With my Bantam covers, I generally get to hear a concept description, and I see them either when they show up on Amazon or a little bit before. (Or, if I am clever and tricky and a good stalker, sometimes I can find the preliminary sketches on the artist's website beforehand.) I have already heard a description of the proposed cover for Undertow, and it sounds very cool; it is to be the frog boygirl lurking among paramangrove roots, ripples of distortion radiating out across one half of the image.
Perfect, in ways I cannot begin to express.
Also, I love the cover for Carnival. I would marry it, but that's illegal in this state. No idea if it will sell books, mind you, but I want to kiss it and call it George.
The Jenny covers don't do much for me on an aesthetic level (although I love the incredibly preppy color scheme: surely, these are the most garish not-really-cyberpunk novels since Thomas T. Thomas's Crygender [you can't see it in that image, but the spine and back cover are SCREAMING DEATH PINK, just as bright as the Jenny covers and in a much hotter color value)]but man, do those covers move books off the shelves, which is a total win.
The Ace covers, while I don't have any control over, I am at least expected to send photo references to be summarily ignored, and consulted as to what's on the cover. And generally get the concept described to me and then am shown preliminary designs. About which I sometimes whine and thrash.
And then I wind up with awesome cover art. Or, at least, I think the cover art for B&I is awesome (I have extracted an apology about the mullet, but, you know. What's a mullet between friends?) And I've seen preliminary cover art for Whiskey & Water, which looks quite promising. The characters look nothing like their book counterparts, but since the book counterparts are intended to not look as you'd expect, and the art department wants the book buying public to know that that's Lucifer and not J. Random Angel, I was argued down off the roof.
(My protests that J. Random Angel is unlikely to be perched upon a throne of human skulls fell upon deaf ears.)
My cover from Night Shade--easily my favorite--is actually existing art. jlassen asked me how I felt about Samuel Bak and sent me some images. I said "I feel very good about him," and the next time I looked up there was this gorgeous cover sitting in my email.
Night Shade may have the best covers in the business currently. Lush, opulent, whimsical. The sort of thing that makes you want to pick up this object of beauty and cradle it lovingly. Or face it out on a shelf. The ones for jlake's Trial of Flowers and mevennen's Snake Agent are practically worth the price of a book their own selves.
Lickable covers. A little-known marketing strategy.
As for Subterranean and Tor, I haven't gotten far along in the process with them to see cover art--beyond that for Subterranean 5, and I think you all probably have clean ears from my squeals of delight over the Tim Truman cover art on that one.
oursin talks wisely about why she's not joining in the "I Support Gay Rights" meme. I'm not joining in it because if you haven't figured out that I support queer rights (by which I mean, bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgendered, polyamorous, straight-but-not-narrow, kinktastic, leather-daddy, flannel-dyke, asexual, however the hell you define yourself as long as everybody involved is of legal age and reasonable mental competence) you haven't been paying attention.
Just standing up and saying, "I support [X] rights" is nice and all. Visibility is important. Refusal to be marginalized is important. Refusal to be classified is just as important. Hell, if you support gay rights, next time you're out at Denny's, sit uncomfortably close to your same-gender friends and watch people stare. Show up in obvious trios of whatever plumbing and smooch each other when the waitress isn't looking.
People hate it when you kick them in the binaries. Even if you're not queer, hold hands in public. Make a nuisance of yourself.
Now go vote.