The 2017 M.L.S. Weech Book Cover of the Year Wild Card Round Begins!

The 2017 M.L.S. Weech Book Cover of the Year Wild Card Round Begins!

WildCardGreetings all,

I have to admit, I’m super excited about this project. I love tournaments, and I love book covers. I’m having a lot of fun with it, and I hope you all do as well.

In addition to giving you the link and some guidance, I wanted to give you some insight as to why these eight covers were chosen.  So here we go!

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab: This is one of only two covers to receive more than 1,000 total votes. Unfortunately, it face the OTHER cover. Schwab’s 1,091 votes didn’t carry it through. It was the runner up, but didn’t make on it’s second time up. I still think it’s an amazing cover, and with 1,000 people behind it, I felt it deserved a final try.

The Dragon Rider Vol. 1 by T.J. Weekes: This was November’s runner up, and since I always put the runner up in the next tournament, I felt this time should be no different.

Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan: This book was one of only two to finish as runner up in two different brackets. A lot of people liked this book cover. So if this was one of two books to be a runner up twice, it only stands to reason the other would get in too, right?

The Girl Who Could See by Kara Swanson: Your darn right it stands to reason.

51VhLwOV75LAnaerfell by Joshua Robertson and J.C. Boyd: This doesn’t surprise anyone who follows my blog, but I had to make the announcement. This book was in a downright fight with Bentz Deyo, and it was just fun to watch. The cover also received a total of 574 votes.

The Other One by Amanda Jay: It finished as a runner up and received a total of 433 votes.

To Brave the End by Frank Dorrian: Another runner up to fall just short, it received 348 votes in it’s first try.

Fate of the Big Bad Wolf by Neo Edmund: It also received 348 votes. It was a runner up, and even performed pretty well on its second try.

Three hundred votes is an important benchmark. Since I went to the two-week, total voting style, the winners all received a maximum of 350 votes. So my thinking was people who earned enough votes to win under the old system deserved a chance with the new one.

Now that’s said, let’s go over the basics:

This bracket has eight books. The top four selected will move on to the 2017 M.L.S. Weech Book Cover of the Year Bracket. Winning is good (and I use vote totals to create the matches in the BCOTY bracket, but all you really want is to finish in the top four.

You can vote all the way through the tournament, supporting the covers you like best through each round. I like to make sure people get the credit they deserve, so please show your support. Please vote and share as much as possible to get people a chance to pick their favorite.

As always, I’d appreciate it if you tag the authors and artists if you know them. I try to tag or friend every author I can, but sometimes it’s hard to track someone down. Max participation is a huge deal to me. The more people who vote, the more recognition these authors and artists receive, and I want this to be as legitimate as possible.

If you are the author, let’s remember to be good sports! 1) Please feel free to message or contact me at any time. 2) Please feel free to like, share, text, ask for support, and call everyone you know. I absolutely want max participation. However, if you’re going to offer giveaways or prizes, please offer them for voting, not just voting for you.

Also, while your summoning your army of voting soldiers, please make sure you ask them to vote in every match. Part of the idea of this is to get exposure to as many artists and authors as possible. By all means, if you can get 1,000 people to vote for your book, do it. Just please also send some eyeballs to the other matches.

A final note to authors and artists: I currently have links to the books’ Amazon pages. If you’d prefer I switch that link to sign up for your newsletter or like your social media page or whatever, just send me the link and let me know. I want this to help you. I want this to be as helpful as possible, so whatever you need me to do to facilitate that, just let me know.

I hope you keep having fun. Please, vote, share, and discuss as much as possible.

All you have to do now is head over here to vote!

Thanks for reading,

Matt

 

 

 

 

Announcing the November Book Cover of the Month!

Announcing the November Book Cover of the Month!

Hello everyone,

It’s kind of cool to know I’ve been doing this for a year. We’ve picked out 12 amazing covers, and we still have some work to do (more on that below).  For now, the November Book Cover of the Month bracket has just wrapped up. This month had a great surge of voters. Three particular authors came out in force and really got their following involved, and that’s wonderful to me.

We had 4,177 votes this month.

This was honestly one of my favorite months to watch. We had some wonderful matches, and one of those matches has me clicking refresh even as I type this announcement. The Sweet Sixteen match between Prey till the End by S.L. Eaves and Living the Good Death by Scott Baron was back and forth for nearly a week. I don’t remember that match being more than five votes apart, and they both had more than 30 people vote their covers all the way to the winners’ circle.  It’s so close, I actually feel the need to type an announcement for each of those covers, and wait until the bracket closes to edit the winner in.  I had to check back and fourth, but it was fun watching it.

