Kazza K’s Book Covers of the Year: 2014
On Top Down Under Book Reviews has a bookshelf style homepage. There’s a reason for that, apart from the obvious book review site that we run, we love a good book cover and we want to show them off. Some books lend themselves to it more than others. I know you should never judge a book by its cover, but most people do, at least in the beginning when they see that shiny cover calling to them. Obviously a cover won’t save a book that is not well written and edited, but, boy, it sure helps attracting the reader in the first instance. It makes no difference whether it’s on en e-book or a treed book, there’s no two ways about it, a book cover definitely helps make a book as an overall product. I feel so passionately about a cover that I can literally have a meltdown when it doesn’t match the calibre of the writing in the book.
The book covers I have picked out for my Covers of the Year are all books I have read and I know the cover perfectly reflects the book’s content and meaning. To me, that says it all. The meeting of the minds – the cover artist has listened to the author, that the author cared, and then they produced something in total harmony with the concept.
There are a lot of gorgeous covers out there that I’ve left off because, to me, they are more pretty for being pretty’s sake than substantive, or I haven’t read the book. To be on here there needs to be definite cohesion between the cover and the content.
The most artistic I ever get is pinning Pinterst boards and using quotes within pictures. I have a lot of respect for people who are artistic and that is why I have my Covers of the Year list. I believe the cover artist deserves some accolades. I also believe good editors do as well, but that’s a harder list to provide.
All the covers below are not only interesting, but I felt they thoroughly reflect the book I read in all aspects – the characters, the storyline, the setting and the plot. A link to the cover artist is on their name (if available) and if you click the name of the book it takes you to my review.
Here are my top 10 book covers for 2014 –
1) Bliss – Kanaxa – Stunning to look at, this cover suits the edgy Sci-Fantasy Utopian/Dystopian book to a tee. It’s the little things that make it perfection – the washed out but bright backdrop, the colour and look of the eye, and colour of the writing, the slight upturn of the lips. The dripping blood from the ‘B’ of Bliss is such a clever touch. A serenely creepy cover that conveys the story’s premise in every single way.
2) Then the Stars Fall – Anne Cain – I would have to call this cover stylish simplicity. It gracefully conveys the Norman Rockwell-esque town of El Dorado Springs, Missouri. It also reflects the beauty of the writing, the characters, and the soul of the book. It isn’t an easy book to do justice to in a cover, but Anne Cain nailed it with a soulful cover featuring sky, open spaces and a rustic cabin.
3) Hades – Lisa Brewster/Blacksheep – Stunning to look at. The muted, multi-layered sky and background, the characters with their backs turned, all depict the story and create the right atmosphere for this crime novel to the hilt.
4) Looking After Joey – Eva Mueller – This cover is Joey. He is the porn star who comes out of the TV to stay in a different world. This cover also relays the fact that the book is whimsical, offbeat and very human. All of it is true, true and true. I loved the cover when I first saw it, and it always makes me want to sing, “Let’s All Have More Muesli” – it’s part of the book.
5) When Ryan Came Back – Aaron Anderson – Interesting and arresting cover. How do you reflect a teenage school boy who has recently died coming back as a ghost without it being depressing or cliché? And how do you do it tastefully? You do it like this. The cover makes it interesting, thoughtful and perfect for the primary demographic – Young Adult. Every time I see it on the home page it grabs my attention and I truly appreciate how well thought out it is.
6) When all the World Sleeps – Amber Shah. A strong cover for a strong story which reflects the backstory of Daniel Whitlock right through to his current circumstances. The cover gives potential readers an understanding of what lies within – depth and intensity.
7) The Full Ride: Bottom Boys Get Play – Alex Jeffers (no link available) – This is a teasing and erotic cover which exudes sexuality and innocence all wrapped up together. A great cover for an erotica book, particularly one that contains 14 different stories. How do you make that work? Well, this cover is a terrific example of how to do it right. Beautiful.
8) The Half of Us – Reece Dante. That cover fits Jason and Abe. They look exactly like the characters described in the book, which you don’t often get. This is also one of Cardeno C’s sexiest books to date, and the passion is depicted here in the faces and body language. A wonderful cover.
9) Electric Candle – T L Bland – Boggs’ Castle, where everyone lives in this series, is beautifully depicted on this cover. There is a wolf/dog on it as well, which can reflect both the werewolf, Lucas, or Forge’s dog, Moose. Everything is beautifully placed on the cover, including the flame above the “i” – it reflects the book’s title and the time periods the majority of the characters have lived across.
10) The Soldier – Elizabeth Mackey Graphics – The cover looks like Kai. This book is from his POV and that he dominates the cover, with his green eyes and black hair, is totally and utterly right for Kai. This is an example of sex appeal meeting a character and part of the world-building of the book it fronts. Here sexy meets content perfectly.