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Old 2010-03-19, 14:57   Link #461
Starburst
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Messing about with the scanner in Linux (yes, it works flawlessly in Linux but not Windows). Here's the cover... it's a ~6 MB PNG. Still not sure what if anything I'll do on the inside of the book but it's nice to know what kind of results I can get anyway.
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Old 2010-03-19, 15:53   Link #462
tyranuus
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Thats come out awesomely clear. I may just have found a new wallpaper
Also sums up a point I made about Holo's eyes recently. The anime and a lot of art emphasises the red aspect (probably to emphasise that she is not human), that picture seems much closer to the first books description which states Holo's eyes are amber, with a red hint/more red than would be considered normal, rather than bright red.

Edit:
Mwahahaa through the powers of SCIENCE I have not only made it my background, I have *also* made it 1080p widescreen AND have altered it so it doesnt look like the fluttering bit of paper on the bottom left has the edge chopped off (the piece of paper by the first Japanese letter)
If anyone else wants to use it as there background, feel free:

Preview, click to see it bigger:


Download link
http://www.mediafire.com/?bmi2wwmgizq

Its a 1.6mb PNG file, with dimensions of exactly 1920x1080. THe rest of the background behind where your desktop icons go is white and it looks great


Here's an example of what it looks like in use using my own laptop as an example (I've rubbed some names out as they're related to work/private). I'm on Win7 but gives you an idea how the wallpaper looks

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Last edited by tyranuus; 2010-03-19 at 16:52.
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Old 2010-03-19, 17:15   Link #463
Rajura
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I really like both, but without getting into technicailities of "what the book says" or "original depictions in the light novel" and so on, my personal preference is on p. 112/more anime version.
As an added bonus, I do love the soft focus and sparkling... it makes her look as though she stepped out of a dream!!!

Tyr, interesting idea for a desktop; it works well... I'm still running a widescreen from one of those heavily circulated images. May post it eventually.
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Old 2010-03-20, 00:20   Link #464
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Looks very nice, I hope that YP does art books as well since I would much rather buy any artbook in English than Japanese (true there's not as much to read in there but if they cost as much a hardback book I want to get all out of it that I can).
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Old 2010-03-20, 00:34   Link #465
Starburst
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wandering-dreamer View Post
Looks very nice, I hope that YP does art books as well since I would much rather buy any artbook in English than Japanese (true there's not as much to read in there but if they cost as much a hardback book I want to get all out of it that I can).
They'd probably screw up the cover as they did the first novel.

But I agree, it would be nice to be able to read what's in this book. There is a lot of text.
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Old 2010-03-20, 02:52   Link #466
Rajura
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starburst
They'd probably screw up the cover as they did the first novel.

But I agree, it would be nice to be able to read what's in this book. There is a lot of text.
Hahahaha! At least they were able to partially satisfy their base with the dust jacket!

Sadly, I really don't see them re-doing the book in English. Artbooks and other accessory projects seem to rarely be considered as substantial enough to be to be worth the investment of translation.

Besides, I have a few S&W short stories in Nihongo (that the only way I could get them was in scan format from a friend over there) that will likely never be produced in English (save one... and even that one I am not sure). That is mainly because they are in that mysterious relm I have coined "semi-canon"... they are not dozin, but they do not happen within the timeline or storyline of what is thought of as the world of S&W.

I can still help anyone interested in acquiring them to help complete their S&W "canonical collection"!
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Old 2010-03-20, 03:07   Link #467
Starburst
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajura View Post
Hahahaha! At least they were able to partially satisfy their base with the dust jacket!
Uh.. you mean the one single lone supplier that apparently maybe had some dust jackets? Because my order from Amazon.com certainly didn't have a dust jacket. So I have the ugly 'fantasy' cover on my book because Yen Press doesn't know their fanbase, and when their fanbase says "hey, that's a bad idea!" they go "Yeah, we hear you, but we're going to ignore you because we know better." I'm not very happy with Yen Press.

I hope they do it right for book 2, I haven't paid any attention. And I hope someone competent does the artbook, not that I ever think it'll be done. But if it were, I hope it's not Yen Press.
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Old 2010-03-20, 03:16   Link #468
Rajura
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starburst View Post
Uh.. you mean the one single lone supplier that apparently maybe had some dust jackets? Because my order from Amazon.com certainly didn't have a dust jacket. So I have the ugly 'fantasy' cover on my book because Yen Press doesn't know their fanbase, and when their fanbase says "hey, that's a bad idea!" they go "Yeah, we hear you, but we're going to ignore you because we know better." I'm not very happy with Yen Press.

