people even know who that is anymore?” WHAT?!

    I am stunned.

  • Joe Abercrombie says:


    If the quote said, ‘This is the best book ever written, ever,’ it would be better, but traditionally with quotes on books you use what was actually said in the relevant publication rather than what you think would hold weight with the youth of today…

    They’ve sold respectably. Not as well as the parchmenty ones, for sure, but perhaps to a different market? Who can say?

    There will at some future point be an anthology of short stories and I would expect that to get a US release, but that could be years away. Other than that, not sure….

    You can expect my next book sometime after I have finished it….

    These are US covers, UK remain unaffected. Whether future US hardcovers or mass markets will use this approach, as well as trade paperbacks, depends on how well they do.

  • SwindonNick says:

    US covers tend to be very strange, I presume they must assume a different reading demographic. Plenty of fantasy books I have read and enjoyed here in the UK have a far more soft and almost female/romntic look over there that I would never hav picked up, or they just cock them up, “Rivers of London” had a fantastic UK cover and a ghastly US one f’instance.
    While no fan of the photo type cover I do like these and would certainly pick them up to check them out if I saw them in a a book shop and didn’t know who the author was.

  • Thaddeus says:

    Hmm. Thanks for the reply, Mr. Abercrombie, even if it is as helpful as a woman saying she’ll need “5 minutes” to get ready 😛

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    Late summer/early autumn 2012 is the current best guess. But of course I make no promises…

  • bta says:

    Covers.. they do influence my purchases – but usually on the negative side.
    Wander round the fantasy section of a bookshop and there’s an obvious current fashion for the cover illustrations – there’s this moody bloke (with chin stubble and over-long hair), usually wearing a cloak and wielding iron-mongery, and it’s misty/dark/raining. Maybe half of the current new titles sport such illustrations and I don’t even bother to pick them up (on the principle that if they’re no different on the outside then they probably won’t be on the inside).

    I may be wrong, but I get the impression that the best selling fantasy authors manage to avoid these clone covers – for the 1st editions, at least.

    IMO one of the big plusses for your books is that they look different, stand out from the crowd and this encourages potential buyers to at least read the blurb/synopsis and maybe the opening pages. Of course if you’re an Abercrombie fan it also means you can immediately swoop onto the desired tome and rush to the check-out without being distracted by other (lesser?) works.

    As a matter of interest (and generally speaking) just how much input does an author have in the choice of cover illustration?

  • Manuela says:

    I think the covers are great but I will stick to the UK ones, because they caught me eye while I was shopping at and I bought them right away and never regret it.

    But still there are striking and I think you sell a lot of books.

  • Ian says:

    Putting a hot girl and a muscled man photo on the cover of a book with aspiration towards being well written is extremely tacky. Sorry. Good thing I’m already a fan- I would immediately assume these books were complete garbage. Just copy the various white albumn style covers they put on Salinger over the years. Except with swords.

  • JenMo says:

    I want! And I already have the US hardcovers of both. The Heroes one is vastly superior to the original. And perhaps now the current ghastly mass market paperback of BSC can retire? I think these covers also will tap the ever growing urban fantasy fanbase. They would absolutely turn my head.

  • JDP says:

    The dwindling Bracer/Vambrance production industry owes you a debt of gratitude, sir.

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    That’s vamBRACE. Don’t you dare misspell your armourial verbiage in this neck of the woods. And yet your point amuses me. The industry owes me less of a debt than it might, however, for unless mine eyes deceive they have economised by using the same bracers upon both models, and they do indeed fit the muscular forearms of the second somewhat better than they do the first….

  • Gary says:

    The covers look very striking and create a profound sense of atmosphere that the original covers didn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the original covers, but these ones are much more eye catching. With the cover of Best Served Cold and the hot chick with the sword and armour, that’s a wet dream to a lot of fantasy geeks, so you’ll be sure to score points there!

  • Chris says:

    LOL perhaps Shivers had numerous sets and Monza stole a pair off camera…

    Seems plausible.

  • Thaddeus says:

    Thanks 🙂

    I know timing’s difficult, it’s a creative process not putting up a wall. I’m looking forward to it.

    Also on the covers: I’ve got the hardback of The Heroes and all the rest in paperback. Unusually, I prefer the paperbacks because of the feel of the covers rather than their design.

  • Napping Duck says:

    Really amazing artwork. (and books!)

    Would any of the art be available as prints? Maybe with some memorable quotes from the books on them?

  • Count Spatula says:

    I’d definitely pick them up if I saw them on the shelf, which I think is the main thing a cover needs to do. It’s ultimately the blurb that hooks me, though. The blurb for BSC made me instantly want to read it, and I’m glad it did.

