Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Amazon Continues to Pick the Best

Now it is their Book Cover contest (you need an Amazon account to access it). I will gloss over the fact that the books largely match their "Best Books of 2009" profile in leaning to non-fiction, literary styling and so forth. Customers are able only to vote for a handful of preselected options. So these are their annointed editor's picks for the top 60 covers of the year.

As covers go, none of them are horrible. But I ask you: what is 'best of 2009' about this?--> The choice of a plain white background? The use of capital letters?

The biography covers are all a face (general front facing and centered) and a title (generally white or a pale, warm color). Actually, several of the books in other categories follow the same basic formula. Subject: centred (or largely absent). Font: white (sometimes orange). Exciting: not.

The cover for the Book of Wool cover shows... well wool. Nothing wrong with that but it doesn't strike me as one of the most wonderful covers I have seen this year. Actual "art" seems to have been banished entirely.

Color me underwhelmed. I looked at all of the covers, but I didn't even bother to vote.

Some further reading on related topics:
AAR: My Reading Habits Wallow in Shame, Apparently
Project Gutenberg: Cherchez the romance?


Teddy Pig said...

Shoplifting From American Apparel...

OMG! I WANT! It's a brilliant statement of our times.

Linda Mooney said...

The Mona Lisa with the big orange question mark on the cover (no title or author) left me questioning. As did the title "Momofuku" (how would you pronounce that?) But the one that intrigued me was the Star Wars Death Trooper cover (series). I didn't vote, but the blurb sure caught my horror-luvin' eye enough to go check it out, and I'm not a big SW fan. :)

Fiona Glass said...

I'm guessing that the publishers have paid Amazon to be included on the list?

Because otherwise this would represent the best cover art of the year, which doesn't exactly fill me with elation...

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but that knitting cover is about as snoozeful as it comes. Hell, even those overly familiar Stephanie Meyer flower & apple covers are more interesting. If they just have to have contests like these, I want to see something like "The Nameless God" get nominated. But of course I'm not without my certain author biases :)

Athena Grayson said...

Well, now, to the knitter, crocheter, or fiber artist, that knitting cover is like hawt, hard-core pr0nz. Your fingers itch to find the ends of the skeins, tie a slipknot, and feel it slide through your fingers over the needle, around the hook, back through...or you itch to cast it on and enjoy the feel of the needle poking in and out of the loops of fluffy, tactile fibers, and you're already calculating the 873 potential things you'd make with each of those skeins, and wandering into the fiber crack-house that is your sewing room to see if any of the cover art would match what you currently have in your stash for matching/contrasting purposes and pretty soon, you find yourself whipping up a quick bib in a bobble-stitch to wipe up the drool and--

So yeah...sometimes understated can be deep.

But I'm with Emily on the underwhelm. If I didn't know better, I'd think this was the junior high school first-quarter photoshop I make-a-book contest. Everything's so...so careful.

veinglory said...

What stuck me was that all 60 covers fall into 3 related minimalist styles. So the public vote is fiarly meaningless as the basic types of cover that will win, and the genre it will be in, has already pretty much been decided. If a minimalist cover won after competing with an oil painted cover, a cartoon cover etc ect then it might mean something : /