Cover Love

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First of all, if you are the grandmother who requested three book plates for Emma, PLEASE contact me. My email has eaten our correspondence, and I don't have your address any more. Gmail…grrr.

Today I enrolled back in college. Just one class…to start with. I've been wanting to take a computer design class forever. So for 2011, I've decided to move it from my “Still Talking About it After All These Years” list to the “Done” list. Awesome author and friend Natalie Lloyd and I talk Book Cover Love all the time and frequently send each other really good, really bad, or really funny covers we spy.  (She's definitely more up on cover art than I am. Girl knows her new release books.) Ever since I was little and would sit in the floor and stare at an album cover (shut up, young people…and Urban Cowboy was my favorite) or study the same cereal box every morning, I've been fascinated with cover art–for product packaging, for new books, vintage books, websites (anyone else keep a list of ones they like?), blogs (ditto on the list), CDs, whatever. When I got into writing, I learned that book covers went beyond “it's pretty,” and much of the elements involved are still over my head.

But let's talk favorite book covers. While I wasn't that wowed with Oprah's book club selection recently (going with a classic? pick Much Ado About Nothing!), I love, love, love the cover art for the reissued (just for Opes) Tale of Two Cities.

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Isn't that beautiful? It kind of reminded me of another awesome cover, which eagle eye Natalie Lloyd brought to my attention.

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Another cover I found recently (late on the draw) is this one.

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How cool that it's Christian fiction.  When I saw that cover, I just thought, that is art. That's a total triumph for that designer and the author.

Along that same theme, I still like the cover for the Invention of Hugo Cabret.

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And The Charlatain's Boy also reminded me of a CD cover I'd spotted and loved.

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I'm in love with that color combo and vintage style. The sad thing about all of us going to music downloads is that we lose great cover art that we can hold in our hands. When's the last time you bought a physical cd? I haven't in a few years. Strictly download.

Speaking of Christian fiction, I think Colleen Coble's April 2011 release The Lightkeeper's Ball is fabulous. I love it when one color really pops.

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It reminds me of the latest Redeeming Love cover, which is not a shabby book to be compared to.

So much goes into covers, and often it results in multiple drafts. Have you read The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen? Again, a recommendation by Senorita Lloyd, as was the tip to this awesome blog post where you can see the options her publisher came up with for the design.

I'm always interested when a book cover gets changed. Like after The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks started getting some serious buzz (and sales and awards and more buzz), the cover went from this:

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to this version which clearly says, “I'm a YA!”:

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The Hate List is a highly rated/reviewed book for teens and one I bought for my classroom. Yet it hasn't gotten much attention from my students. The cover is pretty…intimidating. I've noticed it's been softened a bit. It went from the version I own:

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to this:

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I'm wishing I had that version. Much more girl friendly and less…Jim Morrison.

Nora Roberts has moved away from simple, plain covers to some serious (and much-needed) smashing upgrades. Hope it sells her a book or two. Poor girl needs it. . .

I think it's cool how you can look at some covers and know immediately which author they belong to. Like a Sarah Dessen. Like a Melissa de los Santos book. This one is still my fave.

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Or Jennifer Weiner's earlier books. This cover is long gone, but it's my forever favorite.(Minus the weird lady in the background. What's she doing?)

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If you love talking book covers, the trends (what's with the snow globes?!), the new (Entwined), the old (To Kill a Mockingbird, frame-worthy!), the pretty, the what-the-heck, you should totally check out That Cover Girl where this savvy photographer chats about YA covers and has some awesome, insightful interviews. I loved her post on the YA book The Valley of Secrets. Also check out Jacket Whys, another great resource.

I could talk about this alll day and still leave out some amazing examples of cover art. What about you? What's a book cover that's caught your eye lately? Generally speaking, what's a trend you are tired of seeing? (For me, it's YA makeoutage on the cover. Just…no.) Let's hear it!




Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 22 comments
Ashley - December 8, 2010

I love the cover art for the Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr, especially the first book.

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Lance Albury - December 8, 2010

Definitely agree on the Lightkeeper’s Ball cover; The Lightkeeper’s Bride is also a nice one. I also like Lost Mission’s cover by Athol Dickson.

Tired trends? Historical romance covers whith the girl in the foreground and the boy in the background, both looking like they’re playing dress-up.

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Deborah - December 8, 2010

Trend I am tired of? Faces of women in Christian fiction on the cover for most romances,historical fiction and pretty much any women’s centered fiction. The industry seems to think that books must have faces on it in order to sell. Also tired of books that did have gorgeous covers to begin with but then the publisher decides to rerelease it with faces on the cover.

A cover that I saw recently that I really loved was Insight by Diana Greenwood. It’s a YA that comes out from Zondervan next year and I’m excited for it bc the cover looks just like a general market YA and it’s really really pretty.

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Shauna - December 8, 2010

One of my favorite covers I’ve seen this year is Lisa Samson’s Resurrection in May.
http://www.amazon.com/Resurrection-May-Lisa-Samson/dp/1595545441

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Abby - December 8, 2010

I was really impressed by the cover of Wildwing by Emily Whitman. At first glance it just looks kind of normal, but if you look closely, it has some great stuff going on.

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Siri - December 8, 2010

The cover for ‘Sisters Red’ is an awesome cover…unfortunately the book wasn’t so good :/

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Kristin - December 8, 2010

I’m reading “Savvy” right now, and I really love that cover. =) I also love this “Pride and Prejudice” cover: http://www.amazon.com/Pride-Prejudice-Penguin-Classics-Deluxe/dp/0143105426/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1291831653&sr=8-1#_ , though I already own two copies and don’t need another one just yet.

I hated it when they put Twilight-ish covers on classics, especially Jane Austen’s. I fought the urge to gag every time I went by the YA bookshelf in the store.