  • Joe Don says:

    1. You have an outstanding first name.
    2. You are an excellent writer.
    3. You are a marketing genius – you got more than three-dozen blogfans to post enthusiastic comments about a PAPERBACK BOOK COVER! You missed your calling.

  • Jacob says:

    Joe, a thought occured to me a while back.

    Let’s say…in the event of future prospects…someone called you and wanted to make a movie (or several, given the length and tie ins) based upon everything you’ve written thus far.

    Do you think that there would be a chance that Quentin Tarantino might, ahem, “say something” over Best Served Cold? There would be many comparisons this is for sure…but still, I have to say you wrote the “dangerous, merciless killer girl wants revenge” story better than he did. Your thoughts on such an event taking place?

  • Billy Badass says:

    Boo! Boo for photos on covers! Boo!

    I honestly think that Last Argument of Kings (UK) has one of the best covers I have seen for a fantasy – and there is basically nothing on it!

    But in the business the bottom line is “will it sell” and the answer for these new covers is yes, yes it will. They do look alot better than your standard fantasy with people on the covers.

  • […] He talks about marketing strategy on his blog post about these. If he is indeed correct about the potential draw of new readers, I could see thing starting a trend, and if I ever get published, I would want my covers to look something along the lines. […]

  • Bazooka Joe says:

    Fucking badass. I like the action slant.

  • Michael_C says:

    I am, traditionally, a staunch opponent of people (especially photo-realistic people) on the covers of books (especially fantasy books). I’d much rather a visually striking, often minimalistic representation of the work. The original US covers for the trilogy? Pretty great stuff.

    That said…fuckin’ hell, there’s something really cool about these, isn’t there? I think it’s that just showing the characters on a cover or poster is typically the least creative choice you could make, but here they’re really dynamic, and represent the story they’re telling, which is something that character-centric covers frequently neglect to do.

    Also love how that REALLY looks like it could be Monza. Her expression? Damn near perfect. In contrast, I like not seeing a face on the cover of The Heroes. There definitely wasn’t a central character, so a soldier that could be a major character or just some guy works for me.

    So all in all, well done. I look forward to getting to hold the final product.

  • Chevi77 says:

    Nice covers, they would definitely catch my eye if I did not know who the author was. I admit I prefer the UK covers (specially the BSC one, which nearly works as a map of Styria too) but I guess they should give you a few new readers. They would definitely work for me if they were the movie covers of your books. I think the “Heroes” one is particularly original, with the stabbing finishing move giving a good hint of the cruelty of battle that your books describe so well.
    The only comments I have on the BSC one: why birds of prey on the background? (they are definitely not very vulture-like or crow-like, and if they were, they are quite keen to come to the field before the battle is done, aren’t they?)

  • Phil N says:

    As book covers they look OK. As Movie posters they’d look even better!!

  • Yulwei says:

    The UK covers have an element of class to them but compared to the new covers for the 1st Law Trilogy this is a huge leap in the right direction. I’d definitely give them a look see if I was in the bookstore and I wasn’t already sold on your work

  • Ranma says:

    these covers reminds me those for C64-Amiga games (yes, I’m that old…). I like the first one (BSC) better.
    Another year without an Abercrombie’s book? that’s definitely too long… 🙁

  • James Morton says:

    Hmm…they look like cheap-o-vision straight to DVD movies – directed by Uwe Boll no less.

  • JonathanK says:

    Very powerful. I like them, especially the cover for The Heroes. I like the background imagery and the “layout/typography,” if I may steal that term from Aidan Moher over at his most excellent site.

  • Snow says:

    This is a bit random but I’m just gonna leave this here:
    Had this dream last night that the First Law trilogy had been made into a series/movie. They’d gotten the casting all wrong though.
    Black Dow was fat and had a terrible mustache. (he might also have been bald). Logen was a red haired dwarf.
    That’s all I remember.

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    Black Dow does have a terrible mustache. Like Magnum PI’s. I mean, it’s not in the text, but that’s how I’ve always imagined him…

  • innokenti says:

    Also – I am ashamed to admit that I only just got round to finishing The Heroes this weekend.

    It was incredibly good. Well done. I owe you a biscuit (wait… no, I’ve already paid cash…)

    Interesting thing – took me a while to get through the first 100 pages or so, but as soon as the battle began, I could hardly put it down. Really gripping stuff – fun plot, fun scenes, some fantastic ideas in there, especially that battle scene chain.

