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The more I look the more I see things that make me want to look away BUT I CAN’T.
January 5, 2013 9:27 AM   Subscribe

Lousy Book Covers
posted by dobbs (86 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
Photoshop: Less empowering than it appears.
posted by tommasz at 9:28 AM on January 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


Wha? No Tek Jansen?
posted by OHenryPacey at 9:37 AM on January 5, 2013


I'm seriously intrigued by Spending Christmas with a Yeti. The title alone would have done it.

I self-published a short story on KDP and spent a long time simply trying to make the cover plain, serviceable, precisely to avoid this kind of thing.
posted by Countess Elena at 9:37 AM on January 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


Worth a look if only for the thin-skinned copyright challenge post.
posted by 1367 at 9:40 AM on January 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Okay, Spending Christmas with a Yeti sounds dreadful after all. But I am totally delighted with the cover of The Churning Cauldron. Aren't you?
posted by Countess Elena at 9:41 AM on January 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


The Churning Cauldron: A Wiccan's Guide to IBS
posted by griphus at 9:45 AM on January 5, 2013 [19 favorites]


If you liked Spending Christmas with a Yeti, you might also like Lumberjack in Love.
posted by iamkimiam at 9:45 AM on January 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I like the way The Tactics of Revenge is pretty much the cover of every Fred Saberhagen (not involving Dracula) published in the 70s and 80s. There is also something delightfully "named by committee" about The Human Chronicles Saga -- it uses four words to say pretty much nothing. Actually, the title of the book adds four more words without adding any additional meaning. It's brilliant in a sad sad way.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:47 AM on January 5, 2013


Whoa...it's like, where the title lies.
posted by iamkimiam at 9:47 AM on January 5, 2013


Literally the cover of every Saberhagen book published, as I'm sure that spaceship was ripped off from one of them.

But all these are self published, aren't they, not real books?
posted by MartinWisse at 9:49 AM on January 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


JOAN
posted by dubitable at 9:49 AM on January 5, 2013


Ya know, if you're gonna talk about "thin skinned", perhaps you should leather up a bit yourself.
posted by HuronBob at 9:51 AM on January 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I see nothing which tops this legendarily bad Icelandic book cover (click thumbnail for a larger image).
posted by Kattullus at 9:52 AM on January 5, 2013 [15 favorites]


I was just going to post JOAN too. It's so true. It's like a Highlights magazine page gone really, really wrong and I can't stop looking for more.
posted by iamkimiam at 9:53 AM on January 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I totally had this game on my Nintendo 64!
posted by porn in the woods at 9:53 AM on January 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I see nothing which tops this legendarily bad Icelandic book cover

Beg to differ.
posted by MartinWisse at 9:56 AM on January 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


porn in the woods: "I totally had this game on my Nintendo 64!"

Hey, I went camping there with Scouts once. It's a lovely village. Which is more than I can say for these covers. Assume we seeing a rise in awful covers due to e-publishing.
posted by arcticseal at 9:57 AM on January 5, 2013


MartinWisse: Beg to differ.

Terrible, agreed, but which is likelier to feature prominently in future nightmares?
posted by Kattullus at 9:59 AM on January 5, 2013


OMG these are killing me

Alternative title: Yog-sothoth's Bad Vacation.

"Things with Karen and I just aren't working out, we were fighting the whole time we were in the Hamptons. Honestly, I think she just doesn't really get my desire to raise the outer gods from beyond and devour the cosmos, and I don't love her cooking either, if I'm honest"
posted by dubitable at 10:00 AM on January 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


I teach a beginning graphics class. I've seen versions of all of these all before, up close. They are so sincere, and yet so awful that it's near impossible to offer constructive criticism.

I'm about to return for the new semester, where I know I'll see inadvertently squished photos, unreadable type and truly odd drawings. Pray for me.
posted by cccorlew at 10:01 AM on January 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


A bunch of those look self-published. I think that's cheating. It should be limited to books from legitimate publishing houses.

