Every author knows, there’s nothing worse than pouring your heart and soul into a book, only for your publisher to make you a frightfully, cringeworthy cover. The kind that exists in your nightmares. The kind that you want to put a paper bag over. And what’s worse is your publisher lurves the cover. They think it is the greatest cover that has ever existed in the history of the milky way galaxy- possibly even the entire universe.
But you… ? You would rather give birth whilst having root canal without anesthetic than put that cover on your precious book-baby. (Dramatic, I know) I’m very lucky to have a publisher that heard me and made me a great cover. Because the reality is that most authors don’t really have much of a say in their covers at all.
In fact, I think it was authors who made up the saying, “Never judge a book by its cover’ just to make themselves feel better.
As an author, you want the cover to represent your book accurately. You want it to capture the atmosphere of the book, you want it to highlight the themes and you just want it to look kick-ass on the shelves amongst the millions of other books.
I decided to look into what makes a bad cover. And please, I’m in no way implying that the books themselves are bad, merely that the covers- in my opinion- are questionable. This is a subjective opinion, of course, perhaps my visually impaired grandmother would disagree with me.
So what makes a bad cover?
- Anything with Fabio on the cover! I’m not sure, I guess I’ve just never been a fan of a man whose jaw could chisel wooden blocks.
2. Anything with a schoolboy sporting a mustache (not to mention creepy serial killer eyes.)
3. This, I mean…. this? (But surprisingly, I just can’t help loving it)
4. Because killing polar bears is so damn sexy!
5. Oh, the masterful and delicate way in which the designer used photoshop. Not to mention the title.
6. Anything by Chuck Tingle, the purveyor of gay dinosaur erotica. (Yes, that’s a thing)
7. Anything where cute, fluffy baby animals are being burnt alive.
8. Should he keep and care for the two alien babies? And are those really his hands?
9. Is it a bird, is it a plane, no it’s a shark. (That line is about as cheesy as the cover itself)
10. Covers with men sporting wood.
11. When your seven- year- old draws your cover.
(I just had to include this one of God in a g-string)
12. Please don’t eat her face.
Even Stephen King is not immune to the curse of tragic covers.
In the next installment of, ‘No seriously, is that my cover?’ I will attempt to make the world’s worst, most cringeworthy and shockingly cheesy covers. Although I think it’s going to be quite challenging to beat some of these.
*Jo Watson is a multi-award-winning author of romantic comedies. Her book Burning Moon is coming out in August this year and will be translated into French, German and Italian. Her books have been read over 18 Millions times online on Wattpad and she is represented my Erica Spellman of the Trident Media Group. You can pre-order her book here.
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