Sign up for my email list to get my latest newsletter!

Archive for the ‘Seven Satrapies’ Category

Black Prism Book Cover

Know what I hate? I hate it when my book covers don’t match. Turns out I hate it even more when MY book covers don’t match.

I thought maybe some of you hate that too, so the following has been in the works a while.

What am I talking about?


Orbit came out with this cover for The Black Prism: rugged dude, dangerous, looks good. But the continuation to this, replicating that feel for the next few books, didn’t work so well… so when it came time to release the trade paperback edition, Orbit went to this. Now THIS is great. Light, magic, and a hooded man. (A hooded man? Well, looks like I’m destined for hooded men. C’est la vie.)

So check this out… if you match up all the paperbacks, they look like this.

Trade Paperback
But… what if you’re one of those amazing fans I like so much who buys in hardcover? Granted, you get the book a year earlier, but… that one not-quite-matching cover…

Some people can just let something like that go. I, sadly, am not one of those people.

So I started talking with Orbit. Orbit is amazing. They really bend over backward to make cool stuff happen for fans and authors. They were totally willing to redesign and resize things from the trade paperback to look awesome on a hardcover. (Thanks, Orbit!) They are also, however, owned by a much larger conglomerate. A conglomerate that has rules.

So here’s what I can’t do: get a design, print out a bunch of covers at a professional printer, and send them to you at cost. I can’t sell them AT ALL… unless I buy the rights to the design, which would run me $12,000. Printing costs, over another $1,000; shipping, over another $1,000. (It’s $6.80/cover just to cover the cost of  printing, shipping, and packaging the cover so it doesn’t get destroyed in the mail–without counting labor of redesign for the larger size or my assistant to pack them, track them, and go to the post office to send them.)

I love y’all, but I am so done with eating Ramen. And trying to just cover my costs at that rate would look like a huge cash grab because I simply don’t have the economies of scale that a publisher has. I want those of you who bought in hardcover early to get something nice, but it has to work for all of us, whether a lot of you are interested in getting that cover, or only a few.

But… Clever Brent is clever.

Since I’d never intended to make money on getting these to you, how about… we call it a promotional deal? We could do contests and stuff? And give them away free?

So. Orbit worked up the design—thanks Lauren and Alex and team! And I got some professionally printed on my own. Now, giveaways!


1) Book Tours. If you come to a signing I do, I’ll have a small number of these with me. Ask me if you want one. Covers are challenging to bring without denting, but I’ll do my best.

2) Skill Giveaways. Like a Limerick Contest, coming tomorrow! (What? Writing limericks is totally a skill!) Or our upcoming Halloween Photobomb Contest.

3) Other Giveaways, including random drawings for FB and Goodreads followers. (To be announced soon.) Pretty much, any time I do a giveaway, I’ll have the cover be an option until I run out.

4) Last, I’m opening a small Web Store soon. If you buy a hardcover of The Black Prism, I can sign it, and I’ll throw in the new cover for free. (More details to come!)

These, however, are the only ways you can get this cover for now.

So I probably should have given this up, but just look at this line up:

Lightbringer Covers

Ah, doesn’t it make you feel better inside?


Black Prism HC



Most of Those Color Quizzes are Total Crap

Because the magic system of my Lightbringer Series is intensely concerned with color and perception, and because I treat these in a mostly scientific fashion, I tend to get a lot of emails from readers pointing out the latest BuzzFeed or whatever quiz. “This woman can see millions more colors than the average person! Can you?” Or, “Are you a tetrachromat? Take this test and see!”

This link explains why most of those are complete garbage. And my thanks to Unreasonably Dangerous Onion Rings for taking the time to debunk this so that I could spend my time writing novels.

The TL;DR: It is physically impossible for these tests to tell if you a functional 4th cone because computer monitors make their colors by mixing only 3 colors, RGB.

This is not to say that all the information or all the quizzes on the internet are worthless. Ones like this are very interesting, but still limited by the quality of your computer monitor, and how well you’ve calibrated it. So comparing your score to someone else’s is almost meaningless, unless you were both using the same computer. (Naturally, I got a perfect score.)

Or things like this are really closer to astrology, but are fun nonetheless: and the Lüscher Color Test: is significantly more scientific from what I can tell, and is used as psychological diagnostic tool. But either to protect their intellectual property, or because of the flaws of RGB screens, it is only available in physical form. I’ve taken the test. Very interesting.

Sidenote for my own readers: in my world, I have 50% of women be tetrachromats. In the real world, it’s possible that 12% of women are tetrachromats. And most of those non-functionally tetrachromatic, because they’re never taught how to even distinguish those extra colors. I use this 1) there would be a competitive advantage for such women in a world with the kind of magic mine has and 2) because it makes for better fiction. It is genetically possible, though incredibly rare, for tetrachromacy to occur in men. It would, however, usually come with other unpleasant disabilities which I chose to elide. This series is reality-heavy as it is.

P.S. It’s totally fine to tag me when you find cool color stuff online. I most likely have already seen it, but it may be a new discovery, I certainly don’t mind when people tag me on things I’ve seen a dozen times, so don’t worry about it!

The Black Prism in China

UPDATE: We think we have identified the artist. Check out Jian Guo’s other amazing work HERE, including some amazing tributes to Tolkien and covers for other fantasy authors such as Marion Zimmer Bradley and Gene Wolfe. (Thanks to Miro below, who gave us the tip!)

Exciting news! The Black Prism publishes next month in China, thanks to the work of Chongqing Books. Look at this awesome cover:


Tlack prism China

I have the enormous privilege to see a lot of cool takes on cover art that are each influenced by their country, culture, and audience’s expectations of what a fantasy cover should look like, but few have been as striking as this. I love how it unfolds the longer you look at it. It’s a little bit Link from Legend of Zelda, a little Lord of the Rings, and a little bit the stained glass sequence from Beauty and the Beast.

I love it. (If anyone can tell me the artist’s name, I’d be more than happy to link to him or her!)