Thursday, January 17, 2013

NY Times Best Covers of 2012

How about this! The New York Times chose these covers as the very best of 2012. See what you think.

Article contributed by Maria Altobelli taken from the NY Times.
Thank you Maria!

The editors at the New York Times came up with a list of their favorite book covers for 2012.

Quite a few surprises here. Not exactly what we'd expect given all the articles on the Web. I posted this list on a writer’s site and opinions were heavily divided, with no middle ground.

One person wrote that editors and graphic designers live in a different universe than readers so I looked to Amazon sales rankings for confirmation of that claim.

Building Stories (published by Patheon) is #113 in Amazon sales, despite the fact it sells at thirty bucks a pop in hardcover, and has been voted by numerous sources as one of the top ten fiction books of the year. The cover is striking but virtually unreadable.

In fact, all nineteen were well under 300,000 in Amazon sales ranking (certainly respectable), but most clocked in within the 10,000 to 100,000 range (nice indeed), and five were under the thousand rank in sales (most enviable).

My favorite is #7. The yellow globe with the thin white outline on a stark blue background with no title or author name. It’s an eye-catcher if avant-garde.

The more I thought about it, the more it made sense. With the upswing in book sales via Amazon and other on-line outlets, what a reader sees is a frontal image with the title and author name to the right-hand side along with a further description of the book. In a bookstore, if it’s shelved spine out, title and author name appears. If the book rates space on a table, I know my hand would reach out to pick something like that up.

And for an Indie publication single try this one (see #20 below).

Just goes to show, we don’t have to confine ourselves to cut-and-paste and photo shop.

If you don't want to use the links, we took these off Amazon.

#20 is an Indie cover they chose.
Well, let's have it. Do you like any of these? Which cover/book would you pick off a book shelf to examine more fully? 
Any? None? Give us a number. 


  1. these all seem to be rather horrid.

  2. Still like #7. It's the one that catches my eye in thumbnail (which is so very important nowadays). And the text would be found to the right of the cover. And I also like Midnight's Tale but that's one I chose after seeing it on a thread of Critque Circle. Guess the experts deigned it beneath them to look at Indie covers---the nineteen were all from the big publishers. Congrats, Lorrie, for getting all the covers lined up---ever so much easier than going to the link.

  3. None of them really turn me on. And don't thank me for getting the covers up. That was at the time I was having trouble with my blog. Marva posted to help me out. I have to say she does a much better job than I do. Bless her.

  4. The only one that really appeals to me (besides Wisden, for entirely different reasons) is #7. I'm a fan of minimalist covers, and that's about as minimalist as you can get.

  5. Hi kdoyle, I see you and Maria chose the same one. minimalistic covers are okay, some today are too 'busy.' For me, personally, I wouldn't pick any of these off the shelf to inspect the blurb. Thanks for joining the conversation.