Welcome to the e-Book Cover Design Awards. This edition is for
submissions during April, 2013.
This month we received:
60 covers in the Fiction category
14 covers in the Nonfiction category
Comments, Award Winners, and Gold Stars
I’ve added comments (JF: ) 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
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
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
Also please note that we are now linking winning covers to their
sales page on Amazon or
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 April 2013 in Fiction
designed by Ares Jun. “I originally
designed my own cover – big mistake. I’m so much happier with this
pro version – I think it fits well with the thriller genre and the
skyline gives readers a clue that the book is set in London”
Smart move! An
excellent ebook cover that touches all the bases. Strong and
recognizable imagery, dead center aim on its genre, and a sense of
excitement that draws readers in. ★
e-Book Cover Design Award Winner for April 2013 in
to Flip-Flops: A Family’s Year of Gutsy Living on a Tropical
designed by 1106 Design. “Before deciding on one of
the 3 concept covers designed by 1106 Design, I took my covers to a
Barnes & Noble Manager and asked for their opinion of which
would “sell my book.” I did the same at a local Indie bookstore in
OC, California, and they both piked the one I chose. Thanks
Just the right
kind of cover for a lighthearted family adventure. I love the way
the designer has used all the tools at her disposal, from type
styles to color to the framing device that focuses us on the
message the book has to deliver. A clear bulls-eye for this genre,
designed by Aaron Overfield, Megan Wunder
(Makeup), Jenna Thall (for Killer Imaging), Misha Grace (model).
“I’ve been close friends with the makeup artist, Megan Wunder, (you
could call her my doppelgänger) for over half my life. When I told
her the overall theme of my book and an idea as to what I was
thinking for the cover, she gladly accepted the challenge. She’s a
freelance makeup artist in Las Vegas and has relationships with
many models and photographers. She choose Jenna Thall as the
photographer and model Misha Grace. What the three of them were
able to produce went beyond anything I could’ve imagined or hoped
for. Megan’s makeup is elegant yet surreal, Jenna’s shot is
stunning and eye-seducing, and Misha’s pose is alluring yet
defiant. I knew I had to frame the shot in a way that didn’t
detract from any of those aspects, so I carefully chose the
typeface and position. I also applied a gradient to the font
(usually a huge no-no from my experience), which mirrored the
balance between the makeup and flesh and I think it ended up being
quite mesmerizing. I hope you agree and enjoy! Thank you for the
opportunity to submit it to your eyes.”
A riveting and
unique cover for an ebook, really well done. To my eye the gradient
on your title is too extreme, and I really don’t like the way the
bottom of the letters is starting to disappear, it just distracts
from the visual you went to such trouble to create. ★
submitted The Ice
designed by Bill D’oa. “first book, first
attempt at a cover. Hope it works”
at the covers that stand out this month for starters.
designed by Jeff Rodgers / Brian
LeTendre. “This cover was designed for my short story private
Showing, which went live on April 28th. The story involves an old
house that harbors an evil secret, so I wanted the cover to creep
readers out a bit. I wanted the house to create a sense of
foreboding, and I think Jeff really captured that in the cover. I
discussed the design process for this cover in more detail in a
blog post last week:
Despite all that,
the end result is a weak ebook cover. Most of the cover, in fact,
is background. This has the effect of “pushing” the image and title
farther away from us, and it’s hard to make out what exactly is
happening. Combined with light colors it just doesn’t work.
designed by Kit Foster Designs. “Kit
created this cover for me, friendly, professional and understanding
every step of the way. We went through a few versions, and this is
the one I settled on and love.”
designed by Carla R. Herrera. “I’ve went
through three different covers for Nexus and I’ve decided on this
image. Keeping my fingers crossed on this one.”
A good, simple
approach to a sci-fi cover that does the job nicely.
designed by Ana Ferreira.
Nice attempt at
an atmospheric cover, somewhat undone by the long quote at the
bottom of the cover. At what size would we have to see this cover
so that the type would be readable?
designed by CreativeIndie Covers. “thanks!”
cover from Derek Murphy, who shows exactly how a talented designer
can draw you into a book, provide a hint of the atmosphere you’ll
find there, and make a promise to the reader all at the same time.
