e-Book Cover Design Awards, September 2011 Part 2

by Joel Friedlander on October 17, 2011 · 24 comments

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This is the second of five posts of e-book covers submitted for the September e-Book Cover Design Awards. Here are the other posts in the series:

e-Book Cover Design Awards, September 2011 Part 1 Fiction:
e-Book Cover Design Awards, September 2011 Part 2 Fiction
e-Book Cover Design Awards, September 2011 Part 3 Fiction
e-Book Cover Design Awards, September 2011 Part 4 Nonfiction
e-Book Cover Design Awards, September 2011 Award Winners


Ros Clarke submitted The Tycoon’s Convenient Wife in the Fiction category. Design by Ros Clarke, saying “This is the Amazon version of the cover (there is a standard, rectangular version for other sites with non-white backgrounds). I really wanted to play with the shape of the cover and came up with the idea of having one element which spills over the edge of the cover. I also worked hard at getting the title and author’s name visible even at thumbnail size. The whole cover has a bright, fresh look which matches the fun, light romance novel inside.”


JF: By breaking the conventional boundary of the cover and using more of the available space, this well-designed cover really stands out.


Cliff Ball submitted The Usurper in the Fiction category. Design by Thea Atkinson.


JF: Although this is an effective e-book cover that plays to the strengths of the genre to create a vivid brand, it might have been even stronger without the flame, and the little type is completely unreadable at this size.


Mark Neumayer submitted Valda & the Valkyries in the Fiction category. Design by Mark Neumayer, saying “YA fantasy novel.”


JF: The simple illustration style and highly visible type make this a fun and vibrant cover that suits its genre.


Weston Ochse submitted Velvet Dogma in the Fiction category. Design by Weston Ochse, saying “Hi. This is my original eNovel. I took advice from this site when creating the cover. The art is from Danielle Tunstall using the UK model Collette Von Tora.”


JF: Wow. Great concept and photography make this cover stand above others. Copperplate is an unusual choice for fonts, but it works here. I also like the proportions of this cover, using more space without completely giving up the allusion to print book covers.


Jordan Baugher submitted Vicious Magick in the Fiction category. Design by Jordan Baugher, saying “Designed using Blender 3D.”


JF: An excellent example of using type and texture effects in a way that helps the overall impact of the cover. Simplicity is your friend here, and no matter what size this cover is, it stands out long after others have been reduced to little blobs of color.


Calista Taylor submitted Viridis in the Fiction category. Design by Calista Taylor, saying “Viridis is a steampunk romance and mystery, so I wanted it to carry a Victorian feel that would appeal to romance readers.”


JF: This cover has everything going for it: atmosphere, great artwork that focuses our attention on the central figure, and distinctive typography.


Michael Grant submitted In The Time Of Famine in the Fiction category. Design by Michael Grant, saying “photo taken in Ireland in 1985.”


Michael E. Walston submitted Incident on Sugar Sand Road and other stories in the Fiction category. Design by Michael E. Walston, saying “Being on a budget, I did the cover for my book myself. I used MS Paint and PS Powerpoint on an old Windows 98 computer.”


Addison Gast submitted INTERDICTION in the Fiction category. Design by Digital donna, saying “INTERDICTION is published on smashwords.com and B&N, amazon.”


JF: This clearly shows what happens when you have too many elements competing with each other.


GEORGE STRAATMAN submitted Journey through the Land of Shades in the Fiction category. Design by Sefdesign (Steven Efondo), saying “This cover was designed by Steven Efondo (Sefdesign) for the cover of my fantasy novel Journey through the Land of Shades..”


JF: Another example of Efondo’s mastery with illustration and type. Excellent example of a genre-specific cover.


Maureen A. Miller submitted JUNGLE OF DECEIT in the Fiction category. Design by Maureen A. Miller.


E.M. Jungmann submitted Karnivoren – Vom gelebten Irrsinn in the Fiction category. Design by E.M. Jungmann, saying “The cover picture bases on a painting named “Sehnsucht” by Thyra Thorn with the friendly permission to use by Thyra Thorn (http://www.facebook.com/thyra.thorn). The E-Book is published as a Kindle-Edition on amazon.com, amazon.uk and also amazon.de. It is a German Edition. For further information you can contact contact me via mail or facebook (http://www.facebook.com/em.jungmann) or simply visit my webpage. Kind regards, emj.”