I hope they do it right for book 2, I haven't paid any attention. And I hope someone competent does the artbook, not that I ever think it'll be done. But if it were, I hope it's not Yen Press.

Ugggh, oh... sorry!!!! I hear tell they are provinding the original ceover in some form or fashion, but... I'll have to confirm whether it will be actual cover vs dust jacket. I was fortunate that when I bought it from Righstuf that they still had a supply of dust jackets.
I was afraid I would be in the same boat. Hopefully, you'll be able to get a "traditional" copy soon.
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Old 2010-03-20, 04:54   Link #469
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They only provided Rightstuf with the dust jackets, no one else. And I've not heard any news since the book released about the dust cover being provided in any fashion to those with the 'fantasy' cover.

So I don't expect an original cover unless I buy the Japanese original book.

I wish I could some how type this with the seathing hatred I have for Yen Press. But it seems to come out fairly soft.
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Old 2010-03-20, 05:20   Link #470
tyranuus
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Yeah the other option was to grab thier magazine as it came with that. Unfortunately I dont know if any other shops got the cover.

THAT SAID - I actually sympathise and to an extent AGREE with thier decision to change the cover.

Yes some of the fans don't like it that much BUT, without changing the cover, there was a solid chance a lot of retailers either wouldnt have taken it on, given prior failings to do well with Light Novels in the US and overseas away from Japan, and theres also the fact there is a limited market for this sort of stuff, much as its sometimes hard to see.
By changing the cover, they had a chance to appeal to a slightly wider demographic, and get the book put in other sections of a bookstore beyond the small Japanese section, and a chance to increase sales and the number of people who'd look at the book.
Oddly enough, despite the change of cover, they've mentioned its actually selling well and they're happy with the numbers, if the cover was that big a negative deal I doubt it would have sold to a point they're happy with the title.

Quite frankly, Im just happy we got the translated work, and its been translated well, I couldnt give too ****s if the cover was blank with just the name on! Hopefully the americanised artwork will be better for the second book, but if its not, oh well, its the contents Im interested in, not the picture on the front.

If fans of the work caused such a backlash and drop in sales over the change of covers they dropped the series, my seething anger would not be directed at Yen Press
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Old 2010-03-20, 06:49   Link #471
Starburst
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The magazine option was bullshit, because it would have been folded terribly.

Some of the fans don't like it that much? Understatement maybe? I don't think I read anyone who liked it. I only read of those who accepted it as a means to and end, such as yourself. You accept the new cover because it allows you to get the book in English and you're happy with that. But it also seems to me that you don't like the cover, hoping that volume 2's is better. Indicating that the current cover must be lacking in some way.

Personally I loathe the cover, I hate it. It's terrible, it's in poor taste, it's poorly done, and it makes my book like like it's something it's not. It draws the wrong kind of attention by portraying itself as some kind of cheap smutty adult fantasy novel filled with sex. Which it obviously isn't.

I don't however find it odd that the book is selling. Whether the person bought it based on the crap cover or the content of the book, I can see why they'd do it. Crap cover, well sex sells, and content, well it's good. Nor did the crap cover stop me from buying the book, I'd pre-ordered the book long before it's cover was released because I wanted the content. I'm sure there are also many other fans in a smiliar place as myself, ordering because of the story. In fact I may argue that's why the book is selling so well, in spite of it's poor cover.

I would find it highly suspect that the book was selling better than it otherwise would have because of the replacement cover. But there's no way to be sure without polling their customer base I suppose. I would think also, that by changing the cover to get the book out of the Japanese section, or Manga section they've hidden it from some of their potential audience. And by putting an adult looking cover on the book, they may have alienated some of their younger audience.

It's obvious what Yen Press should have done if they wanted to go this route. Do what they did with Haruhi and release two books with different covers. Or if they wanted to go the slip cover route, make the adult looking cover the optional accessory to send to those stores who wanted a smutty adult fantasy novel instead. Don't alienate your core audience by ruining something they like and want, it seems like a very poor practice. Isn't one of the biggest complaints about anime in North America, it being Americanized?