Baker and The Eye of the Tiger
designed by D.M. Cherubim.
“Thank you for the opportunity to enter. I hope you love it!
Sincerely, D.M. Cherubim”
submitted After The
designed by Damonza.
combining images to create a cover that holds its various pieces
together well, a sensitive and effective design. ★
submitted Ashes and
designed by Damonza.
submitted Beyond the
designed by Damonza.
I love the type
on this cover, but not sure I really “get” the image. Creepy? I
guess, but what the heck is going on?
designed by Damonza.
designed by Damonza.
I love the retro
look the designer has given to this series, and this one most of
all. Everything on these covers contributes to the series branding,
even the color treatments that repeat on each cover.
submitted The Mummy
designed by Damonza.
designed by Damonza.
balanced. And there’s no ambiguity here, like there was on the
first book in the series.
Benefits of Line Dancing
designed by Damonza.
paperback cover that just becomes too indistinct and hard to read
at typical ebook sizes.
designed by John M. Maurer. “Here is a link to the
cover for my novella, “Snow Day”. I would like to have it
considered for the eBook Cover Design Awards.”
designed by Littera Designs.
“Storykeeper is a historic/literary novel. Thank you”
It would be much
better for all designers and authors who submit covers to use ones
without badges, seals of approval, award notices, and anything else
“stuck on” the cover because it just makes it difficult to evaluate
the cover design, which is what this contest is about. Here,
despite some nice textural touches, the artist hasn’t achieved a
cohesive balance in combining the images, and the pieces never
really come together.
designed by Joe Wray.
The book cover as
a unified piece of artwork, here on a satirical novel. Admirable in
the way that every element on the cover contributes to the overall
effect, the importance of the lettering of the title to the whole
tone of the cover. Excellent. ★
designed by Eric Lorenzen. “The book is an epic
fantasy novel. Cover design by Eric Lorenzen, Cover photo copyright
by Ragne Kabanova/ Dreamstime.com”
designed by Erik Pepper.
Erin Keyser Horn
designed by Rod Karmenzind. “This is
my Young Adult Paranormal/Horror. It’s not a gory or graphic story,
but it does have a few creepy scenes. I told my amazing designer,
Rod Karmenzind, that I wanted the cover to be spooky enough to warn
my more conservative readers. He somehow created a cover that is
both spooky and beautiful. The blue tint alludes to the mythology
in the story. Plus the illusion of river and trees ties in to the
nature theme. I couldn’t be happier with this cover!”
Nice, just the
right amount of creepy.
designed by Fabio Barretta Zungrone.
“The cover art was designed by Fabio Barretta Zungrone with Eric
Kieron Davis as the Creative Director. Thank you.”
example of how combining images—when done with care—can create a
unique effect. A fine and multi-layered look.
designed by Elisabeth Alba.
designed by Ioana Visan. “Sweet Surrender is a
bonus story in my new vampire series The Impaler Legacy.”
I like both these
covers, Ioana, and the very strong branding colors, textures, and
exotic knives. Sticking to a few elements is a great strategy that
yields good results on this series.
designed by Ioana Visan. “The Impaler’s
Revenge is the first novella in my new vampire series The Impaler
of the Limelight
designed by James Bagworth. “I wanted to
combine a feeling of foggy Victorian London with the idea of
theatre, and this is what I came up with.”
designed by Jessica Grundy.
“”Greystone Valley” is the first YA Fantasy offering from indie
publisher Grey Gecko Press. We’re very proud to feature the stellar
artwork from the very talented Jessica Grundy, whose work really
brings through both the whimsical and every-so-slightly adult
nature of this young adult title. You can find more of Jessica’s
work on her Etsy shop at www.etsy.com/shop/solocosmo, and great
indie books Grey Gecko books including “Greystone Valley” at
store.greygeckopress.com. Best of luck to all the contest
charming illustration nicely suited to this genre, and notice the
way the designer controls your eye path with the pathway leading up
the right side. On the other hand, not too happy with the way the
title has been relegated to a little banner which, even given the
composition, could have been much larger and added a strong element
this cover would benefit from.
and Lemon Drops: A Blueberry Springs Chick Lit Contemporary
designed by Cali MacKay. “Thanks for holding these
awards. They are great for watching trends–and the coolest part is
seeing how much indie book covers have improved over the past
designed by Arthur Wang. “Cover by Arthur Wang
engaging artwork really helps hook the browser, as this cover
demonstrates. Well-balanced with a nice type treatment, I wish
there was more effort to incorporate the all white type with the
rest of the palette here, but that’s nitpicking.
