Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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The best book covers of 2014, really?

The New York Times offers this column about great book covers from 2014. I saw the link in a post over at Book View CafĂ©, which btw is having a 50% off sale right now, if you didn’t get enough book for Christmas. (I never get enough books ever, so I need to scan through their offerings.)

Anyway! Pati Nagle at BVC says, “Of these twelve covers, I found two attractive, two others interesting, and the rest told me that I probably would not like the books.”

In contrast, I didn’t like ANY of the book covers in the NYT article. Not one. I agree with Pati Nagle about the lack of genre signals, except that right there is a signal that the book is probably nonfiction or literary, and in neither case am I likely to be interested, though of course there are a few nonfiction topic areas where I would be. Animal behavior, psychology, linguistics, I don’t know, a few others, I guess.

Of the six covers picked out by Nagle, I like GARDEN SPELLS by Sarah Addison Allen — Allen often has very nice covers — GREEN by Jay Lake, and LADY OF ASHES by Christine Trent is okay. I definitely prefer genre covers, and though so many genre covers feature people, especially fantasy covers, I often particularly like covers that emphasize landscape over figures.

Here is my favorite cover ever:

Islands2

Honestly, when I eventually get rights back and bring this out myself — as I assume will happen one day — I have no idea what I’ll do about the cover. How could I possibly improve on this? Thumbs up or thumbs down on keeping the basic idea but adding a dragon? A semi-transparent opalescent dragon with feathers?

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