I nominate Baen Books as the purveyor of Worst Covers from a Real Publisher.
posted by Justinian at 10:03 AM on January 5, 2013 [7 favorites]


Typical Baen Cover.
posted by Justinian at 10:04 AM on January 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


I saw the Sister Time cover and immediately thought of that Night Ranger song.
posted by iamkimiam at 10:08 AM on January 5, 2013


But all these are self published, aren't they, not real books

I nominate Baen Books as the purveyor of Worst Covers from a Real Publisher.


That's a rather loaded use of the word "real". Say what you will about the merits of self-publishing, but none of these books is imaginary.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 10:19 AM on January 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


I could drunkenly howl into my computer microphone for twenty minutes and push it out on to the web but I don't think my "album" should then be eligible for Worst Album of the Year on Pitchfork or whatever.

It's a fact of life that going through an actual publisher lends legitimacy to a book. That's a huge part of the reason for doing so! Yes, there are certain types of books where self publishing is fairly normal. Fiction is not one of them and the books in the link are primarily fiction.
posted by Justinian at 10:24 AM on January 5, 2013 [7 favorites]


in the same vein, see also: Good Show Sir.
posted by xbonesgt at 10:25 AM on January 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


So many "Chapter X of the Whatever Series" and "Crazy-Ass Title: Silly Subtitle. The SillyName Chronicles" and on and on...
Makes me want to travel back in time and kick Tolkien in the nuts just because.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:28 AM on January 5, 2013


This is one of my favorite awful (and awfully misleading) covers.
posted by brundlefly at 10:30 AM on January 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


Wow, these are so much worse than I was expecting.
posted by elizardbits at 10:35 AM on January 5, 2013


Yeah...that "Human Chronicles" space ship is DEFINITELY the work of John Berkey and probably not being used with permission...forwarding it now...
posted by sexyrobot at 10:38 AM on January 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I recognized that style but couldn't think of the artist's name.
posted by brundlefly at 10:41 AM on January 5, 2013


The Ghost Years looks awesome.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 10:47 AM on January 5, 2013


I think may have found the source of the problem.

How to Design a Book Cover

and related, Boring Books
posted by Toekneesan at 10:49 AM on January 5, 2013


This is an homage to "nephew art".
posted by Thorzdad at 10:52 AM on January 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


I recently picked up a copy of Conversations with Dali out of a used book bin. Is the cover bad enough?
posted by DarkForest at 10:53 AM on January 5, 2013


Oh, man. I found a passage from The Churning Cauldron: Book 1...The Beginning, and it is amazing.
Ron went to the coffee pot and poured a fresh cup. As he stood there pondering the state of America today, it dawned on him that he knew the answer.

He loudly proclaimed “I am not a damn lamb, nor will I act like one!” With that said he threw his coffee cup into the wall. Mary Jane, Ron’s “girl Friday”, came running in to see if there was a problem, as he was storming out.

One look at him and she realized that while, yes, there was definitely a problem; it was likely a place best not visited right now.

Realizing that he was well along in his life and didn’t have anything to lose, Ron made the conscious decision to bring "the Deacon" back, a demon he had left deep in the jungles of Southeast Asia forty plus years before.

Ron knew there was a price tag attached to this, as the Deacon had a "take no prisoners" philosophy.

The Deacon had a daunting task ahead of him to replace the entire US Congress.

It was then when he selected his band of what he later named “The Geriatric Warriors” a group of friends Ron had served and fought beside years ago. They ranged in age from 52 to 70, all fit, all mentally sharp, and they all possessed specific skills that Ron knew he would need. In essence he created an “A” Team of senior citizens who had nothing to lose and were ready to give their all to safeguard the Freedoms and Liberty America was founded upon, and they fought for.

In their quest for this goal they all realized there were no sacred cows at any level in the government.