The November Book Cover of the Month is…

 

 

51QxQhmi8TL

 

 

Living the Good Death by Scott Baron! If you’re curious about how I felt about the book, check out the Facebook post that I posted when this book first landed on the bracket, here.

Let’s look at the stats!

Baron received 268 total votes. He edged Eaves out of the sweet sixteen by two votes.

NOV_Cover_CollageHere’s the part where people may upset. Though Eaves would have one had she beaten Baron, she didn’t. The runner up to this (the author who won her side of the bracket) was  The Dragon Rider Vol. 1 by T.J. Weekes. I did a lot of thinking, but the fact is Weekes earned the right to try again by winning her bracket. Sure, the NCAA may loop Alabama into the playoffs, and I can’t even say I’ve never done it (though that was an extreme even beyond this) before, but the Book Cover of the Year Wild Card Round only has one slot left, and Weekes earned it.  You have to be the runner up.  So Weekes will be the final entry into the aforementioned (and still to be discussed below) wild card round.

For Baron, he doesn’t have to stress over another “tryout” bracket. He’s in the main Book Cover of the Year Bracket.  Let’s look at the summary for his book.

 

 

Amazon:

(START BLURB)

Wearing nothing but psych ward pajamas and fluffy slippers, the odd girl wasn’t really dressed to kill. Being the Grim Reaper, however, she felt confident she could make it work.

Have you ever had one of those days? You know, the kind of day when things just don’t go your way. Like when your botched suicide attempt and claims of supernatural powers get you hauled to the emergency room, placed under observation, then transferred to a locked-down psych facility.

The girl who thought she was Death had failed miserably in her efforts to shed the troublesome human body in which she was trapped. The result? Finding herself surrounded by nutjobs, locked in a mental ward ruled by a humorless doctor with a Napoleon complex and a penchant for sleight of hand. Sure, she did technically bring it on herself, but how was she to know that trying to off herself in public and using her outside voice to proclaim she was Death incarnate would result in a psych ward lockdown?

With that problematic little blunder behind her, the concerns now vexing her were pressing. Escape, both from the mental hospital, as well as from this plane of existence, was vital, but equally so was addressing the other issue haunting her. The big one. The one that could end the world. The issue that with Death missing, people would rather inconveniently no longer die like they were supposed to. Eventually, things would hit critical mass. She just didn’t know when.

The situation was, well, grim, to say the very least. An irony not lost on the girl claiming to be the Death.

(END BLURB)

I’ve added Living the Good Death to my TBR. (For those who are new to the deal, I buy the Book Cover of the Month to read and review in the future. I bought Manning’s first cover, Howard’s cover, Deyo’s coverJones’s CoverHubert’s Cover,  MacNiven’s cover,  Jon del Arroz’sRob J. Hayes’sChris Philbrook’sR.L. Week’s, and Manning’s second winning cover. They are also on my TBR. Manning’s review is here.  Howard’s review is here. Deyo’s review is here. The review for Jones’s book is here.  I’m currently reading Hubert’s book.
Here’s
 Baron’s Facebook page. Give it a like if you’re curious about him and his work.

I’ll try to find out who did that cover. I’m frankly behind my interviews, but I’m hopeful my vacation can give me a chance to get caught up.

But wait! There’s more!  Starting Dec. 18, my Book Cover of the Year Wild Card Round begins. Weekes and seven other authors who came up just short of winning a monthly bracket will have five days to duke it out for one last, last chance to get into the Book Cover of the Year bracket. The way it will work is the top four winners (as determined by Brackify) will earn the four remaining slots into the Sweet Sixteen of 2017 (I like the ring of that).

WildCard

V.E. Schwab’s A Gathering of Shadows.

Michael J. Sullivan’s Age of Myth.

Kara Swanson’s The Girl Who Could See.

Joshua Robertson’s and J.C. Boyd’s Anaerfell (Which I’ve read and reviewed).

Amanda Jay’s The Other One.

Frank Dorrian’s To Brave the End.

And Neo Edmund’s Fate of the Big Bad Wolf.

When the bracket kicks off, I’ll post a summary of why each book made it into the Wild Card Round, but I felt it fair to announce who all eight were so, if they read this, they can start to summon their followers.

