Judging a Cover by its…Wait a Minute

So, this summer has been an amazing process of discovery and really hard work.  Mostly hard work.  But that is what has made it so wonderful.  We now have three novellas complete, and in various stages of editing and polish, and are starting on the fourth tomorrow.  But with the writing part nearing completion on the first three, we are now starting to really look at the pieces that need to be in place before the books can be in your hot little hands.  Or hot little e-readers.  Well, hopefully not too hot in that case, as it might indicate something wrong with your device.  Anyway, I digress.  Pieces in place.  Right.

Pieces like the cover art.

Now, Joe is going to talk in the future about the specifics of our covers and how we are arriving at the actual covers.  But for today, I wanted to talk about the importance, and just the pure power of a good cover. So I am going to list my five current favorite covers right now.

Now, please note.  I am not choosing these based on a serious eye for composition and aesthetics.  I have no design background.  These might not even be considered the best covers out there.  What they are actually are the covers that came to my mind when I thought about doing a post on covers.

In short, I like ’em.  They’re awesome.

1)  Kameron Hurley, The Mirror Empire

Cover art by Richard Anderson

I really love this cover.  Every time I see this book on an amazon page, or a best of page, I am always drawn to it.  That splash of red, mixed with the gray.  The slightly hazy, yet still distinct figures on the cover.  It is just overall a really striking, really cool cover and Ms Hurley should be stoked she got such an amazing cover to go along with her amazing book.  Big, big fan of this

2)  Scott Lynch, The Republic of Thieves

Cover art by Benjamin Carre 

There are a couple of different editions of Lynch’s Republic of Thieves, the third in his Gentleman Bastards series (which I adore actually), but this image trumps all of them, and may be my favorite piece of cover art out right now.  I have always had a love with the sort of Veneitan/Carnival-esqu aesthetic, that Carre so perfectly captures here.  The detail is ridiculous in this piece.  So gorgeous, and makes me want to read the book.  A perfect cover.  Love it so much.

3)  Joe Abercrombie’s The First Law Trilogy

Cover Art/Design by Laura Brett

Honestly, Abercrombie may be my favorite voice in current fantasy.  While George R.R. Martin is getting all the attention, Abercrombie is writing amazing fantasy.  Love these books, and the covers are a perfect complement to them.  While obviously not as flashy and rich in detail as the artwork of the others on this list, the simplicity of the covers are powerful.  It was seeing the cover of The Blade Itself in a library that first made me interested in reading Abercrombie, and I have to tell you.  That cover drew me from across the entire length of that building.  Not bad at all.  And the other two books work perfectly, forming a cohesive look to the series, but with each still being distinctive.  Never thought that something so stark and lacking art would be one of my favorites, but here it is.

So there you go.  My current three favorite covers out there.  Except of course for the ones in production now that will grace the front of our books.  Those are even better.

You’ll see for yourself soon enough.

-Mark

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