By Joel Friedlander
Welcome to the e-Book Cover Design Awards. This edition is for submissions during July, 2020.
This month we received:
We are once again pleased to welcome Tanja Prokop to The Book Designer as a guest judge this month. Tanja was born in Germany, but lives and was raised in Croatia. Her three beautiful daughters and her amazing husband are her biggest inspiration in life. She has an MA degree in German language and literature and philosophy. A few years ago she started her own design company and became a professional book cover designer. She designs covers, and is constantly creating new visual experiences for her clients. Tanja is also a multiple winner of various book cover design contests and has created thousands of covers. You can find her pre-made covers at Book Design Templates, or visit her site at www.bookcoverworld.com.
Comments, Award Winners, and Gold Stars
I’ve added comments (TP: ) to many of the entries, but not all. Remember that the aim of these posts is educational, and by submitting you are inviting comments, commendations, and constructive criticism.
Thanks to everyone who participated. I hope you enjoy these as much as I did. Please leave a comment to let me know which are your favorites or, if you disagree, let me know why.
Although there is only winner in each category, other covers that were considered for the award or which stood out in some exemplary way, are indicated with a gold star: ★
Award winners and Gold-Starred covers also win the right to display our badges on their websites, so don’t forget to get your badge to get a little more attention for the work you’ve put into your book.
Also please note that we are now linking winning covers to their sales page on Amazon or Smashwords.
Now, without any further ado, here are the winners of this month’s e-Book Cover Design Awards.
e-Book Cover Design Award Winner for July 2020 in Fiction
Celin Chen submitted Den of Vipers designed by Celin Chen.
TP: This cover is incredibly appealing! The typography is spot on!
e-Book Cover Design Award Winner for July 2020 in Nonfiction
Frankie Calkins submitted Money, You Can Hack It designed by Andy Layman. “I requested large font and contrasting colors that stand out as a thumbnail. It’s bold, encouraging, and exciting. It hints at being a (financial) superhero with highlights of “mint” green related to the topic at hand: money.”
TP: A very nice and appealing cover design! Good job!
Alex Bryant submitted The Identity Thief designed by Ivan Cakic. “This was the winner of a design competition, with the brief to capture a fusion of magic and mystery in a modern-day London setting. I fell in love with this entry right away. The enigmatic figure clutching a gun in one hand and a wand in the other perfectly captures the mood of the novel.”
TP: I’m not surprised that this cover has won a contest, it is AMAZING! A truly amazingly done cover art! ★
Ana Grigoriu-Voicu submitted Museum Piece designed by Ana Grigoriu-Voicu. “The shilouette of the main character on a background of a setting sun represents the aging character and her struggles to fit in her new life reality. For this particular design I chose a hand drawn title in order to balance the focal point of the composition.”
TP: Another amazing cover design! The typography is very unique. Very nice!
Angela Castillo submitted Princesses don’t have Sticky Hair designed by Cher Jiang. “I’m in love with what Cher has done with my cover. She’s given it a vintage feel of the fairytale books I loved when I was a little girl.”
TP: A very professional and eye-catching cover design. Every single element is in it’s right place. Beautiful!
Anthony Saunders submitted Mixed Species designed by rebecacovers. “This is a Sci-Fi e-book. I wanted something that looked futuristic without too much clutter. The predominately yellow/gold colour shows up well on small images. The planet & spaceship in the background reinforce the sci-fi aspect. I don’t know what font Rebecacovers (Fiverr) used but I like it.”
TP: A truly wonderful book cover design. I’m not sure which aspect I like better, the colors, the illustration or the typography. Very well done! ★
Charity Jackson submitted Another Sunrise designed by Charity Jackson. “The glass jar with the note inside hints at an object that becomes important to the two main characters throughout the book. I chose bold colors to draw attention, while also reflecting the ‘sunrise’ in the book title. The subtle trees hint at the rural setting.”
TP: This cover has so much potential! A different typography approach would make a huge difference. I’m sure that the title would look good if the designer had used the same font for the title as for the author name.
Chris Hewitt submitted Blue Light designed by Chris Hewitt. “I went for a silhouette of the protagonist against the subtle marshland which is central to the book. Giving the cover a blue-ish tint seemed to fit with the title.”