    I will however add one criticism – I did think that the conversation between a lot of the Northmen did get very samey towards the end. Or at least felt like it. Then again, a lot of incidental talk about nothing is the same…

  • Phil B-W says:

    Honest opinion (from the antipodes): if I saw one of these covers on a book, I would assume it was trash and avoid it.
    I like the cleanness/clarity of the covers, but they are too overtly hack and slash. The later tends to signify bad writing in my experience.
    The fantastic artwork on the UK edition of The Blade Itself is what first drew my attention to your work.

  • Dusk Jockeys says:

    I like ’em. Sort of agree with the comments about the movie tie-in, but they still look good. And lets face it, that wouldn’t exactly do any harm in raising sales, will it? Existing fantasy fans probably know about Joe by now, so why not try for the more mainstream readers, the Lee Child, Gemmel, Cornwell and (god forbid) Patterson buyers.

    I do like the pose of the Heroes, particularly how the cropping leaves room for a little imagination; it could be taken in so many ways, either the preperation to perform a last gasp full body weight stab down into a fallen opponent, a support to keep from falling over, or some kind of weird double handed parry.

    Or even a “Just hold this a sec, I need to find my wallet..”

  • MattBrown says:

    The Hero’s cover is great..really fits the feel of the book. The Best Served Cold not as much. The problem with showing the main character’s face on the cover is that it rarely matches the picture the reader has in his/her head. I always pictured Monza harder and not so model-like. The cover is not bad but I dont think it does Monza justice.

  • Lars says:

    Agreeing with those who prefer the UK covers, I thought those were very original and unique, while these new US covers kind of hint that there’s a movie tie-in while there is not and puts these books in that section of fantasy which thirteen year olds buy just to read the fight scenes. Which they are absolutely not, it’s just the covers give them the same skin as those other books.
    Also I am very annoyed that Monza and Mr. Anonymous have the exact same bracers…

  • Bruce says:

    Joe, do you think it’s a risk to give a visual of the main character’s face on the cover of the book? From my perspective i don’t like having the look of character defined in this way but like to piece it together as i read.

    For example I can’t even remember how i used to picture Harry Potter’s look before the films were made, but i’m sure he looked better than his movie conterpart. Thanks Radcliffe!

  • hoosay says:

    Dow doesn’t have a beard? Surely he doesn’t fanny around with maintaining a Magtache?

    I think I prefer the Heroes cover, but Monza’s sword is pretty cool.

  • Spud says:

    I like them, particularly Best Served Cold

    I would

  • Andy S says:

    I like ’em, I like ’em alot. The one thing I think could be better, and this is the internet, so I have to find something I don’t like, is the scratches on Monza’s knuckles. Looks like she spilt some relish rather than punching someone in the face. Not that I’d ever say that to her face -(which is another advantage of the internet).

  • Jason says:

    They both look amazing, and very eye-catching. Your publishers really know what they’re doing

  • Briain says:

    I don’t like them. I think photo-based covers look rather tacky and these covers look both trashy and tacky. I love the UK covers which are far superior to the newer UK covers of A Song of Ice and Fire which are terribly bland.

    The UK covers of the First Law have the advantage of looking quite distinct from the side when on the shelf, although I think Robin Hobb’s UK covers are more visually distinct on the shelf.

    It’s an interesting topic to think about. My favourite fantasy covers are the Vintage Classics covers for the individual volumes of the Gormenghast Trilogy.

  • Mummi says:

    Honestly, those covers doesn’t do your books any justice at all….
    If I had been forced to buy those version of your books, it would almost be embarrassing reading them in public…

    Being, that you’re one of my favourite writers at the moment, I shouldn’t be embarrassed writing your stuff 😉

    In other words: I prefer the British covers any day!

  • Adam says:

    I’m not a fan. I would be embarrassed reading a book with these covers in a cafe and I really shouldn’t because they’re great books.

  • John says:

    Photo-based covers in fantasy are tricky – extremely tricky – and most frequently come off looking “cheap”, like they just crawled off the “Legend of the Seeker” set.

    But these, I gotta say, are fantastic. I’m tempted to buy another copy of them just so I can have that heaping dose of pretty on my shelf.

    As to the last guy’s comment: Adam, if the cover of a book you’re reading makes you worry what a bunch of utter strangers (who’ll forget about you in a minute) think, then you have more issues than any cover art. Grow a pair, have some confidence.

  • David Campbell says:

    Just finished Red Country! Thoroughly enjoyed all six novels set in the First Law series. Enjoyed picking out historical matches (general, non specific), that worked as reference points for me. On both sides of the Pond. I recall in Annie Hall, two brainiacs were arguing over what the author of a book they both had read really meant. The actual author was standing right behind and declared he meant nothing at all that they had surmised. Such is life, right? Guess you just have to be realistic about wild interpretations when you invite readers to peruse your work. Really, really enjoyed the cover art, too!

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