Monday, November 22, 2010

In Which We Discuss 30 Covers In 30 Days

I spoke briefly about this on Wednesday and decided to dedicate a whole post to it since it seemed a lot of people didn't know about it.

30 Covers in 30 Days is a fun little offshoot of NaNoWriMo. The Office of Letters and Light (the peeps who run the NaNo show) get graphic designers to make book covers of some of the NaNo projects. One cover each day, posted on their blog.

Last year was the first year and it was just one graphic designer. He was going to see if he could design a book cover every day for 30 days. He failed miserably. I think he got like 5 done.

This year the OLL decided to ask more graphic designers, 30 to be exact, so they're all responsible for making a single cover in a 24 hour time period. So far for this year, only one cover hasn't been completed.

Anyone's NaNo project could be selected, as long as you have a title and synopsis entered under you Novel Info page. There is also a "Nomination" form you can fill out for yourself or for anyone else you feel has a great synopsis.

Here are some of my favorite synopses and covers done so far for NaNo 2010 (in no particular order):

Day 7 Cover

The Impersonal Business of Death, by Chasia Eidson:

Harold Griswold is the 1100th Grim Reaper in an age where the Reapers use cell phones to do most of their business. The cold technology allows for a more efficient system of carrying souls into the afterlife with no hope for the dying to plead their cases. Feeling a sudden desire to connect on a more personal level with the people he has been assigned to after befriending a small girl with numbered days, Harold decides to start a web blog for his future customers to read. His blog details his interactions with mortals and apologizes for the increasingly impersonal business of dying.

I really like how well this cover matches the synopsis. The cover itself is very impersonal and I love the cell phone bars

Day 8 Cover

Trick’s Millenium, by S.M. Davis:

Don’t pet Trick thinking he’s just your average big black dog…you’d be dead wrong. Trick was once a man…a man named Patrick with a wife and family and the ability to see the dead. When Death came for his wife, Patrick made a deal that would change his life (and death) forever: his life in exchange for hers. Death accepted. Sentenced to a thousand years as Death’s spectral hound, Patrick struggles at first to distance himself from his still-living family and embrace his bizarre new existence in the Between-Lives world. Luckily, his new ghostly friends soon show him the ropes. From avoiding exorcists and Bloody Mary, to scaring the daylights out of the living, Patrick has a lot to learn about the afterlife. Four paws take some getting used to…

This was the first one I saw that I thought would stay my favorite. That changed when some later ones popped up, but still. I absolutely adored the fingerprint paw prints and would probably read this book.

Day 9 Cover

When Camping With Mr. Cod, by Eva Verner:

Danny’s life on the inaptly named Cuddlebug Lane (and before you ask, yes, that really is the name of the street) is only just beginning when he meets his overly eccentric neighbor, Albert Cod, whom he thinks has an uncanny resemblance to the Doc from Back to the Future. Mr. Cod is a writer who spends more of his time trying to get into the shoes of his characters so he can accurately write them than actually writing.

He already knows that the guy is a little more than odd, but when Mr. Cod pesters him endlessly for a few hours to come along with him on a week long camping trip to Virginia, Danny reluctantly agrees. But what Danny soon finds out is that “a little more than odd” is a greater understatement than saying pumpkins are kind of orange.

Not very long into the trip, Danny sees just how extreme Mr. Cod goes to get personal with his fictional characters, including being sprayed in the face with mace (a lot) and convincing Danny’s girlfriend back at home, Laura, to believe that he’s now a polygamist with seven wives.

It’s going to be one long, stressful, and strange week, and by the end of it Danny will most certainly be lamenting the sad lack of bears at the campground.

I think the synopsis sounds kind of interesting, but I mostly posted this one because I think the cover is awesome. I would totes pick this up and give it a look if I saw it on a shelf. I love how it's all glowy

Day 11 Cover

Heroes and Villains and Scott, by Acacia Ackles:

Ezra Gordon. At nineteen, he already leads one of the most successful superhero leagues in New York City. He’s taken down three supervillains, eight major villains, and a whole smattering of vagabonds and ragamuffins. He has the power to generate lightning from the palms of his hands. He owns several bobbleheads of himself. But he is not the main character of this novel.