JF: I have no idea what’s going on here or what it means, but I like the energy and intensity of this cover.


O. Penn-Coughin submitted Kissed by a Clown (Welcome to Hell Series) in the Fiction category. Design by O. Penn-Coughin.


Ben Campbell submitted Kissing Freud in the Fiction category. Design by Ben Campbell, saying “In Kissing Freud, Sigmund Freud is suspended in a sociopath’s mind like a marionette.”


JF: Here you see the effect of a white background against the typical web page on which these covers are displayed. If you want a white background, make sure that every image you ever send out has a border on it.


Romuald Reber submitted Le très grand nettoyage in the Fiction category.


Sheri L. Swift submitted Legend of the Mer in the Fiction category. Design by Michael L. Wheeler (Photographer), saying “I wanted my cover to represent my main characters in a simple way that might appeal to a young teen.”


JF: Keeping it simple will almost always work, as it does here, but I wonder if it isn’t too quiet for its intended audience.


Craig Clarke submitted Living After Midnight: Hard and Heavy Stories in the Fiction category. Design by Carrie Gowran, saying “The vintage album cover design really captures the theme of the anthology: stories inspired by the music of hard-rock and heavy-metal bands.”


Hollister Ann Grant submitted Lost Cargo in the Fiction category. Design by Stewart Williams, saying “Amazon page. This is a sci-fi thriller about a galactic animal control ship that crashes in Washington, D.C.’s Rock Creek Park. The monster foot is actually a real alligator foot. The stars in the background are the Pleiades from NASA’s image gallery. Both images were free.”


JF: This cover manages to be spooky and atmospheric at the same time. I wanted to read it.


Rita Hestand submitted Love Rules in the Fiction category. Design by Dara England, saying “Dara managed to convey the story to some extent, the civil war, the romance, and the interracial quality. Love this cover myself.”


MeiLin Miranda submitted Lovers and Beloveds in the Fiction category. Design by Alice Fox, saying “Alice has been the official artist for my book series since before it was a series. She did concept art/character sketches back when it was a very drafty webserial, and she was the logical choice to do the cover for the final version of book one. She’ll be starting on the cover to book two shortly. :)”


JF: This beautiful cover looks like it was intended for print.


Jalex Hansen submitted Lux 1.1 Seeds in the Fiction category. Design by Elisa Suetake.


Jalex Hansen submitted Lux 1.2 Call to Arms in the Fiction category. Design by Elisa Suetake.


Annemarie Nikolaus submitted Magical Stories in the Fiction category. Design by Annemarie Nikolaus.


Jennifer Oberth submitted Married To Murder in the Fiction category. Design by Jennifer Oberth.


Ben Chenoweth submitted Meeting Of Minds in the Fiction category. Design by Ben Chenoweth.


Lucinda Brant submitted Midnight Marriage: A Georgian Historical Romance in the Fiction category. Design by Sprigleaf.com, saying “Thank you!.”


JF: Part of a series by the same author, these clean designs allude to the period in which they are set.


Madeline Smoot submitted Missing in the Fiction category. Design by Madeline Smoot, saying “Although I have done other covers for my small press, this is the first one I designed specifically for an ebook, and also the first cover I ever designed for a book by me.”


Sj Byrne submitted Mo Dearbadan~de in the Fiction category. Design by George Boyle, saying “The book cover shows the darkness within the main characters battered spirit. The bright skies and serene loch on the other side of the glass are symbolic of how she longs to be free of the restrictions of her troubled past.”


JF: I love the drama and symbolism of this artwork, which makes me even sorrier for the unfortunate choices in typography.


Frank Calcagno submitted Murder at Midnight … On a Sailboat in the Fiction category. Design by Frank Calcagno.


S Bush submitted My Dog Jack in the Fiction category. Design by S BUsh.


JF: Okay, I love dog photos, I admit it. And this one is pretty cute. Although the typeface would probably work, the odd arrangement of the title introduces a little confusion and competes for attention with the adorable dog, which is where the attention should be.


