I will admit to never having seen a Kindle e-reader (still!), much less ever having read a book on one. Me and technology take a while to warm up to each other. Regarding Kindle, I get the pros. It's portable, small, doesn't weigh as much as a stack of books yet it can hold a stack of books. But there's one aspect of traditional print publishing that e-readers can't replace. The cover.
I need to add a note to today's post because I have news! My novel, KINDRED, won the Audience with an Agent Contest. It was posted this morning at the Novel Matters blog. Yay!!!!
A cover is evocative, it's tactile, and it's the first thing you see when you're browsing store shelves. It might even be what prompts you to buy the book, turning a "I dunno... maybe" into a "yeah, I'm gonna get this" in that crucial moment of hovering between putting the book back onto the shelf or clasping it to your heaving bosom and heading for the check out. A knock-your-socks-off cover that strongly evokes a time, mood, setting or character has led me to read many a novel I otherwise might not have, because the back blurb didn't quite hook me on its own.
Amazon recently released a list of The Best Book Covers of 2009. Today I want to mention some of my favorite book covers of 2009. This list is purely subjective and limited to books I've actually read (with one exception). There are many more gorgeous, clever, funny, haunting covers out there, but here's my favorites from 2009:
Crown, September 2009
I'm reading this book right now, and liking it tremendously. Here's a good review... this review plus the cover convinced me to read this book.
Side note: once I had this book in my hands and could see the cover in more detail, I fell in love with the model's hair. It's my character Seona's hair too. Finally, a photo of super-curly, near-black hair that isn't bushy looking.
Howard Books, August 2009
Baker/Revell, August 2009
Bethany House, 2009
Bethany House, June 2009
by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Burrows
The Dial Press, 2009 (paperback)
This cover evokes the mood of the story perfectly, as well as its unusual structure (it's told through letters and telegrams). I highly recommend the audio version. There are four or five readers, and each character's voice is unique and engaging. The book was first published in 2008, but the paperback was issued in 09, and I read it in 09, so it's making my list.
And the one I haven't read yet, but just had to include. I've always loved Deanne Gist's book covers:
Bethany House, July 2009
If I squeeze this book in before the New Year, then it's still a 2009 book for me! This cover shows so much character.
Lot's of "daughters" on my list. Many Bethany House covers. Still quite a few headless or half-headless shots. Wonder how long that trend will continue? Sometimes I like it, sometimes I don't. These all worked for me.
If you have your own list, please post them in the comments section; word of mouth is still the best marketing tool. And I always love a lead on a good book.