Category: 30c30d

30 Covers, 30 Days 2018: Wrap-Up!

That’s a wrap on another NaNoWriMo, which means it’s the end of another year’s 30 Covers, 30 Days series! Whether you wrote fifty words or fifty thousand, you got your stories onto the page! So pat yourself on the back. I’ll wait here.

Excellent! I want to talk a little bit about this project; as this was my second year coordinating the series, I got to read all of your nearly three thousand synopses, and every one of them brought something unique to the table. I’m seriously blown away by how amazing your novels – and the covers they inspired – have turned out to be.

Before I get to the fast facts about this year’s series, I need to extend a few words of thanks.

First, immense thanks as always to the amazing Debbie Millman, for facilitating this project every year, gathering all these fantastic designers in one place, and for designing a cover herself! Thanks for all your help getting this project off the ground, and answering all my questions along the way.

This wouldn’t be possible without all the designers who volunteered to make covers this year (and in years past). You made some stunning covers, on a short deadline, for free, frequently ahead of schedule, and with enthusiasm every day. Thanks for your patience and quick responses to all of my emails, and for making covers that thirty authors will cherish, and that amazed, thrilled, puzzled, and inspired writers on the blog, forums, and beyond all month long.

If you received a cover, or just felt inspired by one, please take a moment to let these designers know how cool they are; the complete list of designers, including links to their websites and social media, is available at the end of the post.

If you want to leave some feedback, there’s a form available! This helps us tweak and tune up the project each year.

Finally, thank you to all of you who took on the challenge, submitted synopses throughout October and November, and for keeping up with the blog and forum posts every day.

As with every year, of course, November only has thirty short days – and with them, only thirty lucky writers selected for each edition of the project via our proprietary, time-bending, squirrel-powered synopsis algorithm.

This year, we had winners from all around the world, including from Iceland, Nigeria, and Peru. And, as novels from Young Writers made up about a quarter of submissions, there were set to be seven YWP covers. Alas, a couple of them fell through a hole in time and space and there ended up being only five; next year will have the complete set. There was also a wide range of genres represented:

We also used the keywords and tags from thousands of submissions to create a word tree!

Please give another round of applause to the designers who contributed their time and effort to this awesome project!

It’s been a blast helping coordinate 30 Covers, 30 Days once more. I’m looking forward to seeing next year’s covers!

-Nick Fierro, Editorial & Programs Intern

30 Covers, 30 Days 2018: Day Thirty

Every November, during National Novel Writing Month, thirty professional designers volunteer to create book cover art inspired by novels being written by aspiring authors from around the globe. Why? To encourage new, diverse voices, and help build a more creative world.  

30 Covers, 30 Days is presented in partnership with designer and author Debbie Millman. Read more about these NaNoWriMo 2018 novels-in-progress, and the cover designers, below.

The Sorcerer’s Maid

A Fantasy novel being written this November by NaNo participant N.A. Davenport in the United States.

Melody Brooks is a poor college student who takes a job as housekeeper. But the eccentric old man she works for believes that he is a medieval sorcerer. She struggles working in an old house without electricity, cooking over a fire, and avoiding the mischief from his pet raven. Then things change when the old man believes his mortal enemy is closing in, an enemy who doesn’t care how many he kills to draw out the old sorcerer. Melody starts to think that things aren’t quite as they seem.

That’s it for the month! Keep an eye out for our Wrap-Up post, coming tomorrow!

I want to mention there is a Feedback Form open now that will allow you to send in your valuable comments, concerns, suggestions, and more about the 30 Covers, 30 Days program.

Cover Designed by Jina Anne

Jina is a consultant, community builder, and advocate focused on design systems. She organizes Clarity, the first Design Systems conference. She co-authored the Design Systems Handbook, Fancy Form Design, and The Art & Science of CSS. She has been said to be one of the most cheerful goths. You can follow her online @jina. 

30 Covers, 30 Days 2018: Day Twenty-Nine

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Every November, during National Novel Writing Month, thirty professional designers volunteer to create book cover art inspired by novels being written by aspiring authors from around the globe. Why? To encourage new, diverse voices, and help build a more creative world.  

30 Covers, 30 Days is presented in partnership with designer and author Debbie Millman. Read more about these NaNoWriMo 2018 novels-in-progress, and the cover designers, below.

Bianca: It’s Complicated!

A Women’s Fiction novel being written this November by NaNo participant Erryn “Writer_Dye” Howard in the United States.