Donovan Kyle. His very name smacks of supervillainry. He remains one of the only untouched, all-his-limbs-intact supervillains east of the Mississippi. He can freeze anything with a single touch. His wins-losses record is higher than some superheroes. He has absorbed information from comic books, television shows, movies, and past mistakes, and he knows how not to fail. But he is not the main character of this novel.

Scott Benson. His hometown was 95% superpowered - and he was one of the lucky 5%. Ezra Gordon has been his best friend since they were in gradeschool. He has never defeated anyone, even at a game of chess. He cannot shoot lightning from his hands. He cannot turn household objects to ice. He cannot, in fact, do anything but get in the way. And he will do so for the entirety of this novel.

This one is my second favorite (so far, since we still have 10 or so covers to go). I want to read this book and I love the whimsy of the cover.

Day 14 Cover

The Dark Chocolatorium of the Thirteen Santas, by Annie McAndrew:

As a ward of the monks of Antrum, Coll knew he was expected to learn charity, humility, and the making of the fine chocolates that are the monks’ livelihood. He never expected to discover a highly illegal automaton on the doorstep.

The monks, usually quick to investigate things Unknown, show no curiosity at all about the mechanical monstrosity. But Coll is certain they know more than they’re saying. His search for answers the monks won’t give leads him to the Duchy’s most notorious sky pirates, the Shrike and the Dove, who aren’t in the business of “something for nothing”. But their price seems so reasonable – carry just one little message – that he goes along. Too late, he learns that the message concerned the ransom of the Duke’s son; that the Duke responds to such things in force; and that there were in fact more smuggled automatons - a whole army’s worth, now marching against the Duke’s Own.

With pirates fighting soldiers fighting automatons fighting monks through the streets, Coll’s easiest course would be to creep away before the Duke’s Own arrest him or the automatons march right over him. But he still doesn’t know who’s loyal and who’s lying. And he’s not about to leave while a riddle like that remains Unknown.

As it stands right now, this one is my favorite. Not only do I want to read this book based on the synopsis, the cover is AMAZING! Creepy guy, glowing eyes, bar of chocolate? So full of win.

Day 16 Cover

Nano Kid, by Sage Collins:

When the new kid, Dean, saves Caleb from some bullies, Caleb starts to dream that Dean’s come to save him from everything, like his abusive dad. He can’t help it. Dean’s so strong and cool. Why can’t Caleb be like that?

He soon finds out that the reason he can’t be like that is that Dean’s a cyborg. Well, according to him, “cybernatically enhanced” but same thing. Dean’s on a mission—so cool—to find a kid at Caleb’s school who was injected with nanobots when he was a baby. This kid should be super-strong, so that leaves Caleb out, but he still wants to help. He wants to be around Dean.

The more time he spends with Dean, the more he realizes he’s… crushing on Dean. Darn it, like he didn’t have enough problems with bullies calling him “gay” without it being true?

But that’s not the real problem. The real problem is that Dean might not have the same feelings. And that Caleb’s crush might not stand the test when he finds out Dean’s supposed to kill the Nano Kid.

I just like the cover on this one. It really screams YA to me.

Day 19 Cover

The Whale Is A Harsh Obsession, by Viviane Rozsa:

Call her Jezzie.

For months Captain Jezebel “Jezzie” Ezalong searches the universe with her intergalactic crew for the elusive steampunk white whale “Leviathan.” When she finally wounds the creature with her own hands, the space pirate ship Ishmael appears, headed by her rival Elijah. He scuttles her spaceship the Ahab into near destruction, leaving Jezzie with no choice but to let the whale go and retreat.

On nearby planet Mazorgog, as her ship undergoes repairs for the second pursuit, Jezzie saves the life of a socially-awkward, intelligent albino named Melvin. He’s lanky, tall, bifocaled and a nerd, but he sports a deep scar running down his pale face she can’t ignore. Jezzie invites Melvin onto her ship, and a friendship grows between the two as they pursue the white whale… a friendship that blossoms into love.

But there is a secret Melvin holds from Jezzie and the crew, one that could tear the two of them apart should he reveal it. Melvin has no choice when the pirates ransack the Ahab and capture his Jezzie. He will risk everything to save her, even his own life by Jezzie’s own hands.

Herman Melville is rolling over in his grave, and Douglas Adams is cracking up a storm. The story of a whale, a woman and outer space.

Heinlein was right. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. But whales are worse.

