South Africa's first award for book cover design has been launched by the Good Book Appreciation Society (GBAS), a Facebook group started by author Paige Nick.
The GBAS Book Cover Design Awards will offer R5 000 each for the best cover design for fiction, non-fiction and poetry books. There is also an overall prize to be voted for by readers. Entries close on 1 November, and the winners will be announced on 30 November.
Initially, there was no prize for the cover of a poetry volume, but a new sponsorship from Fine Music Radio has made that category possible too.
"The plan had been to add sponsored categories from next year," GBAS recently posted, "but Fine Music Radio have been such great supporters. So we're proud and excited to announce the FMR Award for Cover Design in Poetry".
Entries cost R100 each - "So that'll go some way to footing the bill," says Nick. Publishers, authors and designers can submit cover designs. If publishers enter five they get one free entry.
How did GBAS start? "I belonged to a book club at the agency I worked at," says Nick. "There were eight to ten of us. Then everybody got very busy, and people left the agency, so I started a Facebook group with eight of us, and it just grew. It was very organic. That was eight years ago and now we have 16 500 members."
Members engage enthusiastically with books and with the reviews posted by others.