Bianca is ushering in her 30th birthday alone, at a bar, with her favorite drink, a purple margarita. For many, turning 30 is a rite of passage into the true, real world of adulthood but for Bianca, it is quite the opposite. Age 30 is a solemn reminder of all the plans in life she made but never fulfilled, a visual reminder of her “Things To Do By 30” checklist that hasn’t accrued many checks yet. When it comes to following her innate passion in life, understanding who she is as a woman (even if it doesn’t adhere to societal norms), and of course, finding a prince among paupers…let’s just say “It’s Complicated!”

“Bianca, It’s Complicated!” is a novel that follows one young woman’s journey into  the next phase of womanhood, but not before revisiting all the milestones and pitfalls that has brought her to where she is today. Will she be able to face her past and embrace her flaws in order to claim her crown?

Cover designer Adriane Stark shared these sketches and notes about the design process:

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I was honored to take part in the NaNoWriMo program. The provocative title drew me to select this novel. Typically I work on covers with a completed manuscript, so having only a synopsis was challenging. A cover can’t tell the whole story, obviously, but it needs to convey enough visual clues to grab your attention and want more. When starting a cover I always ask myself a lot questions from the mindset of the reader. I thought a lot about “who is this woman”? The synopsis mentions her sitting alone at a bar on her 30th birthday with a purple margarita, but that would have been too obvious a direction. She’s 30, not 90, far too young to feel her life is over. A purple martini in a glass or a bar scene would have been way too easy and simple a design solution. I wanted an image that hit the right note without looking too forlorn. This image is engaging and conveys that things aren’t quite right but not hopeless with a touch of humor.

The title which drew me to this book initially turned out to be COMPLICATED to work with. What does it mean? Is life complicated or is Bianca or both? That colon! In earlier layouts I had the title on one line but it began to read as “Bianca is Complicated”, possibly too confusing. I also felt it was important to establish the main character. By breaking up the title and giving each element its own importance, the title became stronger and more balanced visually, a great quick read. This type solution appears as a note of kindness and love from a friend, advice and support through life’s ups and downs, something we can all relate to.

Stay tuned for new covers every day of the month!

I want to mention there is a Feedback Form open now that will allow you to send in your valuable comments, concerns, suggestions, and more about the 30 Covers, 30 Days program.


Cover Designed by Adriane Stark

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Adriane Stark is the founder of StarkWork. As
Creative Director, she creates strategic design communications for a broad
spectrum of global publishing, service, financial, entertainment and
retail corporations. Her work has been nationally recognized in various
areas of the field by the American Institute of Graphic Arts, The Art
Director’s Club, Graphis, The Society of Publication Designers, and The Type
Directors Club. StarkWork is honored to have its work selected for the
permanent collection of The Cooper Hewitt Design Museum. Adriane is a
graduate of Parsons School of Design and attended the Columbia University
Masters program in Strategic Communications. She is a former instructor at the
School of Visual Arts in New York City. Connect with StarkWork online at
Instagram @StarkWork, StarkWork.com and on
StarkWork’s Facebook page. You can also follow the #StarkWork and #AdrianeStark hashtags.

30 Covers, 30 Days 2018: Day Twenty-Eight

Every November, during National Novel Writing Month, thirty professional designers volunteer to create book cover art inspired by novels being written by aspiring authors from around the globe. Why? To encourage new, diverse voices, and help build a more creative world.  

30 Covers, 30 Days is presented in partnership with designer and author Debbie Millman. Read more about these NaNoWriMo 2018 novels-in-progress, and the cover designers, below.

The Author

An Experimental novel being written this November by NaNo participant Icea Ophan in the United States.

Faoiltiama: she is different, she is aware. She is part of some undefined larger part of this world. There is so much in her head, so much that spills out of her in music, words, drawings, and ideas. She has become lost, unable to find herself, drowning not in her own ideas, but in the harshness of the world. So she escapes into the woods behind her house. Women of wolves, she finds her way. She is determined to be the author of her own story, though poems, classical music composition and art she becomes Faoiltiama. Her story told through poems and viewed from a distant and all-knowing vantage point.

“Dappled sunlight streams down from trees up high;
Snowflakes adorn: stem and leaf and petal;
Birds sing with joy then, on feathered wings: fly;
Minute haven now found, my mind settles.
Snow melts, cascading: icy flow below;
Crisp air, timid breeze: the sky seems to breathe;
Sunlit snow pools ‘neath a weeping willow;
Fragile flowers encased in icy sheathes.
Inspiration surrounds, my mind abound;
Now in my head: music, notes unconfined;
Nature: simple influence, so profound;
Sound caught, everlasting now: I rewind.
I’m the budding leaves: rustling in the breeze;
I’m the melted snow: crashing to the seas.”