Robert Hart submitted My Last Bullet in the Fiction category. Design by Robert Hart, saying “Photo by Elizabeth Hart.”


Erica Negi submitted My Life in Loubies in the Fiction category. Kindle version.


JF: The fancifal typography and interesting photo made me smile when I saw this cover.


Mary M. Cushnie-Mansour submitted Night’s Gift in the Fiction category. Design by IUniverse, saying “Cover design for the first book in my vampire series. The house on the cover is an actual historical house in Brantford, Ontario, and is the inspiration and setting of the story.”


Mary Deal submitted Off Center in the Attic – Over the Top Stories in the Fiction category. Design by Mary Deal, saying “Thank you for this opportunity.”


E.R. Yatscoff submitted OLD FLAMES in the Fiction category. Design by Joel Yatscoff, saying “Designed by my son Joel, an industrial designer in Toronto.”


JF: This design is clean and well-conceived, but the white type just doesn’t work for all the copy.


Teri Heyer submitted Outback Love in the Fiction category. Design by Ben Heyer, saying “”Outback Love” is a contemporary romance novel set in the Australian Outback. My heroine, Priscilla, is a mural artist, so I wanted a painterly style on the cover. Also, Priscilla has to make some important life decisions in the Outback, so I wanted her facing Ayers Rock/Uluru as that is a symbol of the Outback and therefore a symbol of the decisions she has to make. The cover designer is my husband and I was really pleased with the results.”


Daniel A. Roberts submitted Passion of the Different in the Fiction category. Design by Jeanette Thomas, saying “This cover is not only on my ebook, but graces my paperback version as well. The woman is Myra, the main female character in my book. And yes, she is quite different! Light blue hair and lavender eyes. Yes, it’s a romantic fantasy sci-fi novel and the folks who read it always give me excellent stars when they review it. ^_^”


Daniel A. Roberts submitted Passion of the Same in the Fiction category. Design by Safeunderdark, saying “This cover was visualized by the artist as she read the story. The whole family is on the cover, as seen through the eyes of the semi-hostile visitors.”


Daniel A. Roberts submitted Passion of the Unknown in the Fiction category. Design by Jeanette Thomas, saying “The pointed ear man is named Bearclaw and he’s a native of the planet Becky, the half human female that shares the cover with him. This is the final novel in the Passion Trilogy, and I think the artwork is stunning. But then again, I’m biased. I just hope you agree with me. ^_^”


SL Clark submitted Pen, Paper, Action! – Volume 02 in the Fiction category. Design by SL Clark, saying “Hi Joel, thanks for the contest. I like the way this one came out and the way it looks at “Amazon” sizes. Disparate collections of shorts feel hard to design for. Finding imagery to glue them together has been a challenge; hence the title & abstract background. Seems to be working for us,,, getting some sales. ;-)”


Geri Buckley Borcz submitted Rambling Rose in the Fiction category. Design by Laura Morrigan.


JF: The designer, a highly-skilled cover artist, hits all the notes to produce a solid e-book cover.


Patricia Rachal submitted Reflections of the Son in the Fiction category. Design by Patricia Rachal, saying “The sun is reflecting on the water and the Cross in the sun represents God’s Son, Jesus reflecting through us to enlighten others of His love. The (subtle) dove at the top of the cross is symbolic of the Holy Spirit.”


Kevis Hendrickson submitted Rogue Hunter: Quest of the Hunter in the Fiction category. Design by Ryan Hawkins.


JF: This slick sci fi cover is from a series and it’s interesting that the title of this volume (Quest for the Hunter) doesn’t appear, only the series title. Nevertheless, the designer understands this genre and delivers.


John H. Carroll submitted Rojuun in the Fiction category. Design by John H. Carroll, saying “Model is Jessica Jorgenson, Photographer is Tracy Carroll, Background is a public domain picture of redwoods from Wikimedia Cover put together by Indie Author John H. Carroll using GIMP software.”


Dorothy P. Freda submitted Roses in the Dark in the Fiction category. Design by Thomas Mark Freda, saying “This book was designed by my son, Thomas Mark Freda.”