Now, that brings up some additional news. My first ever BOOK COVER OF THE YEAR tournament is coming. This will feature all 12 BCTOM winners and four “Wild Card” covers.

The Book Cover of the Year Bracket (for which I’m purchasing an actual trophy to send to the artist) will launch Jan. 1. It will be a two-week tournament. Then, I’ll launch the December Book Cover of the Month, which will start off a new year. Yes, that means I’ve decided to to this at least one more year. It’s exhausting, but matches like this one make it fun, and I’ll do it as long as it’s fun.

I will continue to identify and select covers for each day from Amazon’s New Release section for fantasy and science fiction. If you follow and like my Facebook page, you can see what covers will make the bracket.

Thanks for reading

Matt

Book Cover of the Month of February

Book Cover of the Month of February

feb_cover_collageHappy 1st everyone! For me, that means it’s time for a new Book Cover of the Month Bracket, and I’m more excited every time I do this.  If you’re curios or new, check out the Book Covers for December and January.

Last month was simply enormous, and I hope to keep this momentum going in the right direction. We have 28 new covers to look at, and the top four runners up from last month have a second shot to win the month!

If you know the authors or the artists, please share this and tag them. I try to tag or friend every author I can, but sometimes it’s hard to track someone down. Max participation is a huge deal to me. The more people who vote, the more recognition these authors and artists receive, and I want this to be as legitimate as possible.

Round 1 will go from today to March 8.

The Sweet 16 will run from then to the 15th.

The Elite 8 will take it from there until the 18th.

The Final 4 runs from the 18th to the 20th.

The Finals will go from the 20th to the 22nd.

I hope you keep having fun. Please, vote, share, and discuss as much as possible.

All you have to do now is head over here to vote!

Thanks for reading,

Matt

 

Book Cover of the Month of January

Book Cover of the Month of January

I never imagined this project would receive nearly 5,000 votes. It’s just really cool to see people come out and support the authors they love. To give you guys some insight, I’m about 10 days into March’s bracket, and I still think January is the strongest group of covers so far. That’s not to say there aren’t some great, well deserving covers coming up, but it was just an amazing month for covers. We’ll see how the other brackets stack up, but this was an awesome one.  No mater how great the competition, there must be a winner.

And the winner is…

411sff159rl-_sx322_bo1204203200_
This and other associated images are used for review and critique purposes under fair use doctrine. Also, I’m trying to help Marissa sell some books.

Loveless by Marissa Howard.  For  those who want to see the Facebook post that launched it all, just click here.

If you read that post closely, know that I stand behind what I said. The cover has a feel to it that doesn’t appear in my wheelhouse, but it was (there’s really no non-pun way to put this) abel to grab my eye. Broken patterns are interesting, and the use of color was brilliant.  Simple works, and in this case, a clean design was all the artist needed.Let’s look at the stats!

Loveless had an amazing amount of support. She went up against some of the toughest covers with some very prominent authors and came out on top, and that only happens with an amazing support group and a ton of fans who love this book. It received 1,302 out of 4,770 total votes (27%, give or take what votes may come in the next 40 minutes).  A Gathering of Shadows received 1,091 (22%).  I thought Shadows was going to jump out to another amazing lead like it did in the Final 4, but Loveless fans came out of the woodwork. As I look at it (11:22 p.m.), Loveless won 725-543.  It looks like a huge win, but I promise, I looked at this just about every two hours, and this lead changed hands by 50-60 votes two or three times.

january-cover-display-finalsAs promised, Shadows will receive a bid into next month’s tournament to round out the field of 32. So fans of Schwab and her books will still have a chance to help her move on to the Book Cover of the Year bracket.

Loveless is Howard’s first book. It’s a dystopian future novel, but I’ll let the summary speak for itself. Here’s the Amazon book blurb:

“Silence. After 74 years without laughter, without smiling, without touch, without kisses to dry dirty tears, this is what the world has come to know. Silence, and gray.

50 years from now, humanity voted to ban love from existence. It was their choice–a choice agreed on by everyone. So it was prohibited. Smiles were gone. Laughter was illegal. Kissing, hugging and touching were unthinkable. With each day that passed, eyes faded to a deep, empty gray.

But what humanity did not know is that without love, there was only hate. And this hate destroyed the world. It was a disease inside humans that burned everything in its path.

