Great Australian book cover designers longlisted for the 70th Australian Book Design Awards

Great Australian book cover designers longlisted for the 70th Australian Book Design Awards

March 21, 2022

How to find a great cover designer for your book? And what actually makes a great book cover design?

I love checking out the book designs of current bestsellers and seeing who designed them. But I’m an author – not a bookseller, librarian or design professional – so I realise that even if I like a particular cover, it may not actually be the right cover for the ideal reader of a particular book.

That’s where the Australian Book Designer Association’s 70th Annual Book Design Awards come in. These awards are eye candy for book lovers but more importantly, a sign of respect and recognition from the industry for the best of the best covers of the previous year.

And…if you’re looking for a book cover designer for your self-published book, ABDA and these awards offer a great way to find professional book cover designers to work with. Sure, some of the winners will work in-house for the big publishers and smaller presses, but many will also be freelance indie designers.

My non-fiction book cover design faves in the running this year include

  • Muddy People (designer Alissa Dinallo / author Sara El Sayed / publisher Black Inc.)
  • Ten Thousand Aftershocks (designer Sandy Cull / author Michelle Tom / publisher Fourth Estate – HarperCollins)
  • Soil (designer Daniel New / author Matthew Evans / publisher Murdoch Books

I’m not sure if I like these covers because I loved the content and writing in Muddy People and Ten Thousand Aftershocks…or if I would have chosen these covers without reading the books anyway!?! I’m also attracted to the cover of Soil, because well…I like growing things!

In the fiction book cover design, I love:

  • The Dressmakers of Yarrandarah Prison (designer Emily O’Neill / author Meredith Jaffe / publisher Harper Collins)

You can see the full longlist for the 70th Australian Book Design Awards on the ABDA site here. But there will also be many great designers who didn’t have a book nominated this year, and you can search ABDA’s Member Directory to find a designer who works in your category/niche and might have the style to suit you, your book, your budget and your audience.

There’s also a whole chapter on book cover design in Look – It’s Your Book! with lots of experts interviewed. As so many elements go into successful book cover design, it’s important to get them right to give your self-published book the best chance of success.