TP: A nice cover. The only thing I would like to see is a little bit more balance. The typography is very simple, which is good, but if the author name was a little bit smaller in size – maybe the same size as the headline – the cover would look better.
Emily Foster submitted The Spectre and the Raven designed by Emily Foster. “The design explores some key devices from the novel, including the white raven and a powerful artefact, encased in a magical composition.”
TP: What a beautiful cover design! What can I say but, GREAT WORK! ★
Frederick Gero Heimbach submitted Ronald Reagan’s Brilliant Bullet designed by Chameleonstudio74 at 99Designs. “I wanted a shouting title to signal pulpy nostalgia and more than a little satire. The “brilliant bullet” is a flying suit that Reagan pilots himself. The font is Baron and is available via an affordable license.”
TP: Brilliant typography approach!
Hampton Lamoureux submitted Accidental Warrior designed by Hampton Lamoureux.
TP: I love this cover design. Amazing! ★
Hampton Lamoureux submitted Dust designed by Hampton Lamoureux.
TP: Eye-catching with great imagery and amazing typography! Very well done!
Ihor Tureha submitted The Winter Sun designed by MiblArt.
TP: I love the typography approach and the characters! Very attention-grabbing!
J Michael Jarvis submitted French Roll: Misadventures in Love, Life, and Roller Skating Across the French Riviera designed by J Michael Jarvis. “An amazing job of capturing the true essence of this memoir.”
TP: I happen to know the designer of this cover :) and she was very lucky to have had a client who knew exactly what he wanted. I can only say that I would give you a gold start for being a great client :)
J. Scott Coatsworth submitted The Stark Divide designed by J. Scott Coatsworth. “Typography by Kelley York at Sleepy Fox Studios. The image is one of a set of three (this is book one in the trilogy) that share elements. The art is stock art, but manipulated by me for the covers. The design represents the generation ship in the story, as well as other story elements.”
TP: Appealing! One could say that the cover is a little bit crowded, but all in all, everything is well balanced.
Jovana DDD submitted The Wisconsin Werewolf designed by Marushka from Deranged Doctor Design. “Paranormal & Urban Fantasy book cover design by Marushka, Deranged Doctor Design”
TP: Nicely balanced and appealing!
Jovana DDD submitted Midnight Kisses designed by Marushka from Deranged Doctor Design. “Contemporary Romance book cover design, Little Sky Romance Book 1”
TP: Nice, like the rest of the series.
Jovana DDD submitted Accidentally Yours designed by Marushka from Deranged Doctor Design. “Contemporary Romance book cover design, Little Sky Romance Book 2”
TP: Very genre-appropriate. A nice series design.
Jovana DDD submitted It Was Always You designed by Marushka from Deranged Doctor Design. “Contemporary Romance book cover design, Little Sky Romance Book 4”
TP: From the three covers in the series, I like this one best, probably because of the balance within the title. I really like it.
Jovana DDD submitted The Wife Lie designed by Marushka from Deranged Doctor Design. “Thriller book cover design”
TP: Very appealing and spot on!
Jovana DDD submitted Cut & Run designed by Milo from Deranged Doctor Design. “Post-Apocalyptic book cover design, Cut Off Book 1”
TP: The colors and every other feature of the three designs are vividly presenting that this is a series. Very well done!
Jovana DDD submitted Cut Throat designed by Milo from Deranged Doctor Design. “Post-Apocalyptic book cover design, Cut Off Book 2”
TP: It is amazing how you can see the title clearly even in a thumbnail size. Well done.
Jovana DDD submitted Cut Loose designed by Milo from Deranged Doctor Design. “Post-Apocalyptic book cover design, Cut Off Book 3”
TP: The typography treatment is very appealing!
Julian Barrett submitted Bush Sick Land designed by Julian Barrett. “Bush Sick Land is a crime novel set in a small New Zealand town in the 1960s. The base image features elements of the story and allusions to certain characters. The text and overall design are inspired 1960s Pop Art and collage.”
