Thursday, January 31. 2013
In the next few months, the contest committee will narrow down the 2012 nominations to sixty finalists for our May cover contest. This year, we received 470 nominations via our nomination form. There were so many great covers nominated in 2012 and eliminating most of them will be excruciating. You can view some of the covers nominated this past year on Cover Cafe's Pinterest profile.
Publisher information is available on mouse-over.
To display an image you must surround the URL pointing to the image with [img][/img] tags.
To add a link you must surround the URL with [url][/url] tags.
Please make sure to fill in the Anti-Spam CAPTCHA code below the comment box before submitting your comment. Thanks!
Both are great but I like the sailboat with the pastel sunset colors over the dark sky with the lighthouse.
The Clockwork Princess is my favorite of them all. I did not care for Perfect proposal and Wishing on Willows. I want to read the Assassin's gambit, just to see if the cover match the content.
I'm so happy to see that not a single one shows a figure with his or her head chopped off at the top edge. How I hope this trend has run its course!
It seems that cover art will continue to try to attract the eye with one bold predominant color per picture. I just hope the creators and marketers of such imagery will make it look more natural and less affected.
Judging by recent Harlequin Superromance releases, we can expect more surreal photographs, with colors and lighting altered for romantic/dramatic effect. Some of these covers work; some don't. We'll see if this trend lasts.
For what it's worth, here's my feedback on the eight covers you posted:
"Crystal Cove": Love it! Both versions are beautiful---one bright and sunny, one dark and evocative. Which do I prefer? Both!
"One Good Earl Deserves a Lover": On the plus side, I dig the skillful use of one predominant color, in this case indigo. The unusual backdrop, a Persian rug, works well. But on the minus side, I don't care for the model's pose and knowing expression. Or the black sidebar with the recommendation; it brings to mind all the stuff they cram onto TV news reports nowadays, like ticker texts and promos. But worst of all? That title!
"Assassin's Gambit": Well, the background works. It creates a mood of mystery and the outré. But that formidable chick with her defensive posture, challenging expression, a dagger in her hand, and her dress in danger of falling off---sorry, major fail. And the mood evoked by the cool colors of the background is negated by the glaring red of the fabric.
"Winterblaze": Nice dramatic cover, one that suggests hot passion against a cool background. The detail of the woman's skirt merging with flowing water is a clever touch. One problem: the man's legs are too far apart for his pose to look natural.
"A Perfect Proposal": Sorry, doesn't work. I don't care for cartoon covers in general, and this is no exception.
"The Cowboy Target": This might have been effective if there were something in it that evokes romance. As it is, there's just a moonlit landscape and a guy on a horse. Not enough.
"Summerset Abbey": I dunno. The title and imagery make me think the publisher is trying to ride the coattails of "Downton Abbey". This sort of sales job has the effect opposite from its intent, at least with me.
"Clockwork Princess": What a mess! The elements of this picture might work on their own and in the right context. But jammed together like this, they turn me off. As does the title!
"Wishing on Willows": A lovely, evocative cover and title. Nice detail work in the tree. Must've been quite a task to paint all those willow branches!
"The Ambassador's Daughter": A fine expressionistic cover. I dig the dramatic focal couple---the man in uniform, the woman in retro haute couture. Likewise the background; you can bet the grounds of the Eiffel Tower are never this deserted, so there must be something unusual going on. And the stark, moody color scheme enhances it all. So much can be inferred from these simple, evocative elements.
I'm looking forward to more entries in this year's contests. Keep up the good work!
As far as chopped off heads, I'm firmly on the "Show me the faces" team.