N.M. Martinez submitted Ruin in the Fiction category. Design by Sarah Ellerton, saying “Ellerton painted the entire cover and did the title text. I wanted a classic fantasy/sci-fi cover. She also managed to give the book a comic book/graphic novel feel..”


JF: I love this artwork, but it would have been much more effective with something other than the ever-present distressed type.


Patti Larsen submitted Run in the Fiction category. Design by Stephanie Mooney, saying “Stephanie did a fantastic job interpreting the core idea of the story and translating it into this cover (as well as the other three in the series).”


JF: A strong, graphic and evocative cover that’s part of an interesting series of covers for this author.


dianejwright submitted Scattershot in the Fiction category.
Design by Diane J. Wright, saying “Hi! I’m submitting our newest title with a cover that I designed. Thanks! Djw.”


JF: Notice how the designer uses type and one small illustration to lead your eye exactly where she wants it to go.


Richard Coller submitted Search in the Fiction category. Design by Richard Coller, saying “The design concept was mine but Yvonne Parks of Innovo Publishing created the final product.”


Douglas Roberts submitted Second Cousins in the Fiction category. Design by Douglas Roberts/Jenica Cruz, saying “Remarks This is a stylized representation of the gypsum dunes at White Sands National Monument in southern New Mexico.”


Sharon A. Austin submitted SERIAL QUILLER in the Fiction category. Design by Sharon A. Austin, saying “Thank you.”


Vernon Baker submitted Slow Boat To Purgatory in the Fiction category. Design by Carl Graves.


W. F. Owen submitted Small Events: Haibun by W. F. Owen in the Fiction category. Design by W. F. Owen.


Ann Somerville submitted Learning to Dharn in the Fiction category. Design by Fia M Ryan, saying “Fia is a friend and a genius :) I was so pleased when she made this cover for me!”


JF: A very good-looking cover with real tone to it. The type may be a bit too compressed, as it starts to fill in when the cover is reduced, but to be honest that’s just me being nitpicky. I love it.


Nicholas Taylor submitted Legon Awakening in the Fiction category. Design by Mike Brooker.


JF: Beautiful art and careful attention to colors really make this cover stand out.


Andy Conway submitted Meet Me in Montmartre in the Fiction category. Design by Andy Conway, saying “It was hard to come up with the right image to capture the story of a blind date in a Paris cafe, but in the end I decided to focus on two simple props: a coffee cup and the bundle of air mail letters tied with a ribbon. The photo was taken on my dining room table, standing on a chair, and with nothing more than an iPhone and the Hipstamatic app to give it a warm, sentimental look.”


JF: Andy, you could have been standing on your head and this cover couldn’t have been better. From the “warm, sentimental” look to the perfectly-chosen typefaces, it gets everything right.


J. Alexander Greenwood submitted Pilate’s Cross in the Fiction category. Design by David A. Terrill, saying “This is a mystery/thriller—artist David Terrill explored the book’s themes of being trapped, isolated and in danger in a very “Hitchcockian” way for this cover. He is designing the cover of the sequel, due out in November.”


JF: Terrill’s cover is a true piece of graphic illustration in its own right. Designed for the hardcover edition of this book, it might have translated a bit better to the e-book format without as much background.


Mark Yoshimoto Nemcoff submitted Shadow Falls: Angel of Death in the Fiction category. Design by Mark Yoshimoto Nemcoff, saying “Can a man who discovers he is the embodiment of Death finally alter his destiny?”


JF: I’m not sure about the answer to the author’s question (above) but he has quite a knack at graphic design. The strong type here works well with the illustration and creates a cover with real pop.



Pretty incredible collection of covers, don’t you think? Come back tomorrow for another, equally amazing, collection.

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    { 14 comments… read them below or add one }

    Book cover design November 6, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    Lots of thanks for sharing such type of Cover design..
    Keep it up..

    Reply

    M.W. Sinclair October 18, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    I’m a big fan of the Viridis cover, and there are several that also caught my attention. Nice to see so much quality!

    Reply

    Calista Taylor October 18, 2011 at 3:49 am

    Joel, thanks for the opportunity to share our covers, and also for giving us such a wonderful variety of covers to learn from. It’s great to see what works to make a cover come together. So many of them just blow me away.