I think the synopsis on this one sounds interesting, and I love the cover with the light streaks of space and the thought bubble title.

So those are some of my favs so far, but you should check them all out on the blog, because they're all good in their own way. And make sure you have a title and synopsis entered on your novel page and you may see a cover designed for you.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The designers came up with some cool cover concepts!

Anne said...

i really want to see a cover design for yours

Summer said...

I love keeping up with these--you picked some of my favorites too. I hadn't seen Trick's Millenium, though, and wow--I'd read that book in a flash. Love the cover, too.

Teebore said...

Maybe it's just because I'm in a crabby mood, but I got depressed just reading these, let alone following the project, cuz everything sounds about 100 times cooler and more creative than my NaNo book...

Falen (Sarah Ahiers) said...

Alex - yeah they did. I'm always impressed.

Anne - keep your fingers crossed for me. There's still 9 covers to go

Summer - i'm pretty jealous of that idea and think it would be cool to write

Teebore - pshaa, your idea is great. I'd read your book (and will end up reading it). You're too down on yourself

Matthew Rush said...

Wow. These are so freaking cool! Amazing.

yokohamamama said...

The Impersonal Business of Death-- love the title, love the cover, love the synopsis! Wait--did you say these novels aren't published in a format that anybody can read when NaNo is done? So I can't actually *have* that book? Even though I like the cover ( also the beautiful, glowy Camping With Mr. Cod cover:))? ...deflated... bum...

If you need a break-- come over and play with the Translating Machine. Lots of fun--promise!

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Seriously cool covers. My favorite is THE DARK CHOCOLATORIUM OF THE THIRTEEN SANTAS. Eerie as heck but wicked cool.

Falen (Sarah Ahiers) said...

Matthew - indeed they are. Book cover rock

Yokohama - yeah that is indeed a bummer. But maybe one day they'll be published

Carolina - i wish it was a real book right now so i could read it

Talli Roland said...

How cool - I hadn't heard of this! I love what they came up with!

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

Wow, that's so cool. I hadn't heard of this. Thanks for sharing!

Falen (Sarah Ahiers) said...

Talli - they're so impressive, and these aren't even all of them

Shannon - most people, even nanoers, aren't overly familiar with it. I just stumbled across it myself last year

Tracy said...

Hi *waves*. I've seen you around at so many of my buddies blogs & I never stopped by to say hi, so I'm fixing that.

I'd be afraid if someone picked my novel (which they won't because I never put a freaking synopsis up) that I'd end up liking their cover more than the one my publisher chose -- this is of course, assuming I eventually got a publisher.

Holly Ruggiero said...

Thanks for the definition. Those are some really well done cover. To think they popped those out in 24 hours is impressive.

Dangerous With a Pen said...

I love these! I am in awe. I'm not NaNoing this year so I've missed out on this entire "subplot" hehe. These covers are amazing, and the synopses, too. Kinda makes me glad I didn't do NaNo! I don't know if I could kick out an idea like these in a month!!!!

Shannon said...

Talk about creative. These are so much fun! Thanks for posting them!

Jamie Gibbs (Mithril Wisdom) said...

When camping with Mr God looks amazing! My favourite cover there :) I like the sound of the dark chocolatorium too :P

Lola Sharp said...

Dude, that dark chocolate/santa one is stunning and very pro looking. Same w/ camping/cod cover.

All the synops are clever and, put me in with Teebore. *sigh*

Happy Thanksgiving, Sarah.

Falen (Sarah Ahiers) said...

Tracy - that would suck big time if you got a crappy cover from the publisher. But you could always keep this one

Holly - i know! I'm jealous of their talent

Dangerous - eh, i'm sure you could. I usually get my 50K in, but my story tends to run longer than that

Shannon - i love checking the blog every day to see the newest one

Jamie - i love that one too! Every time i see it i get all excited again

Lola - No! No negative attitudes allowed! You are awesome and hit your 50K. You are superb!

DL Hammons said...

That was seriously awesome!!! There's not many there that I WOULDN'T want to read. :)

Falen (Sarah Ahiers) said...

DL - i know, right? i wish they were real books

Naomi Ruth said...

I love so many of these. The dark Chocolatarium sounds so Interesting... And Heroes and Villains and Scott sounds so hilarious. Thanks for sharing some of your favs :)

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