****

“LaGuardia tower suddenly came alive as they lost the sight of the two aircraft. They had heard the beginning of a Mayday from Iran Air 626 but it went dead. Ron smiled and started the Zodiac. He had no idea what the long term ramifications of their actions tonight would be but in his heart he knew that generally the world and specifically America was now a better place to be.”
Holy shit.
posted by brundlefly at 10:55 AM on January 5, 2013 [39 favorites]


...this legendarily bad Icelandic book cover
I don't speak Icelandic but I'll bet the title translates to something like Blow Me.
posted by Toekneesan at 10:56 AM on January 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh, and for the winner of "worst cover masquerading as not obviously worst cover" we have Ted Chiang's Stories of Your Life and Others which was slapped on there just to stop having to deal with Chiang's nitpicky obsessiveness and which torpedoed the chances of anyone not already a Chiang fan buying the book. So while not as offensively ugly as the books on the list, it is a cover for a major author at a major publishing house which utterly and deliberately fails at the primary purpose of a book cover; selling books.
posted by Justinian at 11:05 AM on January 5, 2013


I think this e-book author has more copyright worries than the tumblr guy -- that looks like some Star Wars concept art by Ralph McQuarrie to me. And by "looks like" I mean "cut and pasted". I can't find the original, though. (Maybe it's Vincent Di Fate or someone else? Who did those segmented insectoid spaceships?)
posted by dhartung at 11:07 AM on January 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I get the strong sense that the author of this tumblr is probably kind of a self-righteous asshole. One, however, with a strong editorial sensibility, at least in terms of selection.

The Christian survivalist stuff especially is amazing.
posted by brennen at 11:11 AM on January 5, 2013


brundlefly: "Oh, man. I found a passage from The Churning Cauldron: Book 1...The Beginning, and it is amazing. "

I can't help but notice that the author's name is Ronald and the hero's name is Ron.
posted by Lexica at 11:12 AM on January 5, 2013 [8 favorites]


Seriously torn about whether to give that guy $2.08 for more lulz.
posted by Countess Elena at 11:14 AM on January 5, 2013


Worth a look if only for the thin-skinned copyright challenge post.

This guy doesn't understand Fair Use at all

Dear Shannon,
Your understanding of copyright and the violation thereof is flawed. My use of the cover constitutes both publicity (which is the purpose of a cover, and therefore constitutes Fair Use, rather than a violation) and criticism/review (again, covered by the Fair Use Doctrine)..


No actually publicity isn't covered under Fair Use. The creator of the cover alleges that the blogger is making commercial use of the image, the blogger claims he's exempt because the creator is making commercial use of the image, and his republication is helping the creator promote his work. The blogger is wrong.

The blogger apparently believes the Right of Publicity exempts him. It would actually require him to license the image.. if it applied. Which it doesn't.

The blogger is on the right track with his claim of Fair Use for criticism/review, but his claim fails. Book covers on his site are presented with almost no critique or commentary. Criticism is not critique, saying a cover is lousy by placing it in a page called Lousy Book Covers is not really criticism. Since the page was (IMHO properly) removed under the DMCA, we can't tell what text was associated with the image republication, but if it was typical for the site, it would have been once sentence or less.

Let us examine the Fair Use claim with a basic, standard analysis by the Four Factors.

What is the purpose and character of the republication? The site seems nonprofit, but links to the blogger's commercial website, with links to his commercial works for sale. The blog is intended to showcase the blogger's aesthetic sense, to enhance his professional stature.

What is the nature of the work? The blog republication is entirely non-creative and is not transformative. The image is entirely the creation of the owner.

What amount of the work is used? All of it.

What effect does the republication have on the original work's market? The creator alleges the blog has a substantial negative effect on the marketing of the work. Now that his blog is being linked to sites like MeFi, this gives substantial power to his use in web searches. Links to the blogger's disparaging commentary about the creator is prominent on the first page of Google hits for the book's title.

All the factors weigh against Fair Use, some heavily. This isn't Fair Use. The blogger can't even legitimately claim the new republication is Fair Use since it merely shows a link to the picture via Amazon web hosting. The author already requested the blogger not republish. His lengthy commentary on the dispute might fall under the criticism/review exemption, if he hadn't acknowledged the creator's objections, and explicitly expressed his intention to work around it.
posted by charlie don't surf at 11:14 AM on January 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


Justinian, the whole point of this exercise is basically lolselfpublishing. I don't think it's quite fair to complain about it not being lolpublishing, which is sort of a different ballgame.