TP: This cover needs a professional approach, but all in all, the concept is good. The lettering in the title should have a white outer glow in order to make it more visible. Also, the author name looks surprisingly well where it is, but still, the cover lacks a professional touch.
Kerat Jhaj submitted Himagus designed by Rena Violet. “The dried out stems and skulls represent the death. The green locket, is light of hope and maybe the only way out for the protagonist; Kylie. I always imagined the cover to have green and I LOVE black and gold! Lucky for me, my fantastic cover designer gave me exactly what I wanted.”
TP: I love the typography and the overall appeal of this cover design. I can’t stop looking at the title. Beautiful! The only reason why this cover isn’t the winner here are the skulls on the corners that somehow are a bit too much for my taste. Again, this is just my opinion. Other than that BEAUTIFUL! ★
Kimolisa Mings submitted The Pleasure is Mine designed by Kimolisa Mings. “This is my third entry and I’ve taken on board what had been said about the previous covers. As well as consulted others for a second and third pair of eyes. With this cover, I had a person front and center which helps in conveying the genre.”
TP: The image is absolutely beautiful and I wold love to see a different font for the title, or a combination of two. The author name should stand out a little bit more.
Krissy Baccaro submitted Buried Secrets: Some things should stay hidden designed by Rebecka Jäger. “Buried Secrets is a mystery. The girl: the main character. The scarf: dark secrets about her family that she uncovers and can’t accept. Burning diary page – her grandfather’s diary filled with secrets. Sets things in motion. Woods – where the biggest secret of all lies waiting.”
TP: The cover isn’t very eye-catching, it even looks a bit washed out. I would love for the colors to be more vivid and appealing. The typography should be redone and then I’m sure the cover would look much better.
Laura Prevost submitted the other sister designed by LAURA PREVOST. “The image is in a blue palette. As a psychological thriller I wanted a grittier somber tone. The two girls are twins. One beautiful and one in her shadow. So I tried to downplay the second twin. The broken glass is representing mental and emotional distress. The blue rose is important to the story.”
TP: With a different typography approach, this cover would look much, much better. All in all, not bad at all.
Lauren Robinson submitted The Boy Who Saw In Colours designed by Henry Hyde. “The goal for the cover was to make it look somewhat like a painting. We wanted it to stand out from the crowd. Also, the cover for the E-book has a strange orange line at the end. This happened when it was published to Amazon and is not part of the design. I don’t know how to get rid of it.”
TP: The typography should be more suggestive and the image should be treated by a professional in order to make the cover appealing.
LEONIE MATTISON submitted Struck by a Lightning Bolt designed by UJALA SHAHID. “Four teenagers are running and one got hit by a lightning bolt. They are running with thier skateboard in their hand. As they are running, behind them is flash of lightning and thunder. The teens are scared to death. The darkness around their mouth represent fear.”
TP: Very genre appropriate with a nice illustration and matching typography.
Linda Whitaker submitted The Crucible of Steele designed by Damonza. “Novel is a science fiction techno-thriller. Want readers to think of Douglas E. Richards or James Rollins. Main character is Georgia Steele, and this book is about genetic engineering. Georgia uses her fingerprint to unlock an encrypted data file, and saves her life with wooden hair picks.”
TP: At first glance you can tell that this was created by a professional. Beautiful!
Paramita Bhattacharjee submitted Little Red designed by Paramita Bhattacharjee. “A creepy small girl in the forest. Main color pallet is blue and black. Other color is Red. The black trees makes an eerie effect.”
TP: I really like this cover design. It is somehow unusually appealing.
Patricia Bourque submitted When You’re Young and In Love designed by Shelley Savoy. “I liked this design because it gives an indication of what the book is about, love and angst, and I felt the colors added to the moodiness of it. I found the font added a bit of lightness to an otherwise subdued feeling. Thank you for doing these eBook cover awards.”
TP: The imagery is very suggestive and all you need it a better typography approach here. Also, always make sure that the textual parts are either completely centred or visibly shifted to one side. The author name is slightly shifted to the right and is probably aligned with the title, but that doesn’t look good overall.
Pennington William submitted Honey Ko designed by Kyla Brichetto. “The cover is intended to convey a sense of hope for romance. The airplane signifies the arrival of, or loss of, love. The title font has an oriental touch in keeping with the Asian locations.”