~Kristin

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Amy @ My Friend Amy - December 8, 2010

I actually hated the cover change for Hate List (which is a book I love beyond reason) but you raise an interesting point. It’s not just about me! 🙂

I agree with Deborah that the Christian fiction trend of a sappy goofy smiling face on the cover grates. I also am tired of the hands holding something a la Twilight.

I agree with Ashley about the Wicked Lovely covers but the newest one, Darkest Mercy is my favorite. That cover is stunning.

And I love A.S. Peterson’s covers for The Fiddler’s Gun and Fiddler’s Green…they are done by artist Evie Coates and snag my eye every time I see them.

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Jenny B Jones - December 8, 2010

Amy, that Darkest Mercy cover is great. I agree–best one of the series.

Kristin, oh my gosh. That P&P cover is FABULOUS. I would kill for a print/poster of that. It’s so cool and artsy. Is the book Savvy good?

Siri, good point–a pretty cover is not a “this is an awesome book, you should read it” endorsement.

Abby, that is a good one!

Deborah, Insight does look very ABA (general market, not Christian market). Glad we’re seeing some more paranormal fantasy coming out for YA in Christian fiction.

Lance, I like Lightkeeper’s Bride as well. Good series of covers. : )

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shabbygeek - December 8, 2010

I could not agree MORE about the Frankie book. I really enjoyed the novel and when I saw the other cover, I seriously did a double take. Why is Frankie so longingly looking there off to her left?! Why is she so sad?! That’s not the rebellious fireball I imagined while reading the book!

Thanks so much for the kind words about the blog, too. I also love Jacket Whys! BTW, I featured Sisters Red on a post once — we apparently have similar tastes in covers. 😉

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Hannah - December 8, 2010

I love book covers too! I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by it’s cover, but for me, covers can really attract me, or repel me. When I saw the new cover for the tale of two cities and great expectations at borders, it almost made me want to read it xD

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ashley - December 8, 2010

someone loves the color red

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Abby Minard - December 8, 2010

Ooh, I really think a cover can really help or hurt a writer. I know everyone says don’t judge a book by it’s cover, but lets face it…we all do (at least a little). I have a vision for what my future cover would look like, and it seems like YA books are getting beautiful covers lately! One trend I’ve noticed is the giant eyeball- one of the librarian’s was giving a training on what’s hot in YA and she brought up a bunch of covers with huge eyes on them. They’re pretty cool looking though!

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Megan - December 8, 2010

I dont know why i love this cover but i really LOVE it. I wish i could frame it and put it in my room! The funny thing is that the book wasnt that good… i read it just because of how much i loved the cover and i didnt like it. Anyway the book is called Blood is the New Black by Valerie Stivers.
PS: there is 2 covers for this book. the one that i like is the one with the woman on the front not the one with the hands.

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Jenny B Jones - December 8, 2010

Megan, what a great cover! I love that. It’s hard to vampy and chic, but they definitely pulled it off.

Abby, huge eyes? I’m gonna have to investigate.

Ashley, so true! I hadn’t noticed that pattern.

Hannah, I had the same thought. It almost made me want to read it. Almost. Maybe I’ll just buy it instead.

Shabby, I thought the Frankie cover no. 2 was really surprising. I liked the first one, but it was very grown up and there’s no way I would’ve identified it as YA.

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Kristin - December 9, 2010

“Savvy” was very good! I finished it last night, wiping tears (good tears!). =)

~Kristin

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Jocelyn - December 9, 2010

Ooooooh, I get to read Colleen’s new one this weekend. It’s so preeeeeetty!

Ready to die from book cover goodness, Jen? http://bookcoverarchive.com/

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Patti Jones - December 9, 2010

I really like the cover of Chris Fabry’s latest, “Almost Heaven.”

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Lily - December 9, 2010

I was so excited to see The Charlatan’s Boy on your list! Jonathan Rogers, the author, is a dear friend of my family! We just got our copy and I am excited to read it! Ooh the new Colleen Coble cover is lovely!

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Allie Smith - December 10, 2010

wow,ya,i could spend hours in a book store just looking at book covers.have yall noticed how attractive jenny b. jone’s covers are?lets give credit where credit is do.how could you possibly resist buying a book (or begging your parents to do it) that has a pic of a gorgous purse and a pig.or a cow.or the akwardness of bringing chic to the circus.those books just pop of the shelves.
but sara dessen has some great covers to.”that summer”,with the boy and girl on the bike is cute.so is “this lullaby”.and have yall noticed how many different versions (by cover) of the same book there can be?!like phantom of the opera for instance?man…

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Sarah - December 12, 2010

I’m loving the amazing dresses on covers trend (The Luxe series, Bright Young Things, Wither, Entwined, The Vespertine) It makes me want all those dresses!

LOVED Hate List and was very happy with that cover change-you’re right it’s less Jim Morrison!

Christian Fiction always has covers that appeal to me and I then I get turned off by the corny storylines. But man do they know how to market beautiful covers!! And sometimes I find one that I enjoy that’s not so cheesy.

I do hate when a cover is beautiful but the book is blah (my feelings on Matched right now)

And covers can really make or break a book-I know my teens (and yes me too) judge books on pretty covers! And I’m so joining the Jenny/Natalie cover e-mails-I’m going to start sending you guys covers too!:)

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Jenny B Jones - December 12, 2010

Sarah, I can’t wait to read the Hate List. Now I gotta. And you are IN the conversation loop, girl!

Allie, on behalf of my publisher, thank you for the cover compliments!

Lily, what a cool connection. I saw that cover AGAIN on another website for teen books. It’s such a great cover.

Patti, also a good pick!

Jocelyn, GREAT website. I’ll be busy for hours now.

Kristin, tears? Um…I don’t know about that book.

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