book talk / geekery

Tell me about your favorite cover art

Tonight I want to talk about cover art. I had the awesome opportunity this weekend to see what it takes to create great images to be used for cover art. To appreciate the preparation, the time, the effort and the professionalism that goes into the creating of images typically used in cover art.

There is so much that goes into the making of a book cover. I cannot begin to cover it as I only know a little. However I originally saw this video on Janet Reid’s blog and I think it does a really good job of explaining it in a short amount of time.

A striking/beautiful cover will draw a reader to the book. Towards that end I wanted to share a few of my favorite covers with you guys and I hope in turn you’ll share your favorites with me.

First up Nalini Singh’s Archangel’s Consort

Second, Jennifer Estep’s Spiders Bite

These are only two of many. What are your favorites?

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16 thoughts on “Tell me about your favorite cover art

  1. I’m curious…what makes these covers compelling to you? Color? Expression? How the background and foreground match up?

    I love book covers, and totally judge books by them. A great cover can grab you and never let go. A bad cover can sink you.

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  2. Great covers. I’m a big cover art fan, but it is really hard for me to pick even just a few.

    In SFR, I love:

    Cathy Pegau’s Caught in Amber: http://cathypegau.com/?attachment_id=855

    Nebula’s Music by Aubrie Dionne: https://smartgirlsscifi.wordpress.com/2013/09/28/space-opera-recommendations-from-the-group/

    The Rowan by Anne McCaffrey http://www.djabbic.co.uk/BookCoverDetail.php?filter=5&bookID=81&currentBook=0&totalBooks=1&startCover=0&currentCover=0&totalCovers=1

    And then there are covers that don’t look so hot in the digital age but were really striking on the shelf back in the day–like the original metallic sheen and embossed covers of JD Robb’s In Death series.

    I also think historical and SF covers tend to be the best. They still more often get original art rather than stock photography. I really hate the we are now seeing the same stock photography used so often that they pop up on cover after cover. Very sad.

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  3. Okay, I have to be the one to say it: I loved the bodice-ripper historical covers. However, I realize now that what I loved were the GOWNS. Those acres and acres of satin! I suspect that publishers held focus groups that told them the same thing, because for years now, historical romances have been featuring headless women in fabulous gowns. The luxurious material catches my eye to this day.

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    • I think you’re absolutely right. The gowns are synonymous with luxury and femininity. Escapism at it’s best.

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  4. Watching that video made me relive the frustrations of creating my covers. The programs needed are nightmares to use and so complicated that I forget how to use them while writing the next book. But, what I really wanted to talk about was how the Internet is killing cover art. You need a cover that is going to standout at the size of a thumbnail…and be legible at that size! The book cover is slowly going the way of the record album cover (though, books have the advantage that at least the physical book is still the same size). A shame.

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    • Hi Sue, I have never tried to make my own cover art and I have a great appreciation for those of you that can navigate doing so.
      You’ve just made me realize, all of my favorite album covers are from way back when (trying not to date myself).

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  5. Kristen Painter has lovely covers for the House of Comarre series. Also, Jeannie Lin’s historical romances have gorgeous covers.

    I know stock photography is cheaper, but it’s a shame & frankly it keeps a book from standing out. I might be the odd woman out, but I get tired of the bare chested man candy covers on romances. I’d rather have the old style historicals with gowns and suits or something more artsy.

    I still have a soft spot for the old pulp covers, though.

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    • The old pulp covers are awesome. I understand how you guys feel about stock photography but as writer on a fixed budget, sometimes it has to be done.

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