I will concur that, of "real" publishers, Baen leans toward spectacularly cheesy, garish, offensively sexed up cover art. Then again, this is also sort of their line in fiction. (Not that I don't kind of love them for it. SF publishing needs this tradition to be maintained or it'll leak out elsewhere, and they're damn smart about the publishing game.)
posted by brennen at 11:17 AM on January 5, 2013


Ok, I can buy that this is lolselfpublishing rather than lolbadcovers.
posted by Justinian at 11:25 AM on January 5, 2013


Let us examine the Fair Use claim with a basic, standard analysis by the Four Factors.

That is anything but a standard analysis. The blogger's activity is very plainly protected commentary on the material, and the fact that he also commercially designs covers does not make this a commercial use of the copyrighted material. Your claim that the commentary on the covers negatively affects the market is disproved by this very thread, in which these justly obscure books have received far more attention than they would have otherwise. This blog is the essence of fair use.

You are right, however, that the mention of "publicity" seems to be off base.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 11:35 AM on January 5, 2013 [6 favorites]


I think this e-book author has more copyright worries than the tumblr guy -- that looks like some Star Wars concept art by Ralph McQuarrie to me. And by "looks like" I mean "cut and pasted". I can't find the original, though. (Maybe it's Vincent Di Fate or someone else? Who did those segmented insectoid spaceships?)

It's very similar the cover art for Vernor Vinge's Fire Upon the Deep.
posted by Artw at 11:38 AM on January 5, 2013


You are right, however, that the mention of "publicity" seems to be off base.

This is pretty common, as the right of publicity (which doesn't apply in this instance) is often confused with the rights of journalism (which do).
posted by mightygodking at 11:41 AM on January 5, 2013


Ted Chiang's Stories of Your Life and Others

Wow, that's the worst cover for that I've seen, and I've seen several bad ones - the painted one he hated originally probably actually being the least worst, and that isn't too great.
posted by Artw at 11:44 AM on January 5, 2013


-10 points for bombing of fish in a barrel.
posted by TheRedArmy at 11:45 AM on January 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Someone should organise an alternative Ted Chiang cover art tumblr in the hope that if enough artists give it a go something that doesn't suck will be found.
posted by Artw at 11:45 AM on January 5, 2013


This makes me not want to make anything ever again.
posted by hellojed at 11:46 AM on January 5, 2013


That is anything but a standard analysis.

Yeah actually it is.

These guidelines are not part of the Copyright Act. However, the guidelines establish the standards for uses and copying in education.

It seems obvious (to me at least) that commentary is educational in intent. This new republication and commentary verges on defamation, which certainly undermines any assertion that his commentary is educational.
posted by charlie don't surf at 11:46 AM on January 5, 2013


The four-factor test is standard--I'm taking issue with the way you're applying it.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 11:51 AM on January 5, 2013


I am slightly depressed by how many of these names I recognize.

(Also, Mike Resnick! Dude! What happened?)
posted by Scattercat at 11:56 AM on January 5, 2013


in the same vein, see also: Good Show Sir.

Oh man, Robert Conquest* needs to have an avatar of big musclebound arms crushing something next to his name always.

*I can't get over how awesome it is that that's his real name.
posted by psoas at 12:00 PM on January 5, 2013


But all these are self published, aren't they, not real books

I nominate Baen Books as the purveyor of Worst Covers from a Real Publisher.


Even before I began reading your second sentence, I knew the word Baen would appear in it somewhere. I have several friends who are authors by trade, and the one who is a Baen author is the only one whose books I am embarrassed to display in my house. Ye gods.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:17 PM on January 5, 2013


Typical Baen Cover.

It has the T&A and the standard font choice, but... no asplosions. There need to be asplosions.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:20 PM on January 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh man, Robert Conquest

Does he have a brother named Norman?
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:41 PM on January 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


You'd think, being that the typical Baen reader owns or aspires to own a AR-15, that just sticking an old tin can on the end of them wouldn't pass for a futuristic space gun. I dunno, maybe that's what they like about it.
posted by Artw at 12:43 PM on January 5, 2013


There should be a tumblr for book covers that are so bad they come all the way around to being actually good. Here, I'll start us off: The Rasputin Stain, by W.H. Mefford.
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:45 PM on January 5, 2013


It's very similar the cover art for Vernor Vinge's Fire Upon the Deep

To my surprise, the Fire upon the Deep cover art is by Boris Vallejo (and nary a brass-bikini'd barbarian to be seen!). I would have thought Vincent di Fate or somebody.


