The Beauty of a Book Cover

Yes, it’s the story inside the book cover that matters. But we book lovers also know how a beautiful cover can beckon a potential reader to give a novel a shot.

That’s one reason why I hired a professional cover designer to create my short story covers, like this one:

My Sister's Demon book cover

And here are some of my favorite book covers for books I’ve read in 2014:

Favorite Book Covers 2014

Aren’t they pretty?!

Given how helpful a quality cover can be in bringing in a reader, I wanted to share with you the annual contest my local Romance Writers of America (RWA) chapter hosts. Here’s the information provided to me with permission to post:

Since 2005, Houston Bay Area RWA has been proving that you CAN Judge A Book By Its Cover. JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER CONTEST 2014 is open for entries.

Your covers will be judged by booksellers around the world, and the winning cover in each category will be featured in a full-page color ad on the inside front cover of the April 2015 Romance Writers Report.

Again this year, we will also feature the Reader’s Choice Winners from each category on our website. Hundreds of thousands of votes were cast for the JABBIC 2013 covers during the Reader’s Choice voting!


Entry Deadline: Entries must be received by January 15, 2015

Entry Fee: $15

Eligibility: Published in 2014

Enter: The cover of your book or novella published by a traditional house, self-published, ePublisher, or POD during 2014

Entry Format: Electronic files (JPG or GIF) only

Categories: Contemporary Series, Single Title/Mainstream, Historical, Romantic Suspense, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Paranormal, Sexiest Cover, Young Adult and Inspirational

Judges: Booksellers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia

Top Prize: Winners will be featured in a full-page color ad on the inside front cover of the April 2015 Romance Writers Report

FMI, entry form and rules, visit our contest website.

Even if you don’t have something to offer, make sure you participate in the Reader’s Choice awards. I’ll make sure to plug that here when voting opens.

Now what are your favorite covers for books you’ve read in 2014? If you’re a published author, what cover of your own is a favorite? And how was your week?

♦   ♦   ♦

ROW80 Update

1. Edit, polish, and release two more short stories in my Paranormal Playground series. I have edited two stories, and one is in the capable hands of a critique partner.

2. Read 12 books. Read another nonfiction title, plus The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. That takes me up to nine.

3. Attend Immersion Master Class and follow-up. I completed Immersion and (yay!) made edits this past week on Sharing Hunter.

9 thoughts on “The Beauty of a Book Cover

  1. All nice covers, Julie. My favorite of mine would have to be the first one for my book, “Tempting Jonah.” My friend, Keith, painted it and gave me the painting. He passed away in 2013, but whenever I see the painting, I think of him and his wonderful gift.

  2. Gorgeous covers indeed! Melinda does great work!

    I read Cinder and Scarlet this year. Wasn’t as impressed with Scarlet as the first one. Should I read Cress in 2015?

    1. Yes, Melinda is awesome!

      And I loved Cinder, liked Scarlet, loved Cress. (Actually, one of my favorite characters in the series was featured in Cress.) Does that help?

  3. The cover for the hard cover edition of Jessica Spotswood’s “Born Wicked” is beautiful. Out of all the books I’ve read this year, that was one of my favorites–not just the cover, but the story itself.

    I agree that a good cover can pique a reader’s interest. The cover draws the reader in, the first chapter or sample pages hook them, and the rest of the story convinces them to stay. Having professional and intriguing covers is definitely an important part of marketing a book.

    How did you like “The Raven Boys” by Maggie Stiefvater? I’ve heard good things, but haven’t had a chance to read it yet.

    Have a great week!

    1. Wow, that cover (Born Wicked) is intriguing and beautiful.

      As for The Raven Boys, I finished that book and immediately bought the next in the series, The Dream Thieves (which rarely happens for me). So yeah, I’m liking the series. But it isn’t so much a page-turner as a gripping tale; does that make sense?

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