The Australian Book Design Awards (ABDA) 2020 longlist came out last month.
And at the end of this month (fingers crossed) the first design ideas for the cover of Dirt Circus League will hit my inbox.
So what better time to go through my shelves and pick out my 5 favourite covers?
Like picking your favourite child
There are so many beautiful books so I limited my choices to books published in the last few years. Otherwise this list might have been a top 50 list.
Here we go!
5. The Boy Who Steals Houses by C.G. Drew
Cover design by Thy Bui
I love this cover, and it attracted me to the book as much as the great reviews.
As with many book covers I’m drawn to bold colours and I love the use of yellow against the deep blue.
In my eyes, it’s an absolute winner. But it’s only book in my top 5 that didn’t get a mention in any of the ABDA awards.
The reviews were all 100% accurate by the way. I loved this book!
4. Lenny’s Book of Everything by Karen Foxlee
Cover design by Sandy Cull
Shortlisted: ABDA Best Young Adult Cover, 2019
I love the eye-catching bright red and the interesting bird image on the front. The small green beetle and the ladybird on the back cover are gorgeous, too.
This book was one of several recommended to me by a book seller in-store, and the cover was definitely a factor in my deciding to buy this book over others.
It’s a beautiful story, funny, sweet and ultimately heart-wrenching, and one that’s hard to forget.
3. The Art of Taxidermy by Sharon Kernot
Cover design by Imogen Stubbs
Winner: ABDA Best Young Adult Fiction Cover, 2019
First up I must confess this novel is still on my TBR pile.
I adore the cover though, and that along with the killer title (taxidermy fascinates me) means it won’t be languishing on the pile for too long.
I love how the lettering compliments the delicate drawings, and I can feel myself being drawn into the story just by looking at the cover.
It’s a beautiful work of art.
2. In the Dark Spaces by Cally Black
Cover design by Astrid Hicks
Winner: ABDA Best Young Adult Fiction Cover, 2018
This is a stunning, sumptuous cover. I love the use of silver and gold on black, and the design brilliantly captures the book’s connection to bird-type creatures that feature in the novel.
If you haven’t read this book already please grab a copy now. It’s hauntingly beautiful, action-packed, and downright fantastic.
1. The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart by Holly Ringland
Cover design by Hazel Lam
Winner: ABDA Book Designers Choice Cover of the Year, 2019
Not young adult novel like the rest of the list but this is one book that I bought based on the cover alone. I couldn’t resist it!
The combination of subtle colouring of Australian native flowers on the velvety soft black background won me over, and the floral theme is continued within the book’s interior design.
It’s just a beautiful book to own.
The power of an eye-catching cover
I’m in awe of how designers can create a cover that captures the essence of an entire book.
It’s a kind of magic, really.
And I can’t wait to see what the designer comes up with for Dirt Circus League’s cover.
When my editor asked me if I had any ideas for a cover the only thing I could come up with was “maybe something green”.
But maybe not…
Luckily Text Publishing has a fabulous in house artist and also works with many brilliant Australian designers, some who are on this list. I’m confident that it will be beautiful, evocative and eye-catching.
I can’t wait to see it and share it with you!