If any of these covers were men to me, they would be Sam Elliott. Or Kit Harrington. Leonardo Di Capprio. Charlie Hunnam. Gerard Butler.

Okay, all of the above… So besides clearly having inscrutable, eclectic taste in male actors, what am I saying?

I’m saying that these covers have ROCKED MY WORLD. I fell head over heels in lust with them. As a cover design specialist, I judge books by their covers. Literally.

But the real reason why I’m so gaga for these designs is because they are different. Unbasic. And it works. They are daring, bold, and they break all of those staunch, traditional rules about how “design should be.” Pish. I celebrate originality and in a world of over-saturation, authors need to be creative to get noticed.

Gone are the days of inside-the-box conventionality. With the self-publishing boom came a new era of self-confidence; a courageous, fearless, adventurous commonwealth of publishing pioneers who continue to break new ground and set their own rules.

Another reason I love these designs is because they are so eloquently executed. They epitomize a cover’s purpose: To Draw Attention.

Although deliberately callow, these compositions emanate a subliminal, alluring sophistication that appeals to the masses. They also meet the fundamental criteria for actually getting noticed: Bold colors, large fonts, and simple, albeit cleverly twisted layouts.

Book cover design should be eye-catching; burned down into the core of a viewer’s skull…a drug that entices…that has that magnetic, psychic ability.

I see this ‘disheveled’ look gaining more popularity in the months to come—especially in the fiction arena, as more and more authors lay claim to their own unique, memorable branding. It will certainly be exciting to see what new design trends emerge from these bodacious, audacious, cray-cray authors and artists.


Since 1999, Angie Donelle has worked with hundreds of independent authors to help them create beautiful, top-selling books.