Book cover designs: Best Fiction Cover Art of 2019 by Kettle Fire Creative blog book cover design Book Cover Designs: Best Fiction Cover Art of 2019 book covers fi

Even in this age of e-books and Audible, book cover designs are still the #1 marketing tool in the publishing world. Professionally designed book covers can account for as much as a 35% increase in sales! We reviewed the cover art of more than 1,000 fiction books released in 2019. The best cover designs are featured here.

Most visually engaging

Book cover designs: Best Fiction Cover Art of 2019 by Kettle Fire Creative blog. Washington Black by Esi Edugyan--most visually engaging book cover design Book Cover Designs: Best Fiction Cover Art of 2019 Washington Black

Thoughts on the book cover design

The cover of Washington Black by Esi Edugyan immediately caught our attention. This illustration is imaginative and top quality. We loved the depth created by the bird over the title and its shadow on the balloon. The scene, rendered in warm vintage tones, inspires curiosity and is well-balanced with the solid all-caps typography.

Reading experience promised

A well-crafted adventure that inspires

Best minimal design

Book cover designs: Best Fiction Cover Art of 2019 by Kettle Fire Creative blog. The Rationing by Charles Wheelan--best minimal design book cover design Book Cover Designs: Best Fiction Cover Art of 2019 Rationing

Thoughts on the book cover design

The minimal yet poignant design of The Rationing by Charles Wheelan made it a winner for us. We saw hundreds of book covers that tried to intertwine the title and the graphics, often leaving the title illegible, but this cover art keeps things clean and readable. The pills and title have a great rhythm. The bright, high-contrast color palette will catch shoppers’ eyes and the simple graphic sends a clear message: either you want to read this or you don’t.

Jacket image: Sergei Korolko/iStock/Getty Images. Designer: Jason Ramirez. Art Director: Ingsu Liu.

Reading experience promised

A thriller centered on a pharmaceutical crisis

Best overall composition

Book cover designs: Best Fiction Cover Art of 2019 by Kettle Fire Creative blog. The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea--best overall composition book cover design Book Cover Designs: Best Fiction Cover Art of 2019 House of Broken Angels

Thoughts on the book cover design

This book cover for The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea is simply beautiful. The color palette is warm but not particularly common. The floral graphics are lovely without overpowering the title, shown in a stylized but readable font. The elements are laid out perfectly, with the solid, symmetrical roof line anchoring the whole design.

Reading experience promised

A layered family tale that will probably require Kleenex

Best use of texture

Book cover designs: Best Fiction Cover Art of 2019 by Kettle Fire Creative blog. Westside by W.M. Akers--best use of texture book cover design Book Cover Designs: Best Fiction Cover Art of 2019 Westside

Thoughts on the book cover design

There’s a lot happening on the cover of Westside by W.M. Akers, but it all comes together in a well-balanced vintage moment. We love the contrast of dark and light, grungy and delicate, masculine and feminine, evil and good. The central graphic with its map overlay pops off the gritty city background. The tight color palette keeps the design from being too busy. This one was probably a little risky for the designer, but we think it paid off.

Reading experience promised

A classic good vs. evil period mystery set in NYC

Most eye-catching

Book cover designs: Best Fiction Cover Art of 2019 by Kettle Fire Creative blog. The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms--most eye catching book cover design Book Cover Designs: Best Fiction Cover Art of 2019 Overdue Life of Amy Byler

Thoughts on the book cover design

There’s an undeniably clever interaction between the title and the cover design of The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms. The brightly colored books fill the foreground over an outline of a woman on a mission. The textured turquoise cityscape is a great base for this pop-off-the-shelf cover. Throughout, the level of detail is just enough. And while we’d usually balk at so many fonts, the handling here is appropriate and fun.

Reading experience promised

A woman takes on the big city in a light-hearted journey

Most playful design

Book cover designs: Best Fiction Cover Art of 2019 by Kettle Fire Creative blog. The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren--most playful design book cover design Book Cover Designs: Best Fiction Cover Art of 2019 Unhoneymooners

Thoughts on the book cover design

Who wouldn’t smile at the cover design of The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren? The yellow packs a playful punch, especially combined with tropical flowers, palm fronds, and fluttering hearts. At 14 letters long, we can imagine the struggle to find a way to display “unhoneymooners” while maintaining legibility and personality. The big-beaked bird takes this from romance to romantic comedy.