On RASFW there were occasionally threads about the badness of Baen's cover art, and allegedly it's a conscious decision by Baen. Sure, the covers are aesthetically awful, but they're awful in a fairly recognizable way. So if you like the kind of pulpy mil-sf that Baen tends to publish, you associate that art style with it, and you are drawn to future Baen books when you see them.
posted by hattifattener at 12:50 PM on January 5, 2013


It has the T&A and the standard font choice, but... no asplosions. There need to be asplosions.

Ahh a challenge!

It is surprisingly difficult to find Baen covers which have both the T&A and the explosions. Either is easy, but both is hard.

On the other hand I did come across this gem while looking. Words fail.
posted by Justinian at 12:55 PM on January 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Strange Interlude: There should be a tumblr for book covers that are so bad they come all the way around to being actually good.

I'd add Philip José Farmer covers, especially Strange Relations.
posted by humph at 12:58 PM on January 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's very similar the cover art for Vernor Vinge's Fire Upon the Deep

To my surprise, the Fire upon the Deep coverart is by Boris Vallejo(and nary a brass-bikini'd barbarian to beseen!). I would havethought Vincent di Fate or somebody.


Wow. Kind of shocked by that!
posted by Artw at 1:10 PM on January 5, 2013


Surely these deserve a mention as the worst/best real fake book covers.
posted by blue_beetle at 1:39 PM on January 5, 2013


Heh. They have a similar vibe to them, don't they?
posted by Artw at 1:41 PM on January 5, 2013


I don't know, the Mystic Princesses and the Whirlpool is pretty great
posted by boygeorge at 1:43 PM on January 5, 2013


allegedly it's a conscious decision by Baen

It's the company that ran a letter by a fan comparing them to Del Monte canned food (iirc) as you always know what to expect from them, as an ad, which says all you want to know about Baen.

But they published Bujold and that made up for a lot.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:49 PM on January 5, 2013


I don't believe in special snowflake exemptions for self-publishers; if you put it out for sale, by golly I can tell you what I think about it. Now if I happen to know something is by dear old demented Aunt Mabel or four-year-old Billy, I would refrain out of compassion, but most of the selfpublishing crap you see is by people who appear to be of relatively sound mind, just with an utter lack of critical judgement.

Back in the brick and mortar days, people would actually get these printed, covers and all, and bring them in and try to convince us to stock them. One woman who actually got a publisher for her c-list vampire fiction and was local, we did stock. Only to have her come in regularly to face out her own books, put bookmarks next to them that stuck out of the shelves, and basically harangue us for not selling more of her crappy Anne Rice ripoffs. We would wait till she left and gleefully pull and shred her paper bookmarks and turn her books spine out in retaliation.

I may be bitter. But I'll be damned if I'm not going to call something crap when it is, unequivocally, crap.
posted by emjaybee at 3:01 PM on January 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


Yeah. I love the fact that A Civil Campaign is a Baen book! So delicious.
posted by Justinian at 3:01 PM on January 5, 2013


I dunno man, surely life is too short to complain about everything that doesn't measure up. These are 99% self-published amateurs doing something they love. Are the covers terrible? Yeah. Is the brick mailbox I laid last week pretty bad by professional standards? Yeah. Seems kinda mean-spirited to me. Would be different if it was by professionals - a distinction that Cake Wrecks, (at least, a few years ago) was capable of appreciating.
posted by smoke at 3:02 PM on January 5, 2013


That's sorta what I was getting at with my comment it was unfair to pick self-published books. It's like mocking your 7 year old nephew's finger painted rainbow as terrible.
posted by Justinian at 3:06 PM on January 5, 2013


The weird thing is - especially in SFF - there are so many professional, terrible covers. Wouldn't be hard at all.
posted by smoke at 3:12 PM on January 5, 2013


These are, for the most part, differently terrible. Bad pro books look like someone who knows what they should be doing half adding it, some of these reach the level of bizarre outsider art.

