judging a cover by its book…again

January 18, 2009

We all know I love book cover art and the whole process of dressing up a novel to be released into the wild. With Fireside due to hit stores any day now, I can’t wait to see its smiling face! Here’s something interesting– another guy who likes book cover art has showcased his faves on his blog, Book Design Review with Joseph Sullivan. Check out his picks here. He has a very distinctive aesthetic that could NOT be more different from my own. Just goes to show you how subjective this all is.

What are some of your favorite book covers of 2008? Here are a few of mine:

best YA cover...by far
best YA cover...by far
gorgeous cover, excellent book
gorgeous cover, excellent book
haunting image...intriguing book
haunting image...intriguing book
Im a sucker for handwritten lettering.
I'm a sucker for handwritten lettering. And this layout is genius.

Look-alike covers:

The one on the left is a sci-fi bestseller by the Twilight author. The one on the right is the Bible. Go figure. Sometimes similar images seem to get into the zeitgeist. How many times before it’s declared a trend? Is this one called the “ominous, upward-looking eye” trend?

(Alison Kent has a good post on cover trends here.) Click here to enlarge the cover image

And finally, last but not least…It’s probably not polite to pick yourself, but this has nothing to do with me. My publisher found a fresh and eye-catching image for the book and I really love it. And it’s not just me. For the first time in 30-something covers, I’ve had readers contact me to ask where they can get a poster of the image! As my agent said, “It looks like a day at the beach.”

okay, so Im biased
okay, so I'm biased

  • I try never to judge a “book” or a “person” by their cover. But I must admit, that the packaging does draw the eye, but I like to read a few pages first to get a feel for the story.

    I am usually looking for my favourite author when I am book browsing, but I love the covers of my fav authors books, such as yourself, Robyn Carr, Sherryl Wooods, and Luanne Rice. The cover jumps out at you, entices, knowing there is going to be a heart warming story you will enjoy and snuggle up with on maybe a cold winter’s night.

    Then there are authors like Beatrice Small, Rosemary Rogers, Lisa Kleypas, where you know that the cover entices the reader to a hot steamy reading session.

    But even though these covers are really great, it is the back cover that does it for me. If I don’t like the synopsis of the story that really lures me.

  • Some really great book covers – the script, artwork, subtlety of an image or just a beautiful feast for the eye. Mini art museum.

    One eyebrow, ominous or not – well to wax poetic or soapbox it? (It all started with the script on your book that caught my eye.) Oh well, you know its the soapbox. (The blog is the modern version of the soapbox.) Zeitgeist – yes. The Book New Testament – photography to illuminate the text. Some wonderful and omnious photos on the inside & backcover. The Host – a paranormal genre. The Book – one might say is the original ‘spirit’ book. Just find it very interesting both use the same visual. Very clever – “Made you look.” Don’t we all love picture books that spark the imagination? Go to the children’s picture book section – absolutely wonderful artwork. Reminds me – Archive the baby looking at the book – belly laughs. (Stepping down now – collective sigh.)

    Yeah, your book cover is pretty terrific. It is a ‘caught the eye, browse the 1st chapter and have to buy.’ Luanne Rice book covers – really like them.

    Sharp Teeth – great cover, another paranormal – how big is this market and when is it over? Enough already.

  • I can’t think of any off the top of my head though I’ll admit to being sucked in by a good cover. The Memory-Keeper’s Daughter was one. I also picked up Garden Spells because the cover is beautiful.

    I do love that Luanne Rice cover. Kristin Hannah recently told me I need to try her again. Cloud Nine was the first book of hers I ever read. I may have cried so much that the husband stopped what he was doing and came over to see if I was all right and, even though I loved the book, I hate crying that much so I’ve held it against all future books of hers. Not fair, I know.

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