Celebrating AAL Book Cover Finalists: Top 4 Must-See Covers

POSTED ON Jun 16, 2023

Sarah Rexford

Written by Sarah Rexford

Home > Blog > Book Production, Cover Design, Self Publishing, Writing > Celebrating AAL Book Cover Finalists: Top 4 Must-See Covers

Whether you’re familiar with Author Advantage Live (AAL) or just hearing about it, this post is all about celebrating AAL book cover finalists. I discuss the top covers in detail to help inspire you own cover, provide you with ideas on what works, and of course, all with the purpose of equipping you to succeed with your own writing. 

But before we begin celebrating AAL book cover finalists, in case you’re unfamiliar, let’s take a brief look at what exactly AAL is. 

What Is Author Advantage Live?

Author Advantage Live, also known as AAL, is an event for self-published authors. This three-day event allows you to join from the comfort of your home, avoid the costs of flights and hotels, and offers three days dedicated to helping you:

  • Sell your first 10,000 book copies
  • Build an author platform to scale your income
  • Further your impact 
  • Unlock your Author Advantage

If you are a self-published author or dream of self-publishing your first book, you may resonate with the following: 

  • A strong desire to position yourself as an expert in your niché
  • Hope to convert your knowledge base into a digital product or service
  • Need a proven process to write a book 
  • Wants to build a business with your book
  • Looking for inspiration and concrete help to make your book a reality

These are the types of individuals that join Author Advantage Live (and you could too!). Now that you know a bit about this event, it’s time to start celebrating AAL book cover finalists.

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Celebrating AAL Book Cover Finalists

Celebrating AAL book cover finalists is easy. Writers love building each other up and giving back to the writing community. But what if we combine some book cover lessons with our celebration? 

This way, you can benefit from some behind-the-scenes of what makes a great cover. So, to start celebrating AAL book cover finalists, let’s begin with Conquer Your Summit

1. Conquer Your Summit

Conquer Your Summit: How to Build a Five-Year Plan & Live Your Best Life, by Aliki Samone, is our first cover to discuss. 

First, notice the muted, yet still vibrant tones that dominate the top third of the cover. You can see a milky sun behind the mountains, and as your gaze moves down the mountains you also follow a clearly defined path to your starting point. 

The subtle route reinforces the subtitle of the book by demonstrating that Samone is can help with both the starting point, and end goal, of your five-year plan. With this knowledge in mind, Samone acts as a guide as you journey through the necessary steps of your five-year plan.


2. The Cursed Brain

The Cursed Brain: A Devotional For Young Adults to Face The Effect of The Curse Through Hope From God, was written by Tiffany L. Jones. If you are familiar with the Biblical story from Genesis 3, as you take your first look at the top half of Jones’ cover you’ll quickly notice the tree.

The imagery of the tree represents much of what she bases her book on. Therefore, placing the tree within the mind of the individual on the cover is a profound design idea. 

Additionally, the almost metallic colors of blue, purple, gold, and red bring a mixture of feelings. A couple of words jump out in her subtitle: curse and hope. This dichotomy, combined with the beauty yet curiosity of her cover, invites readers to quickly turn to the first page.


3.  Becoming Elite

Erik Westrum authored Becoming Elite: What It Takes to Transform Your Life Using 4 Proven Pillars of Performance. This cover is unique in its minimalism, a trend that seems to stretch from fashion to interior design. 

However, the subtlety of Westrum’s cover design, like Samone’s discussed above, reinforces the message of his book. Westrum focuses on just four pillars to transform your life. Rather than present you with an extensive, potentially overwhelming list of things to do, he cuts his guidance back to four topics. The simplicity of his cover underlines this tactic. 

Additionally, the word elite is often associated with power, wealth, or prestige. His color choice of gold, black, and white perfectly fit with his title. 

4. Mind Blown 

Celebrating AAL book cover finalists wouldn’t be complete with T.S. Martin’s Mind Blown: An A to z Guide from Raising Consciousness. First, the plethora of colors automatically seems to bring viewers to a deeper level of awareness. 

But secondly, the emoji grabs your attention and keeps it. With various other emojis popping out of his head (such as a red heart and money bag), along with other colorful images, the design piques curiosity. 

Additionally, who doesn’t love a twenty-six step guide that’s as simple as ABC? While T.S. Martin’s book wraps up our celebrating AAL book cover finalists, this four-step overview can be the launching pad for your own book cover.

Your Next Steps After Celebrating the AAL Book Cover Finalists

There are so many tips and tricks to learn from assessing other book covers. However, let’s focus on just a few of the main takeaway points. 

Of course, what each individual draws from reviewing these book cover finalists will vary, but here are a few tips to help you get started.

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Create Your Design To Highlight Your Title

As discussed above, book covers with a subtle reinforcement of the book title go a long way in creating harmony in the viewer’s mind. For instance, if I designed a cover in all black and white, with a title about the importance of color theory, my design would create dissonance. 

When designing your cover, carefully consider how you can do so in a way that coordinates with your title:

  • Samone’s dotted line guides readers to the summit of their five-year plan
  • Jones’ cover includes a tree as a focal point
  • Westrum uses elegant color palettes 
  • Martin uses an exploding emoji 

Highlighting your title will help draw readers in, rather than creating a subconscious dissonance when they look at your cover. 

Draw Inspiration From What Works But Stay Original

In this article celebrating AAL book cover finalists, we looked through four different, unique covers that won. They did many things right, one of which is noticing current trends and drawing inspiration from them, all while keeping to an original design. 

For instance, consider Dr. Curt Thompson’s cover for Anatomy of the Soul alongside The Cursed Brain. Both use similar colors and focus on the inner workings of the body, but both covers stand unique. 

Let’s look at one last example. The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah is a fictional story of the protagonist’s journey and uses similar color schemes and design to the cover for Conquer Your Summit. However, even side by side, both covers, though similar, reveal concrete differences.

For more tips on how to use current art to inspire your own, original work, consider referencing Austin Kleon’s book, Steal Like An Artist

While musicians use the same notes, writers use similar story structures, and artists start with the same primary colors, there is a way to stand out, as these AAL book cover finalists showed. Best wishes designing your next cover!

Sarah Rexford

Written by
Sarah Rexford

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