Kathlena L. Contreras
designed by Ronnell D. Porter.
Not sure where
that purple is coming from, but it’s not helping this very
Papers: Series 1
designed by Keith Shaw.
I often recommend
a limited palette to help create a cover in which the parts work
together, but I think we’ve gone off the cliff with this one. It’s
so monotone, the cover ends up just being murky, and that’s not
designed by Designforwriters.com. “For
this contemporary fantasy involving the Greek gods, I had very
clear ideas what I wanted; something magnificent but also dark;
something that had a serious adult tone while still as striking and
eye-catching as the genre needs to be. Of course, my MS Paint
skills didn’t really cut it when it came to capturing that on the
page. Andrew at designforwriters.com helped me to build an
outstanding brief that got behind my “I think this looks cool”
drive and got to something that the book was really about; loss,
death and decay. On top of all that, I think it truly captures what
I wanted to achieve…possibly even more than I ever imagined
effective, with nice typography that’s appropriate to the design,
textures, drama, the lot. Well done. ★
designed by Kerstin Rachfahl.
“Romantic, Distracting, something is not okay, not so nice at it
seems, a Little suspensful -> this Feelings I want to get, when
you look on the cover :-) Kerstin”
The feeling I get
is disturbing, probably from the combination of the floating baby
head and the one that looks like it’s already been buried and is
looking back up at the world. Disturbing in all the wrong ways, I’m
Queen’s Autumn Gambit
designed by Karen Spidare.
“The cover design concept was derived out of wanting to reflect the
key elements within the book. The autumn tree, growing from the
black and white chess board, is highly graphic and pretty, simple
even in design. However, beneath the surface of the chess board,
the tangled roots lurk and intertwine with one another. I liked the
idea of utilizing the color of blood red. The characters in the
book are related to each other, blood relations and many have a
dangerous past. In “Queen’s Autumn Gambit”, there is much more than
meets the eye.”
the book you’re describing, which sounds like an interesting story,
doesn’t seem to have anything to do with this cover. Here’s my
suggestion, go look at the top 100 books in your genre and see if
you see any that look like yours. I’m betting you won’t, and that’s
something to learn from.
Painting by Numbers
designed by Crooked Cat
Publishing. “Further details on the process by which this
multi-layered cover art was produced are available here:
designed by Manny Birch and
Tajiisartphotography. “The cover for my second book Pandemonium
Justified the sequel to my first book.”
Seer’s Hope, Book One of The Seer Trilogy
by Rob Anderson. “Book One of The Seer Trilogy: our aim was to try
and brand all three books as an obvious series by using similar
artwork. Our hope is that the covers successfully convey the genre
(fantasy) to readers. When choosing artwork, we try our best to
find stock photo “cover models” that encapsulate the main
characters – in this case a young blind woman who’s been
transformed into a golden-eyed Seer.”
Rob Anderson is
back with another great series of covers. I love the way these
mirror each other so well over the series, the sensitive type
choices, and the consistency of vision. Nice work. ★
Seer’s Promise, Book Two of The Seer Trilogy
designed by Rob Anderson. “Book Two of The Seer Trilogy: We hope
that when viewed in conjunction with Books One and Three, readers
will be curious as to why this character is different (i.e. no
golden eyes like the other Seers) but the cover still brands this
book as being part of a trilogy.”
Seer’s Choice, Book Three of The Seer Trilogy
designed by Rob Anderson. “Book Three of The Seer Trilogy”
Azure Keep Quarterly – Issue 1 – Spring 2013
designed by Martin Greening.