Lastly, if fans did cause the project to be dropped due to the cover. It would still be Yen Press' fault entirely, not the fans. The fans told Yen Press what they wanted and they're the ones buying the book(s). Yen Press didn't care an it would be their incompetence that would have caused the project to fail, not the fans.

Unrelated Note: I noticed I mispelled seething. Boo.

---------------------------------

Quote:
Originally Posted by tyranuus
SCAN SCAN SCAN
I tried to do a few pages tonight, the quality of the print isn't high enough to get a good scan of anything. The cover which I previously scanned had a much higher dpi than the pages inside. It's glossy and high quality, where the pages inside aren't of similar quality. They're great to the eye, but only perhaps 150 dpi, which really isn't enough to get a great scan out of.

Happy to give examples, but really it's pointless, you'd be better off redrawing the entire book than scanning it. A real disappointment for myself as I wanted to make some posters from it.
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Old 2010-03-20, 07:06   Link #472
Rajura
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I think Star summed it up nicely...

Personally, as an American, I take offense that the cover was "Americanized"... it really does look cheap and smutty. And, I hate that it is attributed to us... (though I have used the term as well or even the more blanket term--- "Westernized". Regardless...

And, Yen did job the fans when they shipped that poorly folded dust jacket in their magazine. I was afraid that would be my only option, but thankfully RS came through for me. Sorry to everyone who did not have that option. It's called poor customer service on Yen's part and if they keep it up, I'm sorry to say fans will leave, and it's the fans who will suffer. Hopefully, Yen learned its lesson, and won't try this cheap stunt again.


Bottom-line I tolerate the cover, and the next one had better have the original cover in some form or fashion, and it should be available to all retailers.

On another note, I am waiting for my new credit card to come. The current expires in April, and I can't preorder this stuff if my card will not be active when the company runs it when these products come out.
I wanna make sure I can get it before I run the risk of missing out!
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Last edited by Rajura; 2010-03-20 at 12:14. Reason: Typo
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Old 2010-03-20, 08:37   Link #473
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FYI: S&W 2 cover problem will be handled differently from the way it was with volume 1. The original Japanese art will be printed on the book. A dust jacket with different art (the art that Hatchett Books believes is necessary to sell the book) will be provided for displaying. I heard this through a report of something Kurt Hassler (sp??) said via Twitter.
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Old 2010-03-20, 08:47   Link #474
Starburst
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LKK View Post
FYI: S&W 2 cover problem will be handled differently from the way it was with volume 1. The original Japanese art will be printed on the book. A dust jacket with different art (the art that Hatchett Books believes is necessary to sell the book) will be provided for displaying. I heard this through a report of something Kurt Hassler (sp??) said via Twitter.
http://twitter.com/yenpress/status/10354963962

Confirms this.

Additionally, Amazon.com has the proper cover though sans text on their site. So it looks like Yen Press is handling it the way they should have from the start. Assuming they follow through with this, I'll be quite happy to receive Volume 2 in June. Well, regardless I'll be happy to receive the book. I'll just be happier.

Thanks for pointing that out LKK!
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Old 2010-03-20, 12:22   Link #475
Rajura
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starburst
http://twitter.com/yenpress/status/10354963962

Confirms this.

Additionally, Amazon.com has the proper cover though sans text on their site. So it looks like Yen Press is handling it the way they should have from the start. Assuming they follow through with this, I'll be quite happy to receive Volume 2 in June. Well, regardless I'll be happy to receive the book. I'll just be happier.
Yeah, I saw the original art on the site a little while back, so I figured they had learned their lesson, but I was unsure whether it was going to be done the same way... wouldn't mind if they went back and reprinted the first in this better format!

Again, you are right... this is how it should have been done from the start! All the fans could have put the dust jacket aside and had the (IMO) better art and everyone else could have the smutty cover if they so desired.
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Old 2010-03-20, 12:31   Link #476
tyranuus
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I thought the point on the second cover had already been mentioned elsewhere, although whether it means Japanese printed cover with sleeve, or the same as the first, except with the sleeve as standard, I dont know?