Stay tuned for new covers every day of the month!

I want to mention there is a Feedback Form open now that will allow you to send in your valuable comments, concerns, suggestions, and more about the 30 Covers, 30 Days program.


Cover Designed by Ksenya Samarskaya

Ksenya Samarskaya is a strategist and creative practitioner, fascinated with the nuances inherent in our visual and literary culture. Samarskaya has served on the board of AIGA/NY, and judged design competitions including Communication Arts, TISDC, TDC, and the SoTA Catalyst Award. She currently splits her time between Brooklyn, NY and Barcelona, Spain where she teaches at Harbour.Space University. Follow her on Twitter, Medium, and Instagram at @samarskaya and at samarskaya.com.

30 Covers, 30 Days 2018: Day Twenty-Seven

Every November, during National Novel Writing Month, thirty professional designers volunteer to create book cover art inspired by novels being written by aspiring authors from around the globe. Why? To encourage new, diverse voices, and help build a more creative world.  

30 Covers, 30 Days is presented in partnership with designer and author Debbie Millman. Read more about these NaNoWriMo 2018 novels-in-progress, and the cover designers, below.

Combat Mind

A Science Fiction novel being written this November by NaNo participant Misty Zaugg in the United States. 

Lawyers are extinct. Single combat decides everything.

The city has a stranglehold on all tech still possible, centuries after the world was destroyed. The five families oversee gang boss dictators who rule the outskirts in a surprisingly stable society … as long as you toe the line.

Kiriai is poised to win the upcoming battle that will cement her position as a scrapper in her local hood’s fighting elite, when she overhears vague details about an assassination plot against the boss. She struggles to develop her fighting skills under the tutelage of an ancient RPG virtual sensei while at a loss for what type of inherited talent her grandfather keeps hinting she might have.

Why couldn’t her life just be easy?

Cover designer Wesley Sueker had this to say about the design process:

First things first, I always sketch a few thumbnails (teeny tiny two-minute tests) to find The Vibe. Some visual themes usually arise from that, so I write down anything that comes to mind while I’m drawing. They inevitably help when looking for reference pictures too—keywords for Combat Mind included “Street Fighter II”, “1980s new wave”, “crappy kung fu movies”, and “cool ready-to-kick-butt-when-necessary poses”.

Once I have a general idea of The Vibe, I start hoarding references and inspiration like a packrat. Basically I just type my keywords into Google Images and save anything I remotely like to a dedicated folder. I also like making quick playlists to get me in the mood (“Sweep the Leg” by No More Kings quickly became Combat Mind’s unofficial theme song. Highly recommended listening).

From there, I try out some looks from my references by doing some more thumbnails, and when I think I’m onto something good, I ignore it and do three more thumbnails that inevitably turn out better. Then I’m done! At least, done with the fun part. Then comes the actual work part, which is basically ten hours of trial and error.“

Wesley also included a text-free version of the cover:

Stay tuned for new covers every day of the month!

I want to mention there is a Feedback Form open now that will allow you to send in your valuable comments, concerns, suggestions, and more about the 30 Covers, 30 Days program.


Cover Designed by Wesley Sueker

Local artist Wesley Sueker enjoys reading, trivia, and short walks on the beach immediately followed by ice cream. He is currently studying philosophy at UC Berkeley. His right-hand man is his boyfriend Sean, his left-hand man his Basset hound Milo, both instrumental to his creative process. Lately he’s been spending more energy flexing his artistic muscles–you can view the fruits of those flexes on his deviantArt page.

30 Covers, 30 Days 2018: Day Twenty-Six

Every November, during National Novel Writing Month, thirty professional designers volunteer to create book cover art inspired by novels being written by aspiring authors from around the globe. Why? To encourage new, diverse voices, and help build a more creative world.  

30 Covers, 30 Days is presented in partnership with designer and author Debbie Millman. Read more about these NaNoWriMo 2018 novels-in-progress, and the cover designers, below.

Emu

A Historical novel being written this November by NaNo participant N.M. Cunningham in Australia.

One woman, two men, two Lewis guns and twenty thousand emus, what could possibly go wrong? Outback governess and enthusiastic bird watcher, Grace Albright, finds herself at odds with Sergeant Charlie McKenna of the Seventh Heavy Battery of the Royal Australian Artillery when the government enlist the army to help with an emu cull, dubbed the ‘Great Emu War’. What was supposed to be a simple job for Charlie, turns out to be a disaster of ornithological proportions, one where feathers fly, young leave the nest and a ritual courtship dance is not enough to win over a bluestockinged bird lover.

