Sound off on this cover art

Brandon Sanderson, author of Elantris, The Final Empire and The Well of Ascension asked the denizens of Westeros what they think about the cover art for an upcoming novel of his:

Hey, guys. Let me know if I'm out of line posting this, but we got a concept sketch for one of my books in on Friday. It was totally not what we were expecting, and we're still trying to decide if that's good or bad. I showed it on my blog, and got a lot of responses. The problem there is that the people who read my blog are, in general, people who read and like my books. My editor and I were discussing ways we could get opinions from fantasy readers who weren't quite so Brandon Sanderson biased.

So, I thought of you wonderful folks here at Westeros. If you have an opinion on this cover, let me know. Would you pick the book up, assuming you'd never heard of the author and you found this in the fantasy section? Know that it's only a concept sketch, by the way, so it's not finished. Assume that the final version will look much like this, only far more polished.

I think it's pretty cool that Brandon would seek out readers' opinions, good or bad. You can read and follow the entire discussion here.

Feel free to offer your two cents!:-)

11 commentaires:

Peta said...

Hrm - torn on this one. I've never read the books and would I based on this? Nearly. I want to know more about the woman but her odd hair/hat looks a bit incongerous - almost as if it's only there because her normal wouldn't stand out against the black. I'm really not convinced by the scribble of neon either. Unless the book is set in a sort of Tokyo city in which case it almost needs more!! I think the woman and her pose are very striking in both versions and the cover would certainly catch my eye. Whether that led to a sale would depend on the rest of the jacket (title font, puff, etc). An interesting concept, though, and nice to see a change from the usual.

Bob Lock said...

Hi Pat,
I'd go for the yellow dress figure, stands out more and gives a better background for the sword etc. I agree with peta about the neon sqiggle but that could easily be turned into a ribbon made from the dress material. Don't like the font of the title and it's also too small. The figure itself is quite attractive and draws the eye, whether or not it has any bearing on your story only you can say.
So, overall I'd say yep I like it, needs a little tweaking though.
Best,
Bob

Peta said...

Bad form to follow up on myself but I will anyway. After Bob mentioned the title, I realised that I had totally failed to even see it when I was looking first time around. Surely not a good thing? I absolutely agree that the yellow dress cover is more striking/interesting and think the ribbon instead of neon suggestion is excellent.

polishgenius said...

Interesting, I prefer the white... you don't often see covers with a lot of it, at least in terms of full paintings rather than the occasional abstract cover.

I don't know. The idea's nothing special but the execution is very good. I suppose it depends if it's got relevance. If the white hair and glowy ribbons and sword have something to do with the story, then it's a good use of them for a striking cover image, but if they don't, it seems tacky once you find that out. Especially the sword, a well-worn cliche of fantasy covers. Nothing else that could be lying there?

Leslie said...

I'm with everybody else on the squiggle, I don't like it. I think the title font will work better once full sized, right now it is hard to read.

I'm pretty neutral to cover art in general. If I see an anthropomorphic cat or a heaving bustier clinging to muscle bound dude I'll steer clear, other than that I look to reviews or samples to determine weather I'll pick a book up.

Meljprincess said...

I like the yellow dress cover too. I think the cover is unique and I would pick it up assuming I'd never heard of the author.

SQT said...

Here's the thing, I just read Elantris and LOVED it. It is one of my new all time favorite books. All I need is Brandon Sanderson one the cover and I'll buy it.

Joshua said...

I'm surprised something as small as the squiggle stands out to more people than just me, but I agree with the masses - it's distractingly weird.

On the other hand, I'm in the minority that prefers the white cover. More simple, more elegant. The combination of the squiggle and the yellow dress are almost too exotic for the artist's style.

All of that gets qualified with a big "IMHO."

Susan said...

I'm drawn to the amber coloured cover. That being said, I'd pick either up and at least read the back... it's an eye-catching design.

Joe Sherry said...

I've read the first couple of chapters of the book and the yellow dress cover fits the color theme of the book a bit more...but I don't know if the cover sells me. I like the fact that it isn't a typical fantasy cover and the cover is striking, but...

changed my mind, I like the cover.

I don't know how much it relates to the novel or how it would sell me on the novel versus presenting something fresh. Dunno. I'm a jumble on ideas about the cover

Anonymous said...

Reflecting back on my comment to another post that I steer away from heroic fantasy and towards epic as I've definied them - this looks unfortunately suggestive of heroic (in other words, I'm assuming its about some warrior chick and how much butt she kicks), so I probably wouldn't touch it.

(That's as unbiased an opinion as I can manage, despite really liking Elantris).