TP: If only a professional designer would change the typography in this design, the overall cover would look much, much better.
Tarun Martheswaran submitted The Number Monster designed by Tarun Martheswaran.
TP: Very genre appropriate, but I would appreciate softer colors.
Urvashi Dubey submitted 3 AM Conversations designed by Urvashi Dubey. “The idea is to express melancholy of thoughts and ideas we feel 3 a.m.”
TP: I love the illustration and would love to see a nice title that accompanies the illustration. The illustration is dreamy and the font choice for the cover is maybe a little bit harsh, but overall, very nice.
Alexander Gerasimchuk submitted The Ascending Goddess designed by Rebekka Mlinar.
TP: A very lovely cover design. The cover would be more appealing with a different color choice maybe. ★
Allen Taylor submitted I Am Not the King designed by Theresa Altland Taylor. “Allen Taylor tells how his rocky relationship with his father during childhood led to a life of pride and promiscuity as a young man only to be led back to the throne of Christ by an atheist college professor. He ultimately submitted himself to Jesus as Lord and King of his life.”
TP: This cover desperately needs a skilled designer to repair all the broken parts. I would strongly recommend a redesign, because of the colors and overall appeal.
Allen Taylor submitted Voice of the Broken designed by Theresa Altland Taylor. “Melissa Hurd tells a story of childhood abuse and dysfunction that led to some poor choices as an adult. In brutal honesty, she details how her life went from bad to worse and then God, who has restored her to the glory of a lily in the garden of life.”
TP: The illustration is very nice, but I would definitely recommend a different typography approach.
Annette Murray submitted Getting There: Thespians, Two Cats, and Deliverance designed by Sticky Earth Books. “The bouncing text hints at Tom’s up ‘n down journey from growing up in small-town Ohio to finally and happily finding himself as a joyful landlord and welcoming party host. The pineapple? Represents hospitality. The sunset? His tongue-in-cheek nod to its ubiquitous appearance on many book covers.”
TP: A very interesting cover design. Actually, it’s very appealing because of all the colors used, but I would love to see a bit more balance, font-wise. Always choose only two fonts in one place.
Audrey Z submitted A Glimpse into my Life: A Collection of Micro-Memoirs designed by Spring Cedars. “The title is “A Glimpse into My Life,” as such the cracked window allows readers to take that glimpse. The opening reveals a beautiful sunrise, a photo taken by the author at Fripp Island, SC. It represents the importance of hope that a new dawn provides, a significant message in the book.”
TP: A solid cover design. Maybe a bit of outer glow behind the lettering would make the title stand out more.
E J Simpson submitted From the Lens of my Camera: This and That and a Big Black Cat designed by E Jean Simpson. “Thank you for the opportunity. I think this book can be enjoyed on a variety of levels and ages young and old. The picture is of my dearly departed Cairo who the book was made to honour. It also honours other companion animals who were in our lives.”
TP: This cover really needs a professional designer to redesign it. The cat image is stretched and the typography needs to be noticeable.
E J Simpson submitted Quotes Poems and Thoughts: With Pictures from Prince Edward Island, Canada designed by E Jean Simpson. “Thank you for the opportunity. The picture was taken around my own home area of PEI in Canada. It is a dreamy background and the book has many pictures with quotes and some of my own short poems. So, inspirational as is the cover!”
TP: The image is very nice, but the text isn’t centred, it’s too small and you can’t read anything written on the cover.
E Jean Simpson submitted Floral Photography: Hope of Life and for the Future designed by E Jean Simpson. “The cover is bright and cheery and contains photography of a flower. The title shows the inspirational nature of the book. Thoughts are included of flowers and the beauty that surrounds us every day as displayed by a myriad of flowers. It’s like walking through a lovely bouquet.”
TP: It is very clear that all three covers were designed by someone who is very passionate about design, but who could use a few instructions, because it is very obvious that an amateur has created them. Never use an image and a background that has gradients in it. Again, the textual parts aren’t visible at all, which is pretty important.
