I can't really tell from the picture, but he is pretty ugly. And they made him a lefty (from the side he's carrying the sword.)
So apparently the artist doesn't know how to use a sword either. Thankfully I go more by the fact that you are the writer of the series, than by the covers.
Thank you. I hope the inside of the book doesn't disappoint.
*pats the Taro*
How's Lee looking?
They put a fringe on her boots.
Well... I guess Lee could use the sword to sort them out.
Fringe? Really? I mean, if they wanted to rock some cliche and awful cover art, why not put her in a halter top with some tattoos?
That's an excellent idea. If they're not going to be accurate, why not go completely crazy? The idea of Lee in a halter top and tattoos is hilarious.
Fringe? Sword? *groan* I guess it is true- you CAN'T judge a book by it's cover =) hahaha (someone had to make the bad joke)
And Taro is wearing what I think is called a dickie (?) They may have been going for a cravat, but in my opinion they missed by klicks.
This whole experience has made buying books a bit of a challenge. I can't rely on titles, covers, or blurbs. Either I go by recommendations or pick up books at random and read the first page.
Oh my word. What is up with those cover art people?!
Still. It's Taro and Lee in full color. *wants*
Any way to post the cover and share with the rest of us? Pretty pretty please? =)
I am really technologically stupid. If you can tell me how to get the email attachment to the blog, I will do so. No reason why we should all enjoy the eye piercing.
I meant to say there was no reason why we shouldn't all enjoy the eye piercing.
2010-01-29 09:09 pm (UTC)
What is wrong with him holding a sword? He wouldn't know how to use it but when has that ever stopped anyone from doing stuff like that.
When can we get a peek at a snippet of the book? :) begging here.
2010-01-30 12:25 am (UTC)
I am now tempted to arrange a scene in which Taro tries to use a sword. I just can't make myself be that mean to him. I put him through a lot.
Right now, the manuscript is very much in a raw state, and I haven't yet gotten feedback from my editor. I wouldn't inflict it on you, yet. Once it's been cleaned up a bit, I'll post the first chapter.
2010-01-30 05:18 pm (UTC)
Hurray - thank you!!!! Now I will be looking here everyday.
2010-02-01 02:56 pm (UTC)
`tempted to write a scene in which Taro tries to use a sword.' If he ever did try, I bet it'd raise a few eyebrows among those who think he's had an aristocratic upbringing. :)
2010-02-01 06:05 pm (UTC)
I never address this in the books, but while a lot of aristocrats like their sports in my world, fencing or any other sword play is not so universal that anyone would be surprised that Taro wasn't trained for it. After all, aristocrats are no longer expected to get involved in armed combat. Also, many people would assume that, as he is a Source, he a) wasn't taught before he went to the Academy, or b) would have forgotten it all while he was there.
2010-02-01 05:13 pm (UTC)
But... but... but Taro is suposed to be gorgeous... I hated, still hate, book 3 cover! What happend to book 1 & 2 cover-artist?
You are maybe the second person to say - or imply - to me that you liked the first two covers. Ever. I have gotten tons of negative feedback about them. I read one blog where the blogger wrote she felt I was cursed, though that refered to all the covers, not just the first two. I think my editor got a lot of negative feedback, too, so I'm pretty sure the style of the first two books isn't coming back. As I've never paid attention to who the artist is, I don't know if it's been the same one for all of them or not.
I don't know why it's so hard to make Taro at least moderately good looking. But then, I'm not an artist. Maybe there is a real trick to it. Or maybe the artist really does think the end result is handsome, hard as that is for me to believe, as it's all subjective.
I have to say of all the covers, I dislike cover 3 the least. It is no more misleading than the other covers, and it appears that Lee is easier to render than Taro. I really want to lace up her shirt, though.
I agree. #3
is my favorite cover. But Lee would definitely blush at the loose laces!
Cannot fathom the difficulty in portraying Taro as gorgeous.
I'm the third. I actually think the first two are pretty cute/amusing. Okay, so Taro's mom is terrifying on #2
, but at least the covers gave me a giggle in the good way.
I'm happy to hear from people who like the first two covers. Since publication, the negative reaction has felt nearly universal, and it has been disheartening.
I really enjoyed the first two covers... The facial expressions were fabulous, and I can find the books every single time at the library. The new covers blend in better with the other books.
I will admit I like Lee's facial expression in the first book, but I thought Taro looked ridiculous, and I really didn't like the bright colours. However, since this post I've been looking at a lot of books just for the purpose of comparing the covers, and there are a lot out there that are just as bad or worse.
I bought the first book based /only/ on the cover. It was whimsical and interesting enough that I wanted to know what was inside.
I bought the second book based on what I knew to be a fantastic story and solid story telling. The cover was just amusing icing on the cake.
2010-02-02 02:38 am (UTC)
i saw this pic by chris mcgrath that kinda reminded me of lee and taro:
they're in weird clothes (at least lee is for sure, but the first thing i thought when i saw this pic on my friend's desktop was "that's lee and taro!!"
