So, right now I’m telling everyone about my latest book. I mentioned that I’m pretty excited about the cover:

I got this cover by running a design contest at the website 99Designs. (You can see all the entries in the contest here.) But after I announced the contest on Twitter and started telling my friends about it, I was surprised that a few people got upset. One of them linked to this comic that talks about why contests are bad for artists.

To be clear, I have entered many contests in my life as a writer and artist. I’ve won some and lost some, and I don’t think that I have been exploited. But I was already feeling bad about the amount of time that some people invested in my cover contest … and my friends’ comments clinched it. So I started trying to figure out a way that I could make my contest a little better for the people who didn’t win.

One thing I can do is link to the contest itself, so you can all see the extra covers. The other thing I can do is display a few runner-up covers here on my blog, and link to the creators.

This, for example, was my second favorite cover! The creator, Shinoshima, asked me to link to his 99Designs profile page:

And a few more — featuring everything from Proust + fuzzy handcuffs, to Greek statues wearing collars.

By Photeur (99Designs profile page)

By Leslie79 (99Designs profile page)

By Banateanul (Ad agency website in Romanian)

By Nowitza (99Designs profile page)

By Dalim (99Designs profile page)

Last but not least, here was a different entry from the winner, Llywellyn, that cracked me up:

Thanks to everyone for the effort they put into the contest!

And again, the book itself exists! Now is a great time to buy it!

BDSM & Culture: Fifty Shades of Stereotype
* Amazon page for Kindle version
* Smashwords page for other ebook formats