Cover designer Nick Fierro shared a few alternate versions of Emu:

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Cover designer Nick Fierro had a few notes on these covers:

“I never expected that designing a cover for a novel about the Emu Wars of the 1930s would be so complicated. But there’s a lot of elements at play in a story like this, and it really jumped out at me. In fact, I chose it as an option for designers a few times before plucking it for myself as a challenge. I wanted to capture the intensity of war, the passion of romance, and the strangeness of emus in a single cover, but it took me a few tries to settle on one I really liked. In my head I pictured something like the poster for the 2008 movie Australia, but (aside from a hastily edited MS Paint file I won’t share here) the end result was something a little less … epic – one that I hoped would be a little understated but capture enough of the story to pull the reader in.“

Stay tuned for new covers every day of the month!

I want to mention there is a Feedback Form open now that will allow you to send in your valuable comments, concerns, suggestions, and more about the 30 Covers, 30 Days program.


Cover Designed by Nick Fierro

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Nick Fierro is not an expert graphic designer by any means; however, like many things, he’s working on it. He is the Editorial & Programs Intern at NaNoWriMo HQ, and he’s coordinated the program during the last several weeks. If you’ve gotten an email or message about your novel being selected for a cover, it was him you heard from. He hopes you’re all having a fantastic November. 

When he’s not bringing baked goods into the NaNo office, he’s working as a freelance writer, volunteering in his community, reading, and enjoying the fine food and drink of his native North Bay. 

30 Covers, 30 Days 2018: Day Twenty-Five

Every November, during National Novel Writing Month, thirty professional designers volunteer to create book cover art inspired by novels being written by aspiring authors from around the globe. Why? To encourage new, diverse voices, and help build a more creative world.  

30 Covers, 30 Days is presented in partnership with designer and author Debbie Millman. Read more about these NaNoWriMo 2018 novels-in-progress, and the cover designers, below.

Balaton

A Literary novel being written this November by NaNo participant Claire Doyle in Hungary.

When Laura McLove travels alone to her fiancé Max’s family villa at Lake Balaton in Hungary whilst he cares for his sick mother in Budapest, she stumbles across a communist conspiracy over a missing manuscript.

On what was formerly the Socialist Riviera, now an upmarket leisure spot for the new Hungarian elite, Laura dusts down the old villa and befriends its caretaker Mrs Szabó. What happened to Max’s father when the secret police came one night in 1972? And where is his missing manuscript?

Laura sets out to get to the bottom of the mystery whilst exploring Lake Balaton on foot, on bicycle, by boat, amongst vineyards and ancient abbeys. One clue leads to another until she suspects Mrs Szabó of theft. When Mrs Szabó then tells her she is not Max’s first fiancé, Laura’s world is thrown upside down.

In a world where everyone was informing on everybody else, does anybody know the truth? Laura takes off for Tihany Abbey by boat to meet with an old Benedictine monk where the truth begins to unravel.

Cover designer Roshanak Keyghobadi shared a behind-the-scenes picture of the making of Balaton:

Stay tuned for new covers every day of the month!

I want to mention there is a Feedback Form open now that will allow you to send in your valuable comments, concerns, suggestions, and more about the 30 Covers, 30 Days program.


Cover Designed by Roshanak Keyghobadi

Roshanak Keyghobadi is an artist, teacher and independent scholar who writes regularly about contemporary art and artists with special focus on design and typography. She holds a doctoral degree in Art and Art Education from Columbia University and her MFA and BFA are both in Graphic Design. She blogs at artCircle and displays her artworks on her Instagram page @roshanakkeyghobadi.

30 Covers, 30 Days 2018: Day Twenty-Four

Every November, during National Novel Writing Month, thirty professional designers volunteer to create book cover art inspired by novels being written by aspiring authors from around the globe. Why? To encourage new, diverse voices, and help build a more creative world.  

30 Covers, 30 Days is presented in partnership with designer and author Debbie Millman. Read more about these NaNoWriMo 2018 novels-in-progress, and the cover designers, below.

The Circle

A Science Fiction novel being written this November by YWP participant Brisa Oakley in Peru.

