Bookish Radness

The History of the Book Cover | CBA Edition

Oh the book cover! Put out any book cover and you’ll get all kinds of different opinions. In the CBA market, there’s been shifts, changes, movements and it continues to vary between genres as well. There’s been some funny covers, some cringeworthy (my reaction to most trends of the 90s), some encouraging and some inspiring.

Today, I thought it’d be fun to take a look at a some of the changes over the years of the different genres. I’ll sprinkle some of my thoughts throughout, but I’d love to hear your thoughts about it! Do you have a preference? What changes do you see happening that you’d like more of or less of? So, please don’t be shy and let the discussions begin 🙂

I’m kicking off with a classic (and favorite), not only because it’s been out for a really long time, but I feel like it’s one book cover that has seen many changes. Here’s Francine Rivers’ Redeeming Love.

I personally have a soft spot for 2001 cover, but I also like the 2005 (which is the current one) cover as well. That 90s cover though…;)

I rarely read Amish fiction, but since this is a staple in the CBA market, I thought it was worth including.

I tend to see many Amish novels that have the same vibe as this Lewis’ example. The staple outfits and country-ish backgrounds, so the reader will know immediately it’s Amish fiction. I think that’s why I like Petersheim’s covers so much (and probably because I love her stories too. Seriously, READ The Outcast). They show the story is connected to Amish roots, but I think set themselves apart.

Lynn Austin is not only one of my favorite and go-to authors, she’s been a staple in Christian fiction for a while. She was even recently inducted into the Christy Award Hall of Fame. She is also one of the authors who I see such a variety of design with her books. Here’s some of her popular historical and biblical works:

Confession: I’m not too much of a fan of the new edition of Fire By Night. I really like the original one, but that might be more due to the fact it’s one of my all-time favorite books and it holds a soft spot in my heart, so I see no need to change it ;).

Now onto the contemporary stuff. One of my earliest introductions to any type of Christian Fiction was the lovely Robin Jones Gunn’s Glenbrook Series. So let’s look at these shall we?
Weren’t the 90s fabulous? I had the 1999 version and this series is a good example of moving toward the use of models in recent years. What do you think?

Here’s a few other things I’ve noticed in the current trends (this is by no means a massive comprehensive account, since I haven’t investigated every genre or cover, but I still did catch some themes : )

  • Fantasy covers: Even with models, you don’t often see their face. This genre also has quite a bit of variety.
  • General Fiction: I’ve noticed this genre doesn’t use models as often. If it does, we usually don’t see their face. At all.
  • Historical Fiction: I would say a significant chunk of books use models on the covers. Sometimes, there’s models off in the distance too.
  • Contemporary Suspense and Romance: I would say 92.9% of the time there’s models.

Have you noticed any common trends with specific genres? Do you agree?

I’ll close with a few of my favorite recent or upcoming releases:

Now that I’ve probably talked way more about book covers than y’all cared to read, I’d love to know what you think and where you see things going! Do you have a preference?

(Thank you Goodreads for having all the cover editions available for our viewing pleasure!)

Author Interviews

4 Questions With Author Patrick Carr

While perusing Patrick W. Carr’s website, my eye started to twitch and my stomach started to get queasy. Why would I start with such an odd intro? Have I lost it? No, no I have not. Those are simply my reactions to words such as “math” and “Geometry Constructions.” I don’t even know what the second one actually means, but it sounds something awful (probably illegal if we’re being honest 😉 ) and now my head hurts. Clearly math and I are best friends.

So why does he have a section devoted to math on his site? Because he is also a math teacher! Say wha?? I am so beyond impressed. I really enjoyed his debut novel, A Cast of Stones, and can’t wait for the next release in the series this July, The Hero’s Lot. So if you love a little fantasy, a little medieval and good vs. evil, then be sure to check out his books!

Patrick Carr was born on an Air Force base in West Germany at the height of the cold war. He has been told this was not his fault. As an Air Force brat, he experienced a change in locale every three years until his father retired to Tennessee. Patrick saw more of the world on his own through a varied and somewhat eclectic education and work history. He graduated from Georgia Tech in 1984 and has worked as a draftsman at a nuclear plant, did design work for the Air Force, worked for a printing company, and consulted as an engineer. Patrick’s day gig for the last five years has been teaching high school math in Nashville, TN. He currently makes his home in Nashville with his wonderfully patient wife, Mary, and four sons he thinks are amazing: Patrick, Connor, Daniel, and Ethan. Sometime in the future he would like to be a jazz pianist. Patrick thinks writing about himself in the third person is kind of weird.

1. What is something about your life right now that you would never imagined 5 years ago?
I wouldn’t have thought that parenting could still be so difficult. As my sons have matured the challenges they face have changed and often times I have no idea what the “right” advice is. I figured at some point I wouldn’t be doing this parenting thing off-the-cuff still, but it seems like the further I go, the less I know.

2. What is one thing that you would go back and do differently if you could?
High School. I spent way too much time caring what people thought instead of pursuing those things that interested me. In the end I realized there’s not this crowd of 20 people watching me, waiting for me to do something stupid. Everybody was too busy with their own insecurities to worry about mine.

3. What is one of the happiest moments of your life?
Getting married and taking part in the birth of my four sons. From the time I was 18, what I wanted most out of life was to be a husband and father and I spent a lot of time in prayer for that from that point on. It’s amazing how much better it turned out to be than I thought. Mary is awesome and Patrick Jr., Connor, Daniel, and Ethan are sons to make anyone proud. They’re not perfect, but I genuinely enjoy being around them. They’re all hysterically funny and they have a delightfully weird sense of humor.

4. What is one thing you want the next generation to know?
Live a big life. Stop being afraid or embarrassed to try new things. If you’re fortunate enough to discover your passion at an early age, awesome, but if not, then go out and try everything! You never know when you’ll fall in love with something.

Thanks so much Patrick! Be sure to connect with him on Facebook!