As anyone in the business of selling books knows, sometimes we really do judge books by their covers. (I know I've bought books because of their covers, and not bought others for the same reason.) We've blogged casually but enthusiastically about our favorite book covers in previous years (and it's a constant topic of conversation on our book team here and just about anywhere book people get together, as far as I can tell), but this year, as they say in the reality shows, we've taken it to the next level. Thanks to our Magazines team, which built a sleek and fun voting widget to help them choose the best magazine covers of the year (here's their landing page--the widget itself lives no more now that the voting is over), we were able to do the same to open up customer voting for the best book covers of 2009. And so we narrowed down our favorite covers of the year to 60 nominees in ten categories, and now the rest is up to you.
You can find a link to the best covers voting on our Best Books of 2009 page, but if you're in a hurry, you can go straight to the voting page. The first round of voting, in which you choose your favorite in each of the ten categories, goes through December 7, and then they'll be a second round through December 17 to choose the Best Cover of 2009 from the 10 category champs.
We'll be posting plenty more about covers here over the next few weeks (including interviews with designers and more), but let's just start off with our nominees. You can see larger versions of all these images on our voting page or on this page, but here's a quick thumbnail gallery of each category after the jump. I know which ones I love the best (here are a few), but I'm looking forward to seeing what the top choices will turn out to be from this lovely array. And if there are favorites of yours that have been left off the ballot (some of my personal favorites didn't make the cut either), please shout them out in the comments, and we can feature some of them on Omni later. (We're not the only ones doing this, by the way: I know that the excellent Book Design Review is going to hold their annual favorite covers poll, with a little twist this year, by asking three booksellers to make their own selections.)
This one of the most fun things we've put together on the site recently, and we hope you'll enjoy it too.