Quote:
I don't however find it odd that the book is selling. Whether the person bought it based on the crap cover or the content of the book, I can see why they'd do it. Crap cover, well sex sells, and content, well it's good. Nor did the crap cover stop me from buying the book, I'd pre-ordered the book long before it's cover was released because I wanted the content. I'm sure there are also many other fans in a smiliar place as myself, ordering because of the story. In fact I may argue that's why the book is selling so well, in spite of it's poor cover.

I would find it highly suspect that the book was selling better than it otherwise would have because of the replacement cover. But there's no way to be sure without polling their customer base I suppose. I would think also, that by changing the cover to get the book out of the Japanese section, or Manga section they've hidden it from some of their potential audience. And by putting an adult looking cover on the book, they may have alienated some of their younger audience.
Dont get me wrong, I get your points and to some extent, but you've missed part of my point as well I think. Several large retailers would likely NOT have accepted the book if itd been introduced with an anime cover; because traditionally they dont sell that way. As an established book series with established sales levels, the second book doesnt have quite the same prejudice set against it by the retail market. Without retailers willing to take the book however, the series would be cancelled, end of discussion. I have also seen others supporting the new cover, or even saying they thought it didnt look that bad in person as well, so the response is NOT purely negative.

The other thing is that you've mentioned that fans of the content bought it regardless...yes, they did, thats kinda the point, they KNOW the fans will still buy it in the vast part; regardless of the front cover.
The problem is there is also a large market this book might appeal to THAT WOULD NOT buy it with the anime/manga style cover, they'd be put off, by changing the front cover, you avoid a large section of that prejudice, people might be more willing to pick it up and read the summary on the back. The anime/manga/japanese market is still relatively small incomparison to the general fantasy reading base, and even more so outside the US.

Half a year ago I probably would have been part of that side that would have shunned away from the book by not looking past the cover, but I've opened up to this sort of stuff over the last few months.
I love the content of S&W, but would I have just gone out and bought it with the old cover not knowing what it was, or even picked it up to read the summary?...possibly not, and I likely would not have even seen it in a bookshop (if thats where I'd been browsing) if it'd only been placed in the Japanese rather than Fantasy section, as Im simply not that interested in most Manga etc, but had it been in the fantasy section with the new cover, I might have picked it up in passing whilst browsing.

Now regardless of whether you see the front cover as overtly sexualised, call me desensitised, but compared to the average run of books I see in a sci-fi section in a book shop these days, over in the UK, well it's not actually that bad (especially with the wave of Twilight-esque style stuff out there right now), my disagreements are more based on the fact i dont think it conveys the story so well, they could have made it far more representative, but as a more acceptable book that people are likely to at least read the summary on? Unfortunately yes it is.

The other point, that by moving it away from the Manga section they may hide it from some of the audience...well possibly that is true, but then people into this sort of stuff will probably be used to being a slightly more niche audience whether they like it or not, and will likely find titles themselves, based on word of mouth, recommendations or even internet reviews. Arguably, by moving it to a wider sci-fi market, they're not only likely to capture people interested in the property like us who already want the material, or recommended to it by other fans of Japanese work, but also more likely to catch the eye of the average fantasy book reader; one who would have ignore the Japanese section altogether. Guess which is the bigger market, and the one they're working harder to appeal to because of this, given they know the Anime/Manga/Japanese work fan will likely find the book in the long run anyway?

If americanising the cover (as long as future ones are slightly more representative of the series) opens up the series to a wider range of people, then I'm actually all for it, because Im sure there are quite a lot of people out there who'd enjoy the story, but hold no interest in anything manga/anime related whatsoever, if more widely acceptable covers help get this book to them, then more power to it. As I mentioned previously, the anime/manga market is a niche, by appealing to a larger majority they have a chance to sell more which not only makes business sense, but introduces the property to a wider range of people, and in a capitalist world, making money and profit from S&W is the only way we will continue to see it translated and published, ergo a necessary evil.

On the small kids not being allowed to read it because of overcautious parents? Well possibly, but then this book isn't really aimed at them anyway, it's a series really aimed at the 16/18+ region anyway, partially because of some of the concepts, and once you've hit 16/18+ if you cant go out and buy your own books...

