First Cover Peek

Posted: May 21st, 2012 under Limits of Power, Marketing, the writing life.
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Editor sent me a couple of  versions of the cover for the US edition of Limits of Power–I can’t share them yet, but I liked one better than the other and hope they go with that.    I liked it a lot, in fact.   I think this will be a good, attractive cover, one that will work well on the shelves, and make most of you happy.    One of the cover characters…well…better wait.   Spoilering when I’ve asked others not to spoiler isn’t fair.   Suffice it to say that there’s no “Fabio” on the cover.

We also had brief  email discussion of some changes I’d made and others contemplated.  She’s on her second read-through and marking now, and I’ll be getting the marked ms. soon to work on.

Progress today on one chapter, not so much on another.    Quitting for the day, where the book is concerned, to work on other things.


  • Comment by Adam Baker — May 21, 2012 @ 7:07 pm


    Glad to hear you got art! Definitely a step toward the finish line.

    I was finally able to get a copy of Echoes on Friday, got it as a b-day present/splurge for myself (B-day is this Friday). Rereading Kings now before reading Echoes, since its been so long since I read Kings.

  • Comment by SnowGator — May 21, 2012 @ 7:35 pm


    I have a money-making idea for the publishing houses: the deluxe pre-order. You pay extra and up-front, but you receive a (protected) electronic copy of the raw manuscript now, and the finished hardcover later. Meanwhile I have acquired a copy of Planet Pirates to keep me occupied…(already read Sassinak as standalone). Oops, last sentence not Paks related.

  • Comment by Elizabeth D. — May 21, 2012 @ 7:57 pm


    I am glad that the book is coming along. When the ms comes back with the edits, there will be a lot of that work too; I hope that the edits are agreeable. My aunt was friends for many years with one of Dean Koontz’s editors. Not something I do well, so I am impressed with capable editors, as long as they share the author’s vision.

    I don’t judge a book by its cover, but the cover should be interesting. Maybe a photo of the socks? 😉 There are many characters I would choose, including Stammel’s friend. Speaking of which, once, to the consternation of the GM, I turned into a dragon in a role-playing game… I guess it came to mind when discussing ships. At one point, to deal with a pirate ship, not using special fire or lightning, I dove from the sky, landing on the bow, and just rocked the boat, capsizing it. That was the game where every character did things that were not likely to work and were outside of the GM’s plans, but altogether everything concluded twice as quickly as expected, the world was saved, etc.

  • Comment by Moira — May 21, 2012 @ 11:07 pm


    “Suffice it to say that there’s no “Fabio” on the cover.”

    I’m laughing my backside off at this line… I will say no more than that.

    Please god let them go with the one you liked!

  • Comment by Adam Baker — May 22, 2012 @ 3:06 am


    @SnowGator, since you’ve read Sassinak & are reading The Death of Sleep make sure to get Generation Warriors & The Mystery of Ireta. The Mystery of Ireta seems to be a bit more obscure, I didnt know about it for several years, and read it for the first time just a few months ago. Helps to answer a lot of things that come up in Generation Warriors

  • Comment by Jenn — May 22, 2012 @ 6:23 am


    Can’t wait to see it.

  • Comment by Ginny W. — May 23, 2012 @ 12:34 pm


    I hope you get the one you want. It will be interesting to see it, but I must confess that by book IV in the series, I am sold more by the previous books than the cover.

  • Comment by Richard — May 24, 2012 @ 3:53 am


    There was I thinking it is Arcolin’s turn to be cover star. Is he no Fabio, then? I thought you were supposed to be finding him a bride, Elizabeth.

    (I had to look Fabio up: I see that he is over fifty now, if you mean who I think you mean: nearly Arcolin’s age.)

    Seriously, I hope there is someone on the cover that the UK artist can do a good corresponding portrait of while sticking to the “brand image”. Ginny, that IS the cover’s purpose: show instantly that the book goes with the previous ones.

  • Comment by Ginny W. — May 24, 2012 @ 10:28 am


    The demonstration that it belongs with the previous one’s is first and foremost that Elizabeth is the author, and second, the Paladin’s Legacy subtitle or series title. Cover art is a very unreliable indicator. I personally am convinced that some of the artists have not read more than the blurb on the back. Understandable if the artist has a living to make, but not a good way to make sure the cover matches the contents.

  • Comment by elizabeth — May 24, 2012 @ 1:59 pm


    Ginny W.: Don’t blame the artist. Two things to remember. Because of necessary lead time for the artist (and the printer–remember, colored covers are a different process from B&W text) art may be commissioned before the book is through editing (in other words, before formal acceptance) and even before the book is written. An artist may be commissioned to do a whole series of covers when only the first book has been written. Moreover, some publishers try to keep artist and writer apart (on the grounds that their marketing department knows more about salable covers than the writer.)

    Another factor is the reaction of major booksellers to the cover design–writers may not have control of covers, but covers have been ditched because one of the big three (as it was then) didn’t like the roughs. If a bookseller won’t carry a book because of its cover…the cover changes.

    And finally–marketing and art departments view cover art very differently from writers and readers. The purpose of a cover (to them) is to get someone to take it off the shelf and start reading. The cover should attract the right audience for that book, including particularly those who haven’t read that author before. If it doesn’t look like every reader’s conception of a character…doesn’t matter to them. Writers want the characters to look exactly right (although with experience we learn to see “cover will sell” rather than “wrong shape eyebrows” and “wrong color shirt.” I wrote in a scene to explain the colors on Luap on the original cover of Liar’s Oath. Great cover scene except–red and black instead of blue and white. So I introduced that outfit, and had a reason why he’d wear it on that occasion.)

  • Comment by Sam Barnett-Cormack — May 28, 2012 @ 8:59 am


    What kind of detail on a cover leads to a bookseller rejecting it? Other than the obvious sensitivities, of course (those being, to my mind, nudity, sexual imagery, and religious imagery, plus gore I suppose).

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