97 people survived this destruction. 97 people who took refuge in an old, gray bunker underground that compliments their gray eyes. This is where the story begins–13 years after the world’s end, with a people who know nothing except how to live in a world without love. No one speaks to each other. The thought of touching one another is repulsive. Their world is routine–meals, studies, Collaboration. It’s like this every day. Laney’s life is like this every day. The stories she has heard about what humanity used to be like when love existed are just that–stories. So she goes about her life like everyone else, living in fear and silence.

Until her people start to learn how to hate, and the 97 realize one, simple fact: that love is needed if they are going to survive.

With one final, desperate attempt, Laney and seven other teens–a boy named Nash with eyes a little less gray than the rest, a curious redhead named Theodore, Arsen, who keeps his face hidden behind dark sunglasses–are sent on a journey in the world above to discover love again and to bring it back to humanity before it’s too late. But every step forward is a step into the past, and a look into a life Laney is not sure she even wants to see.”

(END BLURB)

I’ve just purchased the book, and it’s officially on my TBR. (For those who are new to the deal, I buy the Book Cover of the Month to read and review in the future. I bought Manning’s cover, and it’s currently third on my TBR.)

Here’s Mrs. Howard’s Facebook page. Give her a like if you’re curious about her or her work.

 

14225512_173915503017569_3485861154066238470_n
Image of Mrs. Howard pulled from her Facebook Profile.

I did have a chance to speak with her about the artist.  His name is Joshua Rafols.  I haven’t had a chance to reach out to him yet, but Mrs. Howard is working on getting me in touch with him. I did reach out to Amalia, (the artist who won last month), but she got caught up in some classes and hasn’t been able to get back to me as yet. If either does, I’ll post all their info. For me though, what matters most is that I do what I can to at least give them credit for a job well done. People don’t just sit around all day waiting for something to vote on. They have to care, and this level of support wouldn’t exist without dedicated fans and people who jus like clever designs.

Clearly I’m going to keep this up. I’ve even decided that I’ll purchase and engrave a trophy for the winning artist. I won’t get elaborate, but I think the artists deserve something tangible for their efforts, and this is my way of giving credit where it’s due.

I will continue to identify and select covers for each day from Amazon’s New Release section for fantasy and science fiction. If you follow and like my Facebook page, you can see what covers will make the bracket. February is already set up. Shadows, The UnleashedMarked, and Dominion all received enough votes to earn a second shot, so they’ll join 28 other great covers in that bracket. If I can, I’ll post interviews from each artist.

This was a great month, and I hope those who voted will continue to support their covers and others. There are some great ones!  The March bracket launches March 1st. Stay tuned.

Thanks for reading

Matt

January BCOTM Finals!

January BCOTM Finals!

Here are the stats:

The Closest Contest:
Either way you look at it, the match between The Unleashed by Bentz Deyo vs Loveless by Marissa Howard was a nail biter. Howard pulled off a last minute win with just nine votes! Talk about a close call.  (NOTE: I was preparing this, and Howard came back with about 4 minutes to go. She was down by 2 with 20 minutes to go, and BOOM! Last second of last second surges.)
The Largest Victor:
Marked by Jordan-Paige Sudduth started off strong and gained a big lead on A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab, but then everything exploded. Schwab’s followers came out of the woodwork and launched this whole bracket into high gear. More than 400 votes later, Schwab earned a 164-vote victory over Sudduth.

Most Voted On Contest:
Each bracket had nearly 700 votes! It was insane, but Schwab’s match edged the other contest with 704 total votes. (The other match had 696).

The Finals last until midnight of Feb. 21. (That’s about 48 hours).

 

Please comment if there’s not enough time. I can shift things around. Given how close Deyo’s and Howard’s match was, I may have to consider that anyway. But let me know your thoughts on the finalists. Did your favorite make it?

Head over here and vote!

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Final 4! January Book Cover of the Month

Final 4! January Book Cover of the Month

january-cover-display_4First, a bit of news that I’m proud of.  This little idea of mine has now crossed the 2,000 vote barrier, and it’s still one of the most popular brackets on Brackify.com. We had 437 votes in this round alone, pushing us to 2,084 total votes.  I’m honestly humbled by that, and I think the authors and artists behind these covers would be equally proud.

As they say in football, let’s go to the tape:

The Closest Contest:
This depends on how you look at it. In terms of simple votes, A Gathering of Shadows only beat Tested by Magic by four tiny votes.  *Refreshes page hoping the last 45 minutes of voting don’t change things*  But the surprising close call is actually also the most voted on contest.  That would be Loveless by Marissa Howard. It beat Dominion by Michael C. Miles by 12 votes, but it only had 53% of the votes (the same as Gathering vs Tested).  It really was a close match, and that caused it to be the most contested.

The Largest Victor:
The Unleashed by Bentz Deyo was simply dominant in its match against Rebel, Pawn, King by Morgan Rice.  Unleashed won by 46 votes (72 percent of the votes).

Most Voted On Contest:
The most contested match in the young history of this idea in terms of votes is Loveless vs Dominion. How contested was it? It received a total of 163 votes! (That’s almost as many votes as the December BCOTM had in total.  Seriously, if Marissa or Michael are out there, send your fans a FB message or Tweet, because they showed up for you, and it helped you both!  While Dominion didn’t make it into the next round, it did receive enough votes to get an honorary spot in the February bracket. This is because it was a short month, and I always use runners up to fill out the bracket of 32.  So don’t fret Dominion fans! You’ll have another chance to get that cover into the 2017 bracket.

I’d like to thank the voters myself.  Sure, no other contest came anywhere NEAR 163 votes, the others were well above 70.  I do ask that if you vote for one, you vote for all, but this round was at least a little closer.

Least Voted On Contest:
There will always be one of these.  And the low vote-earner for this round was Tested vs Gathering. It only received 72 votes, and they needed every single one of them.

The Final Four is another quick round. It ends when the clock strikes midnight of Feb. 19. (That’s about 48 hours).

Only 1 will win, but the other authors can still be proud because they’re all guaranteed AT LEAST a chance to try again in the February bracket.

Do me a favor? I’m still working out a lot, and I want to be sure there’s enough time to vote. I have to balance that with life and being able to launch the brackets, but if you think these last few rounds aren’t enough time, please let me know.

But do it after you vote, because you don’t have enough time!

Head over here and vote!

Thanks for reading,

Matt

January Book Cover of the Month Elite 8

January Book Cover of the Month Elite 8

This was easily the most exciting round in the short history of this little event I’ve come up with.  And the votes are just staggering.  We’re up to 1,647, which means the Sweet 16 had 593 votes all by itself. I had to wait until just a few moments before midnight to declare a winner (and even now I’m refreshing the bracket to be sure one contest didn’t change).

As they say in football, let’s go to the tape:

The Closest Contest:
For the second round in a row, Upside Down found itself in a nail biter. It wasn’t able to pull of the victory this time though.  *Refreshes screen to be sure nothing’s changed* Only 45 minutes from the end of the round, Rebel, Pawn, King, managed to eek out a two-vote victory.  I’ll be honest, I’m a HUGE fan of Upside Down, but it couldn’t find the votes it needed.  It was the closet in terms of how many votes separated it and marine of victory (decided by only 3%!)

In terms of margin of victory, the closest contest was Marked vs The VeilMarkedreceived more raw votes, but it only received 52% of the 67 votes from the contest.

The Largest Victor:
Dominion beat The Liberation by a margin of 32 raw votes and 40% of the total votes. I think this artist should be very proud and very grateful to her following. (I don’t mean that sarcastically, that’s AMAZING support for a great talent.)

Most Voted On Contest:
As much support as Dominion got, Human vs The Unleashed got just ONE more vote (81 total votes as I type this). Those contests and Loveless vs ShadowBound all received more than 75 votes.  On that note, I’m overjoyed to see such support. I want fans of these artists and authors to come show their support, but while you’re doing so, please take the time to vote on the other contests. I’m very glad that every contest had at least 60 votes, but I’d be even happier if there was less separation between the most voted on and least voted on match. I think it shows respect to all those involved.

Least Voted On Contest:
To stress my point on the above contest, two matches received 60 votes. Queen of Chaos vs Tested by Magic and A Gathering of Shadows vs Orbital each earned those.  Neither match was very close, and I understand how quickly a favorite could form, but I think those were four very nice covers.

So now it’s on to the Elite 8!  This round will last until Feb. 17 at midnight. That’s not a lot of time, but you only have 4 matches to vote on! So, authors and artists, make sure you reach out to your fans and get them voting to support you (and the rest of the competitors).

I’m still amazed at how successful this has been. I mentioned on Facebook that this bracket is currently one of the most popular on Brackify (at least is was when I was typing this). Let’s keep the momentum going!

Head over here and vote!

Thanks for reading,

Matt