The city of Freim had been the perfect hometown for over 300 000 people 10 years ago. Everyone lived in peace and harmony until a new dark emperor came and made its goal to conquer all of Freim. Since then, the city has split in two: The Supporters, known as “Aken”; and the Resistance. The latter unified itself and formed a secret organization known as “The Circle”, who recruited people to fight against them. Everything was as good as it could be in the Circle and with the Aken until two new forces appeared, took the reigns of each side and changed everything.

Stay tuned for new covers every day of the month!

I want to mention there is a Feedback Form open now that will allow you to send in your valuable comments, concerns, suggestions, and more about the 30 Covers, 30 Days program.


Cover Designed by Debbie Millman

Debbie Millman is the host of the award-winning podcast Design Matters, the world’s first podcast on design; Chair of the first ever Masters in Branding Program at the School of Visual Arts, a curator for the Museum of Design, a contributor to Print Magazine, President Emeritus of AIGA, and the author of six books on design and branding. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @debbiemillman. 

Author photo by Chase Jarvis.

30 Covers, 30 Days 2018: Day Twenty-Three

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Every November, during National Novel Writing Month, thirty professional designers volunteer to create book cover art inspired by novels being written by aspiring authors from around the globe. Why? To encourage new, diverse voices, and help build a more creative world.  

30 Covers, 30 Days is presented in partnership with designer and author Debbie Millman. Read more about these NaNoWriMo 2018 novels-in-progress, and the cover designers, below.

Windycrest

An Adventure novel being written this November by NaNo participant JS Gardner in the United States.

Isla has a story – a telling. It is one that she has kept close since she was young. However, as the darkness in her mind finally begins to eclipse it, she realizes that she must let it go – tell it – before it becomes lost forever. So we embark with her on a journey through a mystical adolescence spent in the forest from whence all tellings come. A place hidden through the Crepe Myrtle behind her grandparents rural Oklahoma home. A place that is ruled by The Master of Tellings who decides which stories are allowed to enter the world. A place called Windycrest.

Cover designer Tan Le shared some sketches from the design process:

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Stay tuned for new covers every day of the month!

I want to mention there is a Feedback Form open now that will allow you to send in your valuable comments, concerns, suggestions, and more about the 30 Covers, 30 Days program.


Cover Designed by Tan Le

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I’ve been a graphic designer for 25+ years, having run my own studio, and then working as a creative director for some of the world’s biggest network agencies. I’ve had the chance to design and tell stories for some great brands, from Coca-Cola and Microsoft, to smaller gems that are local favorites.  I will always have a love of traditional print, but as the industry has evolved, so has my work. Whether it’s digital experience or large retail experiences, the key is to visually communicate something meaningful and make a connection through design. I also believe in supporting the profession, and am honored to be recognized as an AIGA Fellow. Personally, I’ve always been an avid reader, a film buff, love all things about science and nerd culture, and treasure time spent with my wife and smart kids in Dallas. You can find me online at tanle.designer.

30 Covers, 30 Days 2018: Day Twenty-Two

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Every November, during National Novel Writing Month, thirty professional designers volunteer to create book cover art inspired by novels being written by aspiring authors from around the globe. Why? To encourage new, diverse voices, and help build a more creative world.  

30 Covers, 30 Days is presented in partnership with designer and author Debbie Millman. Read more about these NaNoWriMo 2018 novels-in-progress, and the cover designers, below.

Unprompted

An Experimental novel being written this November by NaNo participant K.D.J. in the United States.

Characters come and characters go. Sometimes they do what writers want and sometimes they seem to have minds of their own. When Kelley sits down to try her hand at NaNoWriMo for the first time she immediately hits a wall. Cycling through less than helpful prompts as characters from her past projects pop up to offer entertaining interruptions, she ends up in an existential debate with one of the most loyal characters of her fiction, Dezik. Now she has 30 days to master her writing and hit 50,000 words all while Dezik is trying to prove he can exist without her.

Stay tuned for new covers every day of the month!

Have a happy Thanksgiving! I want to mention there is a Feedback Form open now that will allow you to send in your valuable comments, concerns, suggestions, and more about the 30 Covers, 30 Days program. 


Cover Designed by Christopher Simmons

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Christopher Simmons is a designer, author, design advocate, and principal of the San Francisco design office, MINE . He speaks on design issues for colleges, professional associations, and media, and regularly participates as a judge for major design competitions. Christopher’s work has been exhibited in museums and galleries ranging from The Hiroshima Museum of Contemporary Art to The Smithsonian Institution. He is the author of four books but increasingly applies the written word to text-based art. Follow him on Instagram @thisiscchs.