Covers and Contest – CSFF Blog Tour, The Vanishing Sculptor, Day 2

The CSFF Blog tour for Donita Paul‘s The Vanishing Sculptor has me thinking about book covers, but I also want to tell you about a contest, so here we go.

Cover Design/Illustration: Mark D. Ford

Cover Design/Illustration: Mark D. Ford

I am about the worst person in the world when it comes to noticing book covers. I don’t understand this because I consider myself more strongly a visual learner, so why don’t the visuals of a book immediately attract me? They don’t. Neither do titles.

Case in point, our current feature, The Vanishing Sculptor. Do you have any idea how long it took me just to remember the title? I kept thinking The Vanishing Sepulcher for some reason. Not until I started typing the title out did it really stick.

And then there’s the cover. Today—yes, TODAY—I read a comment over at Rachel Starr Thomson’s blog that mentioned the dragon on the cover, and I thought, Huh? What dragon? If you’d asked me what was on the cover, I’d have said something in greens and burgundy. 😳

But now, as I look at the cover, really look, I see how cute and completely right it is for the story. There’s a promise of fun and adventure and imagination—just what the book delivers.

So my question. How important are covers to you when you’re considering a book to read or buy? And are we going to lose the enticement of covers as books move to the electronic media, or will the enticement of video trailers replace what covers once did (for some people 😛 )?

On to the contest (and there is no connection between covers and contest except for the alliteration and cool sound of the two said together 😀 ).

Now as I look at the details, I’m wondering if the contest has ended. I’m referring to Donita Paul’s The Vanishing Sculptor’s Library Proofs Contest, Summer 2009.

It’s a great marketing idea. Those wishing to participate simply had to provide proof that their local library has a copy of The Vanishing Sculptor or that the participant made a request for the library to acquire the book.

I was going to suggest fans take this challenge to heart … except, today is the official beginning of autumn, so I’m wondering if the contest is over.

Even if it is, I think it’s a worthy endeavor to suggest books to librarians. And I don’t think we should stop at public libraries. Talk to school librarians and church librarians.

OK, to wrap up today’s tour post, let me suggest a few others you may want to check out.

Karina Fabian has an interview with Donita Paul
Jill Williamson has a DragonKeeper Chronicles quiz you can take.
Emmalyn Edwards takes a close look at the characters.
Fred Warren posted a great review, dealing especially with a principal theme of the book.
Wayne Thomas Batson posts Donita’s testimony and gives a personal anecdote from the West Coast Fantasy Tour a year ago.

You can see all the participants listed with links to their articles in the Day 1 post.

Published in: on September 22, 2009 at 11:06 am  Comments (7)  
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  1. Oh my…cover artwork is my huge weakness–and love. If I don’t like the artwork on the cover, I probably won’t pick up the book. (And, yes, I’m one of those people who doesn’t want to play one of my kids’ video games if the graphics aren’t beautiful.) I think the cover on VS is absolutely delightful–it immediately sparked my interest in the story. For me, book trailers will never replace cover artwork. I’ve even seriously considered buying a couple of prints of my favorite covers to hang in my office. Great inspiration, you know! 🙂


  2. The cover on this one was a little too video-gamey graphics for me; it’s a style that just doesn’t appeal to me (I don’t like Pixar-style animation, either.) But covers won’t turn me off unless there’s a terrible picture of the main characters that I have to battle for the entire length of the book!

    Thanks for the link :).


  3. The Give Away is long over, but I reviewed this one and thought I’d share my link!

    Great book!


  4. Generally it’s not very important to me, unless it has a fairly unique style that’s catchy. An example would be the cover of Crows and Cards (
    The cover art was interesting, maybe a little overly cartoonish, but I liked the use of the playing card covering the entirity of the book like the book was the card and the superimposed crow, using both elements of the title.
    The book ended up being a fiarly pleasent read too, though I didn’t like everything about it.

    I admit it kind of ticks me off when the details of covers gets something wrong, like the color of a character’s hair or something that makes no sense for the story being in the cover. Unfortunately I can’t think of any good examples for books.

    It’s not a book, but a good example of the kind of thing is the cover of the DVD release of the Rankin-Bass animated version of “return of the king”

    There are so many oddities. Who let those dwarves from snow white into the picture? That has nothing at all to do with the movie.


  5. Hi, Kim,

    Thanks for sharing the link to your review. 😀

    Donita left comments at a number of participants’ sites and said the Library Contest is still going on, so the give away you’re referring to must be a different thing.

    I definitely want to encourage people to check Donita’s site for details about how to enter the contest.



  6. See, Rachel, until you said the art work on TVS was video/gamey, I hadn’t even processed that. Once you said it, I knew exactly what you meant, but I just don’t concentrate on book covers for some reason. Odd, I know! 😛



  7. Wow, Dona, it’s interesting that covers are so important to you and so unimportant to me. I wish I could do a study on this. It fascinates me.

    Foolster41, I can see what you’re saying about the C and C cover. Very eye-catching, even for me.

    And yes, if I read a book and then realized the cover wasn’t accurate, that would bug me, but if I was enjoying the story, I’d certainly keep reading. It would mostly bug me about the publisher.

    And that DVD cover? I’m sorry, but that art work is so … derivative! Yikes! 😮 That would definitely keep me from buying that product because I already know the story and all that cutsey doesn’t get it right. At all!



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