Book Covers I Love (And Despise)
January 1st, 2009 at 12:58 pm by --KALEB NATION--
Ah yes — 2009 is here, and yet another year of even crazier crazyness lies ahead. True to form, I am starting the first day of this year as a person who is drastically behind schedule. In fact, I am so behind at the moment, I shouldn’t even be writing this. I should be writing on the outline for Book Two, which was due to my agent a month ago. Instead, I am sitting here and trying to think up believable excuses for my lateness, such as:
A) I was kidnapped by a band of zombie head-crabs who took me to their base and forced me to watch Dancing With The Stars until I confess humanity’s darkest secrets (under those conditions, it wouldn’t take long for me to break),
B) Whilst eating a lasagna I accidentally tipped the tray onto my keyboard, causing it to melt into its own insides, thus distorting my keys beyond recognition and severely slowing my thought process,
C) This distracted me.
But none of them will work, because the fact is I’m actually sick again, have been in bed the past two days, and in this condition it is virtually impossible to write a coherent sentence that doesn’t involve ‘AND A BIG BOMB GOES OFF AND THEY ALL DIE THE END LET ME SLEEP NAO’ which I don’t think would please my publishers at all.
So, in my half-delirious exhaustion and illness, I stayed in bed today and searched the Interwebs for my favorite books covers (my characters are safest when I’m not contemplating their demises). If you are not a writer, you will not understand this practice. But the fact is, many of us, myself included, go to the bookstore simply to see the new covers, and when I’m sick BN.com works just as well.
But, this time I also have some ulterior motives. Since 2009 is here, that means we have only about 9 more months until Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse comes out! One of the biggest steps in a book coming out is its cover. Most books are defined, at least in the beginning, by its cover — if it’s a good one, it will succeed far better, because people will pull it off the shelf and read it. The unfortunate thing is that a lot of people do judge a book by its cover. And even though I don’t have much direct control over the cover for my book, I still can’t stop myself from hunting about for good artists I like. And thus, I have found
My Favorite Book Covers Of All Time
The cover for the book Flora Segundais definitely one of my favorites in regards to color. I love how the purples blend into the greens, like some sort of a glow from the center. Also, I love how it all seems to be one color, and then there is this big glow in the center of the green.
Savvy by Ingrid Law has one of my favorite covers of all time, done by Brandon Dorman. I really like how there is so much blue at the top that blends strikingly into the golden yellow glow down at the bottom.
I love how the cover for Tantalize revolves around the color red so much. It seems that the girl in the photo is actually part of the cover, the way she blends into the black below. Also, I love that font for the title
While I love the covers for Twilight by Stephenie Meyer in the US, I especially like this version from Europe (I can’t find which country exactly). The green goes perfect against the black and dark.
I love all of the Percy Jackson covers, again because of how the artist (John Rocco) focuses on one very strong color and has glowing things in it, like the lightning. This cover is just amazing.
I am a huge fan of Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl series. But the best Colfer book cover I’ve seen is this one for Half Moon Investigations. I don’t usually like covers like this, where it isn’t really an illustration, but rather a bunch of fancy design and words — but for this one, it seems to work well (I wonder though, if that device behind the words Half-Moon is an icy batman or a Super Bowtie Noodle symbol).
While I was traveling, I saw Tunnels by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams at an airport store and bought it on the spot, simply because I loved the cover so much. I don’t know what it is about this, but it seems to be such a wonderful and mysterious cover: from the faces you can’t see, to the glowing green that is actually slightly reflective if you hold the book.
And now for a few covers I despise:
Yes, that is the cover. It certainly makes you want to tear the book off the shelf, dash to the counter, and pay for it as fast as you can, so you can read what lies between those mysterious, bleached-bumblebee covers. The only reason I can imagine for this cover was that the white was supposed to be a photo, but the designer pocketed the money and left town, leaving his project editor very confuzzled. And:
Oh hideous boringness of a cover on such a classic.
As for my book cover, I’m not sure exactly how much I’m supposed to say or if they’ll let me name any names yet of who we’re hoping for. But at the moment, the publishers are working on the cover, they have some artists who are interested, and for at least the past few weeks we’ve been discussing different ideas for how it will look. I’m sure many of you who have read the preview chapters might have your own ideas for it as well.
Speaking of the cover for The Farfield Curse, we probably don’t have much longer until that comes out (I am flying to Chicago in February to talk with my publishers, so it could either be ready by then or in the works). I’m trying to think of some cool way to do a big reveal of it. Part of me wants to print the image and do a big thing on 3/3/09 on a live BlogTV show, which would be exactly 6 years after I started writing the book. Another part wants to do that classic reveal on BranHambric.com, where each day for a week I peel away a covering of the book (like that Megan Fox/worst Photoshop hoax of all time).
If my publishers really wanted to be wicked, they would pull this trick on me, chop my cover into little pieces, and give me one piece every time I finish part of the outline for Book Two. That would certainly get it done faster
Question for the comments: What are some of your favorite book covers? Link to the Amazon or BN.com images!