Bad Cover Art

…is in the eye of the Blogholder

We’re not the only ones discussing bad cover art. A blog called “Smart Bitches Who Love Trashy Novels” recently posted some very funny send-ups of some old romance covers.

Of course, one (or two, including me) can’t help but notice that one of the covers is mine.

Here’s what they posted regarding a dear older book of mine: Surrender to Love.

Surrendertolove_3

Sarah: I do this pose in yoga. It’s not very comfortable. I believe it’s called “Sage pose,” and it’s designed to squeeze the organs to release toxins from your body as you stretch and twist the spine. She’s doing quite a twist, there – looks like her upper body is almost 180 degrees from her lap. She’s squeezing something out. I wonder if he’s a giant blonde toxin that emerged from her left ear? Either way, that vest is certainly toxic enough to cause expulsion.”

Yes. Amusing.

Yes, but… how easy to forget you can’t judge a book by its cover.

(How easy? Very. Even I, I confess, have sometimes passed on a book because of the cover.)

But wait, look what some bright angel posted in the comments!

“…you know what’s saddest of all? That Edith Layton book ROCKS. It’s not as good as the other two in the series but it’s still way, way, WAY better than the average historical.

Edith Layton is severely underrated. If you haven’t read her, you must, but don’t do the C series that got her famous. That’s not as good as the earlier series, like this one–or maybe the ones set in NY.

Sigh. This cover is almost as bad as the Fabio Kinsale cover.

— Posted by kate r on 05/31 at 07:08 AM”

Wait, did I ever get famous?

Wish someone woulda told me.

Well in any case, thank you Kate, from the bottom of my heart, for coming to the rescue of a author’s ego in distress.

30 thoughts on “Bad Cover Art”

  1. We have also had very long discussions on cover so-called ‘art’ within the last couple of years on Delphi Forums’ Lunatic Café for Romance Readers, and, going back a little earlier, on the now-defunct bulletin board on the JAK/Amanda Quick website. This is a perennial issue, and will remain so until the art departments and marketing departments of the publishers wake up and grow up, and start realising that gaudy pictorial covers are suitable only for kiddies’ books, and when used for adults’ books, carry the subliminal message that the reader is not a mature person.
    Tacky covers are one of the principal reasons for the contempt in which the romance genre, in all its manifestations, is held by some influential critics. Yes, it is crass for people who should know better to assume that the cover has anything at all to do with the quality of the book inside. As I mentioned before, I was forty years old before I realised that revolting cover does NOT equal revolting book, and I am not surprised that there are otherwise well-informed people who have not grasped the reality of the situation.
    It is so easy to make fun of a book because it has a dreadful cover; it is a childish and unworthy thing to do, but it is such an easy route to superficial and ill-informed judgements.
    I think it is appalling that any reader should ever NEED to say that a book, in spite of its frightful, vulgar, tacky cover, was a fine, well-written novel of permanent value.
    This means that the publishers are letting down both their authors and their readers – without whom their businesses would not exist. They are also failing to attract many additional readers who would enjoy some of their publications if they could only buy and read them without being embarrassed by the covers.
    I have felt shamed by placing some series romances in front of a bookshop cashier, in a way that I have never felt when purchasing explicit and lavishly illustrated books on erotic art.

    Reply
  2. We have also had very long discussions on cover so-called ‘art’ within the last couple of years on Delphi Forums’ Lunatic Café for Romance Readers, and, going back a little earlier, on the now-defunct bulletin board on the JAK/Amanda Quick website. This is a perennial issue, and will remain so until the art departments and marketing departments of the publishers wake up and grow up, and start realising that gaudy pictorial covers are suitable only for kiddies’ books, and when used for adults’ books, carry the subliminal message that the reader is not a mature person.
    Tacky covers are one of the principal reasons for the contempt in which the romance genre, in all its manifestations, is held by some influential critics. Yes, it is crass for people who should know better to assume that the cover has anything at all to do with the quality of the book inside. As I mentioned before, I was forty years old before I realised that revolting cover does NOT equal revolting book, and I am not surprised that there are otherwise well-informed people who have not grasped the reality of the situation.
    It is so easy to make fun of a book because it has a dreadful cover; it is a childish and unworthy thing to do, but it is such an easy route to superficial and ill-informed judgements.
    I think it is appalling that any reader should ever NEED to say that a book, in spite of its frightful, vulgar, tacky cover, was a fine, well-written novel of permanent value.
    This means that the publishers are letting down both their authors and their readers – without whom their businesses would not exist. They are also failing to attract many additional readers who would enjoy some of their publications if they could only buy and read them without being embarrassed by the covers.
    I have felt shamed by placing some series romances in front of a bookshop cashier, in a way that I have never felt when purchasing explicit and lavishly illustrated books on erotic art.