    Thanks, Andy! *blush*

    Reply

    Cris October 17, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    I have 2 e-books out so far, and I made a conscious decision to try to use the covers to establish my ‘brand’. They both have the same typography and a similar layout. You can see them both here. Traditional publishers do this and it seems to me even more important to do it as a self-publisher since my only branding is me. I haven’t particularly designed my covers with a transfer to print in mind and if they ever do transfer to print I might well want to give them a face-lift.
    +1

    Reply

    Martin Turnbull October 17, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Hands down the best cover this month was for “Velvet Dogma.” WOW! What a terrific, arresting, intriguing cover!

    Reply

    Joel Friedlander October 17, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Martin, you might want to see the rest of them before you pick your winner, although I admit to loving that cover also.

    Reply

    Andy Conway October 17, 2011 at 11:35 am

    Thanks for your comments re. my own cover for Meet me in Montmartre. I’ve been buzzing all day, because I respect your opinion on book design and, well, this is one I did myself instead of using my usual designer (whose work I’m hoping will be featured in part 3 tomorrow).

    He handles the difficult, complex Photoshop work for me, but for a short story release like this, I can do it myself, as long as it involves one photo and just putting the typography over it. I’ve had no design training, but I used to run a web company with a very talented designer and picked up some basic principles from him.

    There are some in this list I really love.

    The Viridis cover is just gorgeous.

    I also love the Ruin and Run covers.

    But Scatter Shot is jaw-droppingly good.

    Reply

    Joel Friedlander October 17, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    The thing is that e-book covers are a very minimilist space. Yours worked really well exactly because you kept it to just a few elements, and then delivered them in an effective way.

    Reply

    Teri Heyer October 17, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Thanks so much for the opportunity to enter my cover for “Outback Love.” Teri Heyer

    Reply

    Sheila October 17, 2011 at 5:26 am

    Hi Joel,

    I love the e-book cover design awards! It’s really neat to see the covers everyone submitted. Do you think ebook covers should be *distinctly different* from print books?

    Should e-book covers extremely differentiate themselves from print covers by using things like Ros Clarke’s cover with the rings extending beyond the visual border? Different enough that it shouts “E-BOOK here!” but could still be transferable to print at a later date?

    I guess the reason I’m asking is because I’m wondering about branding. Should you brand a story (ie:Rambling Rose looks very Louis L’Amour-ish), an author (ie: the Daniel A. Roberts Passion books aside from some font and border differences are very identifiable as a series), or a consumable product (ie:”Available tomorrow in E-book *AND* Print!”)?

    In my experience as a heavy consumer of print editions of many genres and How-To type books, I’m attracted to the goodies that a talented designer and printer can deliver using embossed paper, foil printing, varnish, and a good quality paper weight that feels good in my hand.

    I like Ros’s suggestion for animated graphics, those would be fun easter-egg style goodies for new e-consumers.

    Reply

    Ros October 17, 2011 at 5:30 am

    Sheila, I hadn’t thought of them as animated but that is clearly the next step – great idea!

    I have 2 e-books out so far, and I made a conscious decision to try to use the covers to establish my ‘brand’. They both have the same typography and a similar layout. You can see them both here. Traditional publishers do this and it seems to me even more important to do it as a self-publisher since my only branding is me. I haven’t particularly designed my covers with a transfer to print in mind and if they ever do transfer to print I might well want to give them a face-lift.

    Reply

    Ros October 17, 2011 at 5:04 am

    Thanks, Joel! I think there is huge potential for cover designers to start to think a bit more outside the box. Obviously, you still want to let people know that what you are selling is a book, but that doesn’t mean sticking with the old-fashioned rules. Imagine a fantasy novel with a snake coming out of the cover, or a crime novel with blood appearing to drip from it.

    Reply

    Joel Friedlander October 17, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    Ros, you are absolutely right but my memory of all those animated GIFs that littered websites not too long ago is still pretty fresh, so I’m not looking forward to the blinking, buzzing, bleeding covers just yet.

    Reply

    Ros October 17, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Joel, I was imagining them as static images but beyond the boundaries of the rectangle, like mine. But I bet you’re right that it won’t be long before we see the animated versions.

    Reply

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