On another note my copy of the second volume has been pre-ordered for weeks. Can't wait to get it
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Last edited by tyranuus; 2010-03-20 at 12:47.
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Old 2010-03-20, 12:49   Link #477
Rajura
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tyranuus
Now regardless of whether you see the front cover as overtly sexualised, call me desensitised, but compared to the average run of books I see in a sci-fi section in a book shop these days, over in the UK, well it's not actually that bad, my disagreements are more based on the fact i dont think it conveys the story so well, they could have made it far more representative, but as a more acceptable book that people are likely to at least read the summary on? Unfortunately yes it is.

The other point, that by moving it away from the Manga section they may hide it from some of the audience...well possibly that is true, but then people into this sort of stuff will probably be used to being a slightly more niche audience, and will likely find titles themselves, based on word of mouth, recommendations or even internet reviews. Arguably, by moving it to a wider sci-fi market, they're not only likely to capture people interested in the properly, and recommended to it by other fans of Japanese work, but also more likely to catch the eye of the average fantasy book reader; one who would have ignore the Japanese section altogether. Guess which is the bigger market, and the one they're working harder to appeal to because of this, given they know the Anime/Manga/Japanese work fan will likely find the book in the long run anyway?
I think everyone is driving at the same point from different angles.
1) We want to see the series do well as that ensures longevity
2) We want to see the art reflect the content
3) Most of us would buy the books of this series short of the covers being pornographic

However, I think some of the points being made (including by myself) are just out of frustration and disappointment. I just didn't feel it represented the material well based on what I know of the series... I could have looked a little further past the cover if it had been less fanciful and more matter of fact (and maybe not such a close-up either).
I think everyone can appreciate the theory and principles of business, but that does not mean we will always be happy (from a fan standpoint) with the choices made.

Come on, complaining and venting are sometimes a great cathartics! I feel better when I know I'm not alone in how I feel and that I have expressed my thoughts and see that they justified by others.
Just saying...
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Old 2010-03-20, 12:55   Link #478
tyranuus
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Haha yeah, dont take me wrong, I've already said my part on the actual cover, but the concept itself, which Starburst seems to be against, well I support that.

Hell, if they'd given the picture on the front (it's virtually just a silhouette anyway, and I get where they were coming from with it, I'm pretty sure the artist was TRYING to portray Holo's carefree nature in regards to this sort of stuff) some obvious clothes similar to those from the books/anime, even if it'd obviously been americanised, people probably would have been a lot happier.

There are a lot of ways they can portray this series, whilst remaining interesting, that wont alienate people, they just need to do a slightly better job of conveying the tone of the novels

A smaller silhouette of Holo against the moon (howling?) surrounded by a field of grain at night would likely have been a better way to illustrate what they tried to cover with the first books cover though, but Im guessing at the time they just went for eye catching. Im sure they learnt from the first book, they're not stupid, and I doubt the Americanised covers wont get better.
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Old 2010-03-20, 13:35   Link #479
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One thing to always keep in the backs of our mind when discussing the S&W novels or any of Yen Press's novels is the history of how their novels are here in the US in the first place. Kurt Hassler (sp??), head of Yen Press, convinced his bosses at Hatchett Books to give light novels a try in part by convincing them that light novels could have an audience beyond the traditional manga crowd. If the light novels don't sell beyond the traditional manga buyers, Hatchett Books may decide to cancel the entire light novel experiment. S&W novels would be gone. The Haruhi novels would be gone. The Kieli novels (my personal favorite of YP's novels) would be gone. All of them. So Hassler & YP are doing everything they can think of to ensure that light novels are a success from the get-go. Hassler knew that changing the S&W covers would anger the fans. But he also knew that if S&W and Haruhi (which is technically published by Little Books, not YP) don't pull in non-manga sales, the entire light novel experiment would fold down. So while our anger is understandable, we should try and temper it with the realization that this is the publishing world's version of cutting edge technology. If we early adapters don't embrace it, the technology (i.e. the books) will go away.

One of these days, I'm going to remember exactly how to spell Kurt's last name.
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Old 2010-03-20, 15:10   Link #480
Rajura
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On a slightly different note: I now have both of the DS games (limited edition) in transit... bought separately, but they only cost 6,500 yen total... way better deal than anywhere else I have seen (for even one) prior to this. But just to say it again, too bad the first game did not come with the life-s-zed Hol(r)o poster like the pictures Star and I scanned from the book. I'll have to keep an eye out for it!

Once they arrive, I promise pictures.
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