Went to look at the link posted and you are right, it looks like Taro and Lee to me too! (Especially Taro), but then I have always liked Chris McGrath's stuff.
I would sell my soul to have a picture like this as a cover for one of my books. Thank you for the link. I've bookmarked it so I can look at it whenever I want and sigh bitterly.
2010-02-02 05:21 pm (UTC)
O! M! G! THAT WAS TOO MUCH FOR ME! (meaning pic) I love that one. Couldn't you've found that cover-artist :P
Hold the freaking phone! That is THEM. I love it. Thank you for finding it. Now we've just got to convince the publisher this is the way to go.
2010-02-02 06:25 pm (UTC)
So, as the author, do you have the ability to send something back if it's really stupid or do you pretty much have to take what you get?
I have never considered the possibility of sending a cover back, and I don't think I have the nerve to do it. I don't think it's possible, though, because I don't see the cover until it's done, and whatever contracts with the artist (and models, if there are any) would have to be fulfilled whether the cover is used or not. From comments I've seen from more established writers, I have the feeling that no one short of a massive Stephen King-esque bestselling author would have the clout to demand a particular cover.
If you have an agent, could s/he say you're not happy with it? If not, I'd totally say it's worth pointing your publisher in the direction of this blog post and the comments. Also, this great post by Angie:http://angieville.blogspot.com/2010/02/heroes-return-cover-art-plea.html
For what it's worth, my favourite of your covers so far is #3
, with #4
second. I'd love to see you with something darker and edgier. It's such a shame when the covers just don't reflect the content.
(Sorry for sticking my oar in! I used to be the romance & fantasy buyer for Murder One in the UK, and I often hand-sold your books. I had to - people wouldn't pick up books 1 and 2 otherwise. Although #3
did pick up more interest from browsers.)
Seriously, I welcome the feedback. If it comes down to a discussion about it with my publisher, it'll be great to point to and say "See? It's not me trying to pull some kind of obnoxious artiste crap. The covers don't work."
And thank you for the PR work. :D It's wonderful to know there are people willing to go to that kind of effort.
I hope there can at least be a discussion with your publisher. They are cool books. I'd say they deserve cool covers. :)
I did check out all of the covers. Point of fact, it wasn't the covers of the first two that got me to pick up the series, but rather the titles that intrigued me. The cartoony artwork was as entertaining as the titles (although looking back, I can see how it'd turn people off). The newest one, I admit, is rather silly-looking. Do the artists ever even read the books they draw for? Or do they simply have no idea what being a Source or Shield means? I guess they're afraid to draw two people staring into space while elements rage behind them.
...Actually, that might not be too bad, since it'd at least get rid of lightning hands.
I have an image of the two of them being surrounded by the elements. I'm thinking that if the two of them were looking at the viewer instead of trying to look at the wind (or whatever) itself, it wouldn't look too ridiculous.
Or not have people at all, just a natural disaster in process. That could look good, I think, if properly done.
2010-02-05 02:16 am (UTC)
I guess I'm also in the minority
I actually liked the first two covers.
The latest book cover makes Taro look like a bad imitation of Antonio Banderas. Lee has HUGE lips!
But it could be much, *much* worse. You could have Darrell Sweet for a cover artist. I've been trying to ignore his Wheel of Time cover art for two decades.
2010-02-08 11:08 pm (UTC)
Re: I guess I'm also in the minority
YES! I was also thinking Antonio Banderas, only not nearly as good looking.
I have to say there are a lot of covers out there that aren't great.
So, little sister bought me Heroes at Risk. And I just finished it. You made poor Taro swear loyalty to evil awful spell-casting emperor? AND they get to go back to his childhood prison and possibly go nuts doing things they shouldn't? And here I was, thinking they should run for the hills after the lovely spellcasters' threats. surely you can find someone who'd make a better king. How about Taro? I'm sure he'd be thrilled with that idea. Joy. I'm all for either usurping the power or dissappearing entirely so they can't be used as pawns. I await your next book.
Hm. Can't say a lot without giving a lot away. I will say that some of your points will be addressed. Eventually.
2010-03-02 04:41 pm (UTC)
I'm sure it will get sorted out
You made poor Taro swear loyalty to evil awful spell-casting emperor? AND they get to go back to his childhood prison and possibly go nuts doing things they shouldn't?
I have a feeling the emperor and Taro's mom will eventually (sooner than later I hope!) will bite the bullet. Not sure how evil emperor is going to go out, but I would bet money Lee is going to choke Taro's birth mother to death with her bare hands. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm (mostly) against violence, but if anyone deserves to die in a fire, it's that old bat!
2010-03-02 09:36 pm (UTC)
Re: I'm sure it will get sorted out
I can't tell you how much I love the fact that you hate them to that extent. That just made my day.