Your Top Indie Book Covers for August

Librarian Robin Bradford has developed a following on Twitter for her book cover tweets (under the #collectiondevelopment hashtag), where she posts book covers and discusses why they work — or don’t. We’ve asked her to choose the four best covers of independently-published books for the past month and talk a bit more about why she thinks these covers are successful.

Read on to see what she chose! And come back in October for the next installment of Judging You:

Mud by EJ Wenstrom

Mud WJ Wenstrom cover

A large gathering of birds is always a bad thing. Okay, maybe not always. But, it certainly reinforces the status quo of doom telegraphed on this cover. The backdrop of a broken down civilization, the clouds and the mud (in the title and the colors) And yet, there is that little spot of hope in the middle of your post-apocalyptic cover party. That little sprout is enough to make you wonder what’s happening, and how can it all work out for the best. The title font is perfect in keeping with the overall theme of the cover, and I’m glad they didn’t extend it beyond the title. I may have put the series title either at the top (above the title) or at the bottom above the author’s name. But, it does serve as a nice separation between reality above and potential below.

Mermaid’s Tale by DG Valdron

The mermaid's tale DJ Valdron cover

Beautiful color and a lovely font make you think you’re getting a fairy tale. And then you get to the bottom where, clearly, everything is not okay. This is a mermaid who has seen some things. She’s probably seen a host of other book cover models being drowned, for one thing. This cover theme is far from original. But, it is every day that you see it applied to women who actually live in the water. This cover/title combo promises dark fantasy.

On the Eyeball Floor by Tina Connolly

On the eyeball floor tina connolly cover

This is cover perfection. The title/author font is perfectly serviceable without taking anything away from the graphic. The art on this cover is so detailed, you can see a cyborg’s eyelashes. From the top of the brain compartment that looks like a spaceship, stamped with the model number, down to what looks like the base of a pair of scissors making up part of neck, you want to know more. Will all of your questions be answered by reading, or will that only lead to more questions? Either way, if you see this on the shelf, physical or virtual, you will be intrigued.

White Nights in Split Town City by Annie DeWitt

White nights in split town city cover 1

Another masterful font choice, with the only pop of color coming at the bottom and on words that matter (the author’s name). Normally, I have no use for the words “A novel” but, in this case, the cover looks like it could be mistaken for a memoir of a small town girl who ____________. Instead, it’s a novel about a small town girl who… and the more you look at the cover, the more you want to know how that sentence ends. You can guess the general era from her look, so it is transmitting on the frequency of people who are looking for this kind of book. You’re not going to mistakenly choose this one when you’re for a book about runaways in the 1940s, for example. But, if you’re looking for 80s/90s, small town girl, possibly runaway, coming of age story? One look at this and you’re ready to find out more.

Hints of Spice by Christina C. Jones

Hints of Spice Christina Jones cover

Everything on this cover ties together which is great when it works. The tagline ties into the title. The title font ties in to the image. The background is just enough that you can almost feel the texture of it. You expect it to be a little rough under your fingers. You can almost smell the cinnamon and the star anise. The colors work well together and the mixture of fonts (one of my personal pet peeves) makes sense here. The nod to romance with the heart mixed in is also a nice touch. The author’s name almost gets lost at the top, blending in to the background. I’d make it a little bit darker, almost to tie it in to the cinnamon stick. Beautiful, and fun, cover.

Which is your favorite?