Terry Goodkind making friends again


Stake Holder
Jun 10, 2007
Nice to see a professional at work.
I seem to recall reading that authors don't always get involved with the cover art and that its handled by the publisher? IF so then I'd land blame for a poor or not representative cover at the feet of the publisher rather than the commissioned artist.

That said it sounds like the author and artist worked together on this so it seems really odd that the author is having a go at the artist in such a public way. It's also very non-specific - Terry says its a poor cover but not why, rather leaving the public to do the "damage". A rather if not very dirty underhanded move.

Terry Goodkind Apologizes to Artist After Trashing Cover to Own Book - Bleeding Cool News And Rumors

The latter part of the article pretty much backs up what I said regarding it being a publisher issue. However Goodkinds words really don't reflect that at all in the initial comment. Whilst I think he could have made some good moves toward improving author involvement with cover art production within published works - he's pretty much just shot himself in the foot.

Then again Terry has done this before if I recall right - didn't he go through a "I'm not writing fantasy books" phase?
Not to mention if you thought his books were similar to the Wheel of Time books you obviously weren’t intelligent enough for his books.
Sounds an awful like Goodkind desperately back peddling to me.
Honestly I do wonder if Terry isn't the fantasy writing equivalent of "click bait" websites.
Ergo he keeps doing these things just to generate drama, interest, discussion and focus on himself and his product under the maxim "there's no such thing as bad advertising". Then cross his fingers that this turns into increased book sales for him.
Sometimes when a cover disappoints it probably is the fault of someone in the art department at the publisher. They have their ideas—right or wrong—about what is likely to appeal to buyers at any given point and it may have little to do with what is actually in the book. Sometimes it probably is the fault of the artist. (I was told that on one of my early books they sent the art back to the artist five times to fix things, but eventually it was too close to the publication day to ask for more changes and they had to just go with what they had at that point. There were, after all, orders from bookstores to be filled.) Sometimes it might be the result of a miscommunication. Sometimes more than one person is probably at fault.

But washing the dirty linen so publicly as this author is doing now, and the way he is doing it, strikes me as unprofessional.
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Apparently not the first time he’s been unhappy with art work.
Q: The cover art for most of your novels is extraordinary. How did you come to work with Keith Parkinson?Goodkind: I got Keith Parkinson because I was so disgusted, angry, and infuriated with the original cover of “Wizard’s First Rule” that I almost quit writing for public consumption. I was livid. The cover on “Wizard’s First Rule” did not represent in any way what I was writing about. It represented a juvenile, immature vision that reflected nothing about the book. It was complete deception by the publisher, trying to fool people into thinking that I was writing for adolescent males. I was absolutely livid, and I just about tore up my contract and said, “That’s it, I’m not writing anymore books.” My editor said, “If you don’t like this, then who do you like?” I said, “Keith Parkinson.”Keith did the cover of “Stone of Tears”, but he couldn’t do the cover of “Blood of the Fold”, so we were back to the idiotic covers. After that, Keith did all the covers. Throughout the series, my goal has been to steer the covers away from traditional fantasy covers because I’m not writing fantasy. I’m accidentally published by a fantasy publisher so I get thrown in with that genre, but my books are no more fantasy than a detective novel is a “gun book.” What makes me nuts about the fantasy genre is that, unlike any other genre, people become obsessed and focused on irrelevant things. For example, in a detective novel, if a detective has a Snub Nose 38, no one asks him questions like “Can we know more about the Snub Nose 38?” or “Have you ever thought of doing some kind of special story just about the Snub Nose 38?” It’s a distraction.The cover of fantasy art tends to illustrate those themes of those authors who are writing those kinds of books. I’m not one of them, and I don’t want to be seen as one of them. From the beginning, my goal has been to steer the cover art away from those representational images. Keith became a really good friend, and he would do covers before I even wrote the books. I was describing to him what a cover needed to look like, and then as an artist, I could convey to him very accurately what I wanted him to paint. He and I got along very well and had a great time designing covers. My goal was to pull out of Keith something more noble than the typical red dragon.For example, with “Faith of the Fallen”, I need you to paint a painting that illustrated the nobility of the human spirit. He said, “Oh, gee, don’t give me anything too hard, Terry!” [laughs] My goal has always been to write above that kind of representational art. Even with covers like “Temple of the Winds” where you see a guy [on the cover] holding a sword; that, to me, is a really cool piece of art, I love it—but as a cover, I don’t like it, because it turns off vast amounts of readers. You automatically disqualify the book for consideration by much of the public. And these are people who love these types of books [Editor’s note: they don’t], but the art doesn’t convey to them that they like it.I’ve gotten most of my readers by word of mouth. My typical reader, probably 80-90 percent of my readers, don’t read fantasy. I’m the only “fantasy” author they read, otherwise for them it’s general fiction. They recognize that the books aren’t fantasy books, they’re books about people, they’re character-driven. My goal has always been to change the cover art in a way that represents the spirit of what the book is about. With Chainfire, Phantom, and Confessor, those are the first books that are truly my vision of what I want the covers to be. I’ve finally achieved the kind of covers that I want, that give you a hint of the mystery, romance, intrigue, and even a little bit of the fantasy elements in the book, but at the same time, it illustrates how the books are meant for all people, for all people who just like stories. [Editor’s note: these are literally the worst covers he has.]After “Temple of the Winds”, I got contractual cover control. Keith and I designed the Chainfire template of how those [three] books look. When you see Chainfire, Phantom, and Confessor, you’re seeing my pure vision, unadulterated by what anyone else thinks it should be. Keith and I designed everything down to the smallest detail.
Don’t know where this is from just saw it quoted in a comment to this article.
Hah love the [editors notes] a haha!

I do enjoy a good trainwreck
But washing the dirty linen so publicly as this author is doing now, and the way he is doing it, strikes me as unprofessional.

Very much so. This is not just someone not liking their cover, not just someone saying that they didn't like it, but someone openly inviting their followers to ridicule the artist's work. But maybe it is some kind of strange publicity stunt. Perhaps he is, to use a popular phrase, playing to his base?
See whilst he has a good and valid point with regard to the heels - yeah - he's clutching at straws (not to mention 90% of viewers probably won't even notice the heels on the cover, esp at typical paperback sizes). Sexism is a very hot topic at present and I suspect he's kind of thrown that out there to try and save face after his earlier general insults.
If it were those issues from the start he could have raised them in a sensible and polite manner, but he didn't.
Ooh, I must be in the 10% because I noticed those heels -- or, to be wholly accurate, that heel -- straightaway! Can't say I'm lusting after those boots, though, as mid-calf length wouldn't do me any favours. I'd like to know where she gets those thick, opaque but wrinkle-free tights from, though.

What I love about the cover is the bit at the very bottom. There's SHROUD OF ETERNITY then, almost as if it's in parentheses a tiny "A NOVEL". Are the shelves awash with Terry Goodkind short story collections, or did they seriously think someone would look at that art and title and think it's non-fiction book?!
Dude, you put 40 pages of random S&M in your first book. I think it's a bit rich to start complaining about the outfits.

"A Novel" is a literary pet hate of mine. What else could it be? A used car? A hippo?

Unfortunately for me I read a number of Goodkinds books, my only defence is I was a teenager and hadn't formed proper appreciation for work that isn't complete garbage.

I think it's pretty rich of Terry Goodkind to talk about treatment of female characters bearing in mind some of the events in his books.

The man is seriously odious. He treats genre with contempt whilst at the same time proclaiming he writes about "important human themes", you only have to read some interviews to see his disdain.

He is like the opposite half of someone like Abercrombie who embraces the genre and engages in a great way with fans.

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