Also typography matters a lot.
posted by Artw at 4:33 PM on January 5, 2013


I read this cover's terrible font as "If You Miss The Train Lemon".
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 6:58 PM on January 5, 2013


That's sorta what I was getting at with my comment it was unfair to pick self-published books.

I'd buy that line if everyone hadn't been bored to death for the last decade listening to vanity press victims tell us how their self-published books are 100% just as valid as those "legacy publishers'" books that the "gatekeepers" of "the Big Six" put out.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 7:09 PM on January 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Toekneesan: "
...this legendarily bad Icelandic book cover
I don't speak Icelandic but I'll bet the title translates to something like Blow Me.
"

Fluffball dirt per Google Translate.
posted by deborah at 9:17 PM on January 5, 2013


I want to do this with people's songs on Soundcloud. When the same tuneless, out-of-time, nasal dirge has been resubmitted to my group more than three times in 24 hours, simply clicking "Reject" is too kind.
posted by dunkadunc at 9:28 PM on January 5, 2013


I really enjoyed this Amazon review of "A Funny Thing Happened When We Took Back America!":

"A sweet and very innocent remake of Red Dawn, where absolutely nobody was killed, and the badguys basically were shamed out of town. More or less by accident, one guy was slightly wounded near the end of the book. A children's story"
posted by dunkadunc at 9:39 PM on January 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


deborah: Fluffball dirt per Google Translate.

It's Dandelion Clocks Everywhere (or Dandelion Clocks All Over the Place).
posted by Kattullus at 10:08 PM on January 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Other favorites:

"Vampire's Forbidden Territory" (!)
Gracie The Ghost Eater
Joan

A lot of people seem to like to use Second Life(?) to pose models for their book covers:
Path To Vengeance
H.E.R.O - Dolldrum

What is really sad/wretched about these is that based on the covers and basic premises of these books, you'd think they'd been written by a 11-year-old whose parents helped put her book on Amazon. But they're not. This unfinished monstrosity supposedly written by a horse was written by someone old enough to be my grandmother. Most of these are, in fact.

The other interesting thing is that most of these books have been reviewed, multiple times- and some of the reviews are quite enthusiastic.
posted by dunkadunc at 10:11 PM on January 5, 2013


I don't know, but making fun of self-published books seems like low-hanging fruit, similar to Regresty. After all, there are plenty of giant publishing houses and Hugo Award winners to laugh at!
posted by Room 641-A at 10:37 PM on January 5, 2013


Ah, Room 641-A, but we can do that too! And have!
posted by emjaybee at 11:28 PM on January 5, 2013


My first book (non-fiction) was published by a smaller academic publishing house that was at the time going down the toilet (since then they have been bought by a giant publisher and became a series within that, so are quite respectable again). One of the ways they were saving money was by having cover design handled in-house by someone who was actually their salesperson (and not very good at that either), and who had done some art course or graphic design course once thirty years before. I'm still embarrassed by that cover, and that was after doing everything I could to rescue it (by vetoing a bunch of stuff, basically). No, I'm not linking to it, though.
posted by lollusc at 1:19 AM on January 6, 2013


When I worked in the bookstore and people would try to get the owners to stock their books we constantly had stuff with covers that looked like this under the counter, waiting for us to read them. (We usually didn't.) Sometimes, for reasons completely undiscernable to me, they had events for them. (I guess some of them were just small presses with really godawful designers, and some were indie authors with no design skill or desire to hire someone with design skill, or they hired an incompetent family member taking an introductory photoshop class, and some of them had other work that got them an audience so that they could sell stuff that looked awful.)

What I am saying is that while there were plenty of nice people with awful covers, a disproportionate amount of bad cover people were absolutely Veet-on-balls crazy. There's a certain level of self-delusion necessary to think that people will pick up a book with a cover designed by a seventh grader with MS Paint and buy it.

That said, I really like the ones where the people look like they were generated either in Second Life or by that Taiwanese news company. Additional snark: I would like to see Jim Hines do this pose; this one is underlined not for emphasis but because that's what you do to book titles, dummy.
posted by NoraReed at 3:39 AM on January 6, 2013


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