In response to my recent post about covers, a reader in Uzbekistan very kindly sent me files of my Russian covers. I'm supposed to get copies of all my foreign editions, but in practice I frequently don't, so this was my first glimpse of the images chosen by my Russian publishers. They are certainly very different. Here's What Angels Fear:
When Gods Die:
And Why Mermaids Sing.
Obviously, Russian art departments are as oblivious to historically correct dress as their American counterparts. I also find it interesting that they chose to put a woman on all three books, with no real sense of danger--despite the fact that the series is about a man and rather violent. Of the three, I think my favorite is the Angels cover. There is something quite intriguing about the way the woman is looking over her shoulder and faintly smiling--although I think I would be surprised if I picked up the book and read the cover copy (that is, if I could actually read the Russian cover copy, which of course I couldn't!)
Contrast this cover art with what the Australians did:
(Actually, these are early versions--I can't find the final version, in which Big Ben was Photoshopped out.)
Obviously, a very different approach and look.
The truth is, traditions in cover art vary enormously from one country to the next. Which is why smart authors don't complain about the covers of their foreign editions--because we don't know enough to make any kind of a valid judgement.
My thanks to Irin Belokon for the covers!