Designer: Ella Laytham. Art Director: John Vairo.

Reading experience promised

A romantic comedy of errors in a tropical setting

Best photo manipulation

Book cover designs: Best Fiction Cover Art of 2019 by Kettle Fire Creative blog. Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly--best photo manipulation book cover design Book Cover Designs: Best Fiction Cover Art of 2019 Stepsister

Thoughts on the book cover design

Young adult novels can be heavy hitters in the book market, and the book cover of Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly is not for babies. The design relies on the instant recognition of Cinderella’s glass slipper and the viewer’s immediate reaction to seeing it shattered. The rendering of the shattered glass and glinting light is particularly well executed. We appreciate the breathing room left around the shoe in the lower left.

Designer: Maeve Norton. Art Director: Elizabeth Parisi. Artwork: John Dismukes.

Reading experience promised

A darker, edgier perspective on Cinderella

Best title design

Book cover designs: Best Fiction Cover Art of 2019 by Kettle Fire Creative blog. The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray--best title design book cover design Book Cover Designs: Best Fiction Cover Art of 2019 Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls

Thoughts on the book cover design

Long titles are tough, so we applaud the designer of the cover of The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray. At first glance you get a very legible, though long, title in an aggressive font. Look again and notice the faces of women spinning out of control. The lush, jewel tone background peeks through the lettering and frames the truly unique shape, creating a memorable and intriguing cover.

Reading experience promised

A dramedy about a family’s ups and downs

Best sense of dimension

Book cover designs: Best Fiction Cover Art of 2019 by Kettle Fire Creative blog. The Overstory by Richard Powers--best sense of dimension book cover design Book Cover Designs: Best Fiction Cover Art of 2019 Overstory

Thoughts on the book cover design

A great book cover draws you in—that can certainly be said of the dimensional design of The Overstory by Richard Powers. A golden, glowing forest is cut into concentric circles and spun 180 degrees, a whirlpool pulling you into the the focal point and title. We get a sense of movement, reflection, and depth that is hopefully captured in the narrative as well. Though slightly unsettling, the design is a beautiful spin (no pun intended) on a classic woodland scene.

Art Director: Ingsu Liu.

Reading experience promised

A layered tale that stirs the senses

Sweetest style

Book cover designs: Best Fiction Cover Art of 2019 by Kettle Fire Creative blog. Rosie's Travelling Tea Shop by Rebecca Raisin--sweetest style book cover design Book Cover Designs: Best Fiction Cover Art of 2019 Rosies Travelling Tea Shop

Thoughts on the book cover design

The cover art for Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop by Rebecca Raisin is unapologetically cute. The layout is uncomplicated and effective with the title neatly framed by hand-drawn-style graphics. The color palette is sophisticated girly and the illustration will have potential readers ready to pull up a seat by the pink van full of treats. The overall design gives a clear impression of what type of book this is…and isn’t.

Reading experience promised

A chance to eat desserts vicariously through a traveling female lead

Most interesting graphic

Book cover designs: Best Fiction Cover Art of 2019 by Kettle Fire Creative blog. Here and Now and Then by Mike Chen--most interesting graphic book cover design Book Cover Designs: Best Fiction Cover Art of 2019 Here and Now and Then

Thoughts on the book cover design

The central graphic for Here and Now and Then by Mike Chen made us pause and look closer. A man runs after a young woman but he exists on a different plane that will never cross her path. This impossible chase is made clearer by the use of gold and turquoise hues, which also make the title understandable. We hope this infinite loop translates to time travel, twists, and colliding lives in the narrative.

Reading experience promised

A time bending adventure with twists and turns

What do you think of our winners? Have you seen some great cover art this year? Share your favorite book cover designs with us in the comments!


Note: Kettle Fire Creative has not read and does not endorse any of these books. The evaluation is based solely on the quality of book cover designs. No money was received from the authors, publishers, or their affiliates.

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