Frank Prem submitted Walk Away Silver Heart designed by Frank Prem. “This is Book 1 of A Love Poetry Trilogy. The image is of a found object (shell) on the seaside – an original image taken by myself. Seemed apt for poetry.”
TP: The style and typography treatments is the same as in the next two, but the textual parts are here very hard to read, overall. So besides all other changes, a color change would also be necessary.
Frank Prem submitted A Kiss for the Worthy designed by Frank Prem.”This is Book 2 of A Love Poetry Trilogy. The image is of a found object (Jellyfish) on the seaside – an original image taken by myself.”
TP: The image is very interesting. The typography on the other end, needs to be redone. This font doesn’t look good when the tracking of the characters is set anything but 0, which doesn’t even look too bad in the author name. The title should be completely redone and the combination of fonts could be a bit better.
Frank Prem submitted Rescue and Redemption designed by Frank Prem. “This is book 3 of A Love Poetry Trilogy. The image is of a found object (paw print) on the seaside – again an original image taken by myself.”
TP: The same comment as before could be applied to all three covers.
Jeremy Richter submitted Level Up Your Law Practice: The Ultimate Guide to Being a Successful Lawyer designed by Cary Chu. “There is a video game theme that runs throughout the book, and the cover draws the reader back to a game that everyone can identify with.”
TP: The overall cover looks pretty good, except that I would definitely think that this is a children’s book, if the title didn’t have “law practice” in it. The design is good, but I’m not sure that it will reach the targeted audience.
Joe Handy submitted You Can’t Fool Mother Nature: The Once and Future Triumph of Environmentalism designed by Joe Handy. “It was a challenge to decide what one image best represented Mother Nature. I felt for most people, it’s in the park or better yet, a forest. We bought the rights to the image, and I darkened it a little for effect. I made sure to highlight the path forward, though, through the darkness.”
TP: A solid cover design. I would love to see more balance in the typography.
Julie Gianelloni Connor submitted Savoring the Camino de Santiago: It’s the Pilgrimage, Not the Hike designed by Xavier Comas. “I wanted a cover that reflected my Camino experience and the message of my book. I told my designer that I wanted a mosaic-like cover, with different images. Xavier designed the cover framework and inserted photos. I liked a few photos, didn’t like others. We substituted until the photos were right.”
TP: I really like the images. A nice cover design! ★
Natalie Jenkins submitted Fourteen Day Fiancé designed by Natalie Jenkins.
TP: All in all, the cover doesn’t look bad, but it lacks appeal. A different title design would create that. The author name should also be shifted a bit up, so that it is in the centre between the hands and the bottom of the cover.
Neko Meicholas submitted A Shift In the Light designed by Neko Meicholas. “The butterfly was significant because the author’s cousin, who died of cancer, promised to return after death as a butterfly. I designed it with a light side, to represent the idyllic sojourn they spent on a rural Bahamian family island & a dark side representing life’s harshness, disease & death.”
TP: I see where the idea behind the title treatment, however, I would love to see softer and different colors for this.
Shreesham Pandey submitted The I In Her: The Grand Unification Of He And She designed by Shreesham Pandey. “Hope you like the cover.Thanks!”
TP: The cover need a professional touch. I would recommend a typography change.
T Dilley submitted How Concrete Changed To Soil designed by T Dilley. “The author had been through some hard times and wanted the rose to signify that strength and determination can prevail and enable one’s heart to grow even in adversity.”
TP: A powerful title needs a powerful cover. The title should be completely redone and accompany the image, together with the author name.
Wageedah Salie submitted Natural Cancer Cure designed by Wageedah Salie – One Story Creative.
TP: Nice colors. I would just like to see more balance within the title.
Well, that’s it for this month. I hope you found it interesting, and that you’ll share with other people interested in self-publishing.
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Our next awards post will be on September 28, 2020. Deadline for submissions will be August 31, 2020. Don’t miss it! Here are all the links you’ll need:
- The original announcement post
- E-book Cover Design Awards web page
- Click here to submit your e-book cover (See New Submission limits)
- Follow @JFBookman on Twitter for news about the E-book Cover Design Awards
- Check out past e-Book Cover Design award winners on Pinterest
- Subscribe to The Book Designer Blog
- Badge design by Derek Murphy