Here’s something a little different for Fan Art Tuesdays — a very cool graphic:
Find more by this artist HERE.
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.
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!
HOW DO I GET ME MY SHINY NEW COVER, WKS!!!!?
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:
Ah, doesn’t it make you feel better inside?
Nope, check the date. Not April 1. Nope, this isn’t a Kickstarter. It’s here. It’s now. It’s for real. Well, a real replica. This one doesn’t do magic. Believe me, I tried.
I’m really impressed with the quality of the work Windlass Steelcrafts has done. It was a huge concern of mine to only be associated with work I can be proud of. I’m proud of this. Windlass got their start outfitting the British Gurkha regiments with kukris and has supplied not only a lot of Hollywood with props and replicas, but also a number of the world’s militaries with their swords. Retribution and the Poisoner’s Knife are 1085 high carbon steel, hand forged and heat treated in a computer controlled oven. This is considered “battle steel” and although more pure now than what sword smiths of old would have used, is basically what would have been used if the story were non-fiction. They’re full tang for added strength, will hold a good edge, but are flexible enough to take a blow. A sharpening service is available.
So… should the Zombie Apocalypse occur… this purchase could really be considered insurance… right? Right? And with that black finish, it won’t give away your position to other raiders. Er, raiders, I mean. Not other raiders. My fans would be only good guys, right? Right?
Also, for a limited time, when you buy Retribution or the Poisoner’s Knife, you will receive a certificate of authenticity, hand signed by me.
Purchase the replica of Retribution HERE.
The language on the sides of the blade and down the length of the scabbard is comprised of a real font designed in the Middle Ages to speak to immortals. If yours doesn’t auto-translate into a language you can read, check your ka’kari. 😉 If you’re rusty on your Hyrillic, it says Mercy down one side and Justice down the other. The scabbard says Retribution. The sword belt has vials for your favorite poiso–err, colored water! Or could hold spikes that would definitely not be for throwing, especially in the states of New York or California. You can find the scabbard and sword belt HERE.
About a different kind of translation: In the books, the Poisoner’s Knife was a dainty thing, almost concealable in your hand. We tried it. It didn’t seem right. Sort of like if you look at Michelangelo’s statue of David from the ground, he looks all sorts of awesome, but if you were to look at him straight on, his proportions are all weird. Why? Because Michelangelo crafted David to look awesome for the way his audience was going to encounter him, rather than slavishly making his proportions “correct.” I believe in the same principle. In the books, a tiny dagger could be badass because it’s tiny–but that just doesn’t work when you’re doing cos-play or you want to show your friends This Cool Thing. Ergo, the Poisoner’s Knife here is NOT small: it’s awesomely big. I think it works better this way, and I like to trust other artists to tweak things in the medium where they’re the experts. Similarly, we tried other things with Retribution (it IS a shape-shifting sword after all). We tried different shapes or even bigger, and they just didn’t work as well as we thought this does. This is one rendering of these blades, and if you prefer the ones in your imagination, great! The power of books is to engage your imagination; the power of costuming is to see and hold and feel a real, particular object.
And kill zombies with it.
Purchase the Poisoner’s Knife HERE.
And last, the perfect complement to your wetboy cos-play or to fend off zombie bites — I didn’t put zombies in Night Angel, did I? Why didn’t I put zombies in Night Angel? — these awesome vambraces are available HERE.
I hope you love the work we’ve done. It’s taken a lot of time. (How much? Well, you might notice we managed to sneak in the sword design into the Graphic Novel. Thanks, Andy MacDonald for the extra work!) See? Foreshadowing!