A final look at the winning covers for 2000 shows that, in addition to a continued move away from the clinch covers of the past, readers have clearly stated their preference for a more sophisticated look. Romantic subtlety rather than in-your-face sexuality seems the order of the day, except in the Historical with Stepback category, where more racy stepbacks are covered by a sedate outer package. Covers are more and more telling a story through vignettes or a particular scene. And just as many readers cross genres and in and out of various forms of fiction, art departments at many publishers are realizing that cross-over appeal works both ways.
We hope you have enjoyed the Cover Contest as much as we have enjoyed presenting it to you. Looking at so many covers this year was both interesting and educational, and we are excited to see what looms on the horizon for next year. Will the trends towards landscapes and cartoons prevail in Contemporaries? Is the traditional clinch on its way out for Historical Single Covers? Lucky and Sawyer aside, will the new design formats bring us better Series covers? Are stepbacks becoming more popular outside of the historical category?
We’re looking forward to finding out, and as always, we can use your help. If you see a cover you love, one you hate, or one you just find interesting, let us know.— Blythe Barnhill
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