Masha du Toit
designed by Masha du Toit. “This is the sequel
to “The Story Trap” so I had to keep the colours, typography and
mood similar enough to show the relationship, but still make an
eye-catching design. The book is about two water-witches, which is
where the cover image comes from. I did the illustration myself in
the same style as the interior illustrations.”
cover from a previous winner here. When the same hand can draw the
artwork, create the lettering, and compose the cover, as Masha du
Toit does, you end up with almost a kind of artisnal design
product, all in her inimitable style. ★
designed by Calista Taylor. “The cover by Calista
Taylor was designed to convey not only a sense of abandonment and
neglect but also hope and shelter, albeit temporary. The red-orange
tinge to the clouds is meant to suggest a new dawn — or is it fires
burning in the distance? The stories in The Fall reflect visions of
apocalypse from thirteen authors.”
I think given
everything else going on, the distressed title isn’t adding to the
designed by Scott Carpenter.
Spank Me, Mr. Darcy
designed by Scott
Love the artwork
and layout of this cover, but I find the title a bit hard to read.
designed by Scott Carpenter.
Notice how this
cover has basically the same elements as the one above, a torso and
arm. But this one has none of the verve of the previous cover. It’s
hard to make out, very heavy with type for a work of fiction, and
generally communicates very little.
Kid Who Missed The Bus
designed by Andreas Weidemann,
submitted Whip Of
The Wild God
designed by Abhilash Sivadas. “The genre of
the book is Spiritual/Visionary/Metaphysical Fiction.”
Cool art, would
be better if we could read the type near the bottom, and it’s not
that hard to fix.
designed by Streetlight Graphics. “Streetlight
Graphics did a great job with this cover (as well as the internal
formatting) — I will use them for all future projects. They have
captured the feel of the book. This is definitely a case in which
you can tell a book by its cover.”
designed by Ruth Gunning. “Great young adult
looks lovely, and someone had a good time playing with type, but
the two never come together, there’s no connection at all.
designed by K.P. Harrell. “This is an
original cover designed for my Paranormal fiction novel.”
Nice job, the
type is careful and nicely positioned.
Drowning in You
designed by Okay Creations.
Yep, it’s Okay.
Of A Skyway Woman
designed by Connor McCleary. “This book
is currently available for FREE for a limited time on itunes.”
Images that are
difficult to make out, simplistic typography, and unnecessary
elements like the very strong oval shape combine to ill effect.
EQUITY of EVIL
designed by Alexander Von Ness.
“Alexander Von Ness recently designed the covers of Book ONE and
TWO of The EQUITY Series. Please let me know if you require
additional images. Best regards, Rudy Mazzocchi
of the Fallen
designed by Renee Barratt (the cover
counts). “This cover prompted 7000 downloads and bumped me to #16
on the epic fantasy list, just under Game of Thrones. Renee did a
fantastic job. I’ve used her exclusively for all my books.”
I’m happy for
your success. On the other hand, I’m not sure why the design seems
to consist of pieces glued together and a title that’s almost
intentionally hard to read?
With a Kiss
designed by Jacqueline Fowers. “This
is a paranormal romance with a comical twist. We looked at other
covers in the genre and noticed that many of the models wore
elegant dresses with bold splashes of color. We tried to emulate
that look, but then, unlike the other books, gave our main
character a more comical expression. This is the first book in the
series, and the other books have a similar feel as this one. While
this girl looks cross, the next girl looks overwhelmed, and the
final girl has a bit of an airhead feel . We’d love to hear your
take on the cover, as we’re always looking to improve. Thank
I like the
concept and the drawing, but I prefer the type on the cover that’s
on Amazon, and I’m not sure why you took the series identification
off the one you submitted, it actually helps “ground” the cover.
The combination of your border with the wings and the geometrical
figure in the background are overloading the cover with unnecessary
and distracting information, leading us away from the charming
young woman. This also applies to the dark colored anklets, which
distract for no purpose. But you’re close!
Star – Alien Induction
designed by Karen Pappin and Ruth
Gunning. “Excellent cover for a YA sci-fi”
Title’s too small
for me, otherwise very nice.
