Discussion Post: SPFBO 3 – The Cover Challenge

As part of being a judge for the Mark Lawrence hosted SPFBO 3, we judges had to ‘Select their 3 favourite covers for the cover art contest in which they will later vote.’

Out of my thirty I managed to whittle it down to the six which most stood out. And one stood out as the clear best, but I’ll leave it to be the last discussed – we’ll work our way up there, shall we?


First up, two that I personally shortlisted but had to discount compared to other covers.

These two, whilst quite decent and almost there, they miss out as while the images used are pretty good, the font/s chosen seriously let them down. On the one to the left I find the title for the author’s name is okay, but the rest is a little jarring. Something just isn’t quite right/appealing about the title, which is a shame.

The one on the right is so dang close. I love the blue, and the sword, and the title… but the font and colour used for the author’s name meant I just couldn’t let it get any further – it looks like a font used in WordArt from Microsoft Office which is a huge dang shame…



And now these two. The Way Into Chaos is pretty excellent, however there’s just too much text, and when the author’s name is so big it has to have the main character’s head partially obscure it? Not a fan. Quotes on book covers should be a few words in my personal opinion. I’d have the ‘author of’ and Publisher’s Weekly on the back – it’s cluttering on the front. And then the font used for the title and ‘book one’ is a little plain.

The Call of Agon is interesting. Decent font that may benefit from a little more finishing to make it sharper, or something. The alignment of beast below, and characters illuminated by the sun is good and catching, and it directs your attention to the right areas. The title and author name stand out, but don’t over complicate things. Not my favourite colours, but that’s not what this cover competition is asking for, I’m guessing :p


And now we come to my top three.

Liefdom, by Jesse Teller. The Censor’s Hand, by A.M. Steiner, and Wit Fallo, by R.D. Henderson. Two of which I had to hunt down as neither book was added to Goodreads – which is another tip to authors. Especially when entering a self-published challenge please make your books and information easily accessible.

Leifdom, to the left, has a good and emotive colour palette. Fonts that match, aren’t boring but also aren’t overwhelming, but are also easily readable.

The Censor’s Hand, to the right, gets the same critique as to the left – decent font, striking images used in striking design, and both make me want to pick them up to find out more.



And now, my personal winner. Wit Fallo by R.D. Henderson. Very decent image quality, decent font. Seems to have the highest level of finish out of my selection and yet isn’t overbearing. I especially love the sigil in the middle of the ‘o’. All the colours matched and it makes me want to pick it up: