Judging a Book By Its Cover

is something we’ve all been taught not to do.  But the Houston Bay Area chapter of Romance Writers of America (my “home” chapter, the first I joined back in 1996) sponsors a contest that does just that, Judge a Book By Its Cover, or JABBIC.

When we decided a few years ago to start a contest, we figured the RWA world really didn’t need another writing contest.  But a cover competition was something new, it could be done electronically, and it could be judged by booksellers all over the English speaking world.

Since we couldn’t offer possible requests by editors and agents, the usual lure of writing contests, we decided to offer publicity instead, reserving the inside cover of the April Romance Writers Report, the journal of RWA, for an ad featuring the winning covers.  This turned out to be good publicity for both the winning authors and our chapter, and we do it every year.

The JABBIC winners and finalists this year reflect new trends in the publishing world:  two of the winners and three more finalists are self-published ebooks, proving perhaps that these days we really can’t judge a book by its cover.

This year JABBIC added two new categories, Young Adult and Inspirational, as well as a set of Readers’ Choice Awards, judged by anyone who cared to visit the web site, look through the entries, and vote.  Three of these lovely covers were also self-published.

Follow this link to see the all the JABBIC winners, runners up, and Readers’ Choice favorites.  And then consider buying and reading a few of them. Good books.  You can tell by the covers.

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