GLIMPSE (The Dean Curse Chronicles, #1)
by Pintado. “This is the eBook cover to my MG/YA novel, GLIMPSE. It
is book one in The Dean Curse Chronicles. For more information
about this book or the series, please visit
ebook cover that shows how color control, typography, and layout
can come together to create real excitement and energy that draws
readers in. ★
Idols and Other Short Stories
designed by Tony LaRocca.
“Made with a combination of 3ds Max and Photoshop.”
This is a good
effort, but the type, although well set, feels claustrophobic since
it has no space at all to breathe, and you’ll have a stronger
overall cover if you can find a way to integrate the type and
graphics into a cohesive whole. But you’re on the right track, look
forward to seeing more.
designed by Andrea Chapman. “Hi, These are all my
designs, I am also the author.”
Nicely done, with
a lovely photo. Typography is a bit naive but works well for this
Writer’s Bucket List
designed by Dana Sitar. “An
inspirational guide to the writing life. This Kindle edition cover
is an update of the original PDF design. I’d love to see how it
stacks up and apply your feedback for the paperback edition.”
You have good
elements, and the strong association of typewriter-like type with
writing subjects, and a refreshingly simple style. But the cover
suffers from a typical design flaw, since all three elements—the
title, the illustration, and the block of type of the subtitle, are
all about equal. It would be stronger if the elements were in a
more dynamic balance.
Power of Giving and How it Leads to Success and Happiness
designed by Daniel Goldhar.
that this author, with a background in distributing toys and
sporting goods, could produce the ebook cover we see here.
Beautiful typography and a well-balanced cover. ★
Wrong Place Wrong Time
designed by John
Perlmutter-Earth, London.. “This is the cover for my book, Wrong
Place Wrong Time, my true story that became a bestseller in True
Crime on Amazon in US, Spain, France and top 20 in UK. My brother
designed the cover which is currently in a book cover contest. Hope
you like it! David P Perlmutter”
Nice genre cover,
and one of a number this month with a variety of images composited
together in an attempt to make a compelling narrative.
Maria Novillo Saravia
A twisted faith
designed by BEAUTeBOOK. “Another
book from the series of Gregg Olsen´s True Crime”
Maria Novillo Saravia
If Loving You Is Wrong
designed by BEAUTeBOOK.
“This is the story of Mary Key Letourneau…”
A formula can be
very strong when it unites a series of books in an intelligent way
that emphasizes their branding while still featuring the subject of
each volume. But when a formula is applied whether it works or not,
you get things like this title that’s desperately trying to be seen
against an unfriendly background.
Tales of Iceland or “Running with the Huldufólk in the
designed by Benjamin Orsborn. “We
wanted the cover of Tales of Iceland to highlight the vastness and
beauty of Iceland, while alluding to the fun ‘tales’ and somewhat
racy language used in the book. I think Benjamin captured this
perfectly. The background photo is an actual photo I took while
traveling through Iceland.”
It’s amusing, but
you may have gone too far with the primitive lettering that comes
across as awkward and overbearing.
Un-Philtered: Life On and Off the Rock’n'Roll Tour
designed by Scott Carpenter.
Very cool, and I
love the type choice, but do yourself a favor and remove the colon
from the title, it’s unnecessary.
What Every Gay Man Needs to Know About Prostate
designed by Linda Kosarin, The Art Department.
Like many covers,
this is a layout
rather than a
. One element needs to dominate, take charge
of the “message” of the book. This looks like the cover of a
is Katie Holmes? An Unauthorized Biography
submitted …And I
Will Heal Their Land
designed by Self Designed.
No idea from this
cover what the book is about or why anyone would want to know.
Slightly Dented Halos
designed by Michelle
Although I like
the simplicity of this cover, it really does look like fiction and
I wonder if your readers wouldn’t have been better served having
more information about the book on the cover.
Unlock Your Style in 14 Days
designed by Kelly
Exeter, Swish Design.
Needs a border
Well, that’s it for this month. I hope you found it interesting,
and that you’ll share with other people interested in
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Our next awards post will be on June 17, 2013. Deadline for
submissions will be May 31, 2013. 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
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