    Reply
  3. We have also had very long discussions on cover so-called ‘art’ within the last couple of years on Delphi Forums’ Lunatic Café for Romance Readers, and, going back a little earlier, on the now-defunct bulletin board on the JAK/Amanda Quick website. This is a perennial issue, and will remain so until the art departments and marketing departments of the publishers wake up and grow up, and start realising that gaudy pictorial covers are suitable only for kiddies’ books, and when used for adults’ books, carry the subliminal message that the reader is not a mature person.
    Tacky covers are one of the principal reasons for the contempt in which the romance genre, in all its manifestations, is held by some influential critics. Yes, it is crass for people who should know better to assume that the cover has anything at all to do with the quality of the book inside. As I mentioned before, I was forty years old before I realised that revolting cover does NOT equal revolting book, and I am not surprised that there are otherwise well-informed people who have not grasped the reality of the situation.
    It is so easy to make fun of a book because it has a dreadful cover; it is a childish and unworthy thing to do, but it is such an easy route to superficial and ill-informed judgements.
    I think it is appalling that any reader should ever NEED to say that a book, in spite of its frightful, vulgar, tacky cover, was a fine, well-written novel of permanent value.
    This means that the publishers are letting down both their authors and their readers – without whom their businesses would not exist. They are also failing to attract many additional readers who would enjoy some of their publications if they could only buy and read them without being embarrassed by the covers.
    I have felt shamed by placing some series romances in front of a bookshop cashier, in a way that I have never felt when purchasing explicit and lavishly illustrated books on erotic art.

    Reply
  4. The discussion over on SmartBitches ended up transforming into a discussion of when bad covers happen to great books (I think the Fog City Divas had something similar going too). So many wonderful books, so many bad covers . . .

    Reply
  5. The discussion over on SmartBitches ended up transforming into a discussion of when bad covers happen to great books (I think the Fog City Divas had something similar going too). So many wonderful books, so many bad covers . . .

    Reply
  6. The discussion over on SmartBitches ended up transforming into a discussion of when bad covers happen to great books (I think the Fog City Divas had something similar going too). So many wonderful books, so many bad covers . . .

    Reply
  7. AgTigress wrote:
    I have felt shamed by placing some series romances in front of a bookshop cashier, in a way that I have never felt when purchasing explicit and lavishly illustrated books on erotic art.
    tal sez:
    Well, of course not! You WRITE explicit and lavishly illustrated books on erotic art!

    Reply
  8. AgTigress wrote:
    I have felt shamed by placing some series romances in front of a bookshop cashier, in a way that I have never felt when purchasing explicit and lavishly illustrated books on erotic art.
    tal sez:
    Well, of course not! You WRITE explicit and lavishly illustrated books on erotic art!

    Reply
  9. AgTigress wrote:
    I have felt shamed by placing some series romances in front of a bookshop cashier, in a way that I have never felt when purchasing explicit and lavishly illustrated books on erotic art.
    tal sez:
    Well, of course not! You WRITE explicit and lavishly illustrated books on erotic art!

    Reply
  10. I’m still wandering the internet paying off the debt I owe you after you were so lovely even after I shoved you and Barbara Metzger into a corner at the Long Island Lunch and was a drooling fangirl.
    You might not remember it but I vividly recall insisting you tell me what happened to Alfie (the character in The Lady of Spirit). I think I might have even grown appalled that you couldn’t recall him right away.

    Reply
  11. I’m still wandering the internet paying off the debt I owe you after you were so lovely even after I shoved you and Barbara Metzger into a corner at the Long Island Lunch and was a drooling fangirl.
    You might not remember it but I vividly recall insisting you tell me what happened to Alfie (the character in The Lady of Spirit). I think I might have even grown appalled that you couldn’t recall him right away.

    Reply
  12. I’m still wandering the internet paying off the debt I owe you after you were so lovely even after I shoved you and Barbara Metzger into a corner at the Long Island Lunch and was a drooling fangirl.
    You might not remember it but I vividly recall insisting you tell me what happened to Alfie (the character in The Lady of Spirit). I think I might have even grown appalled that you couldn’t recall him right away.

    Reply
  13. I’ve seen the worldoflongmire site before and it’s still utterly hilarious. Someone needs to forward it to art departments everywhere!
    Edith, my dear, you have been famous to me long before my very first Novelists Inc conference where I sat in awe and wonder in a seat in front of you and Joan and thought, my, I’m in the presence of real writers!
    I don’t know why your talent is buried beneath bad cover art. You must have made a god very angry somewhere long ago and far away. But what’s between the covers is always worth far more than the price on the cover!
    Pat Rice, another fangirl

    Reply
  14. I’ve seen the worldoflongmire site before and it’s still utterly hilarious. Someone needs to forward it to art departments everywhere!
    Edith, my dear, you have been famous to me long before my very first Novelists Inc conference where I sat in awe and wonder in a seat in front of you and Joan and thought, my, I’m in the presence of real writers!
    I don’t know why your talent is buried beneath bad cover art. You must have made a god very angry somewhere long ago and far away. But what’s between the covers is always worth far more than the price on the cover!
    Pat Rice, another fangirl

    Reply
  15. I’ve seen the worldoflongmire site before and it’s still utterly hilarious. Someone needs to forward it to art departments everywhere!
    Edith, my dear, you have been famous to me long before my very first Novelists Inc conference where I sat in awe and wonder in a seat in front of you and Joan and thought, my, I’m in the presence of real writers!
    I don’t know why your talent is buried beneath bad cover art. You must have made a god very angry somewhere long ago and far away. But what’s between the covers is always worth far more than the price on the cover!
    Pat Rice, another fangirl

    Reply

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