Worst Cover

044900602601_bo2204203200_pilitbdp500arr Don’t know if I can make this work, but my worst cover was a contemporary.  There were a lot of sob stories behind this one, but the bottom line was that it was too late to do anything about it.  This, my friends, is supposed to be a VW bug with a heart-shaped vase sitting on it. I forget the color of the vase, but since it was pottery, it wasn’t silver!

21 thoughts on “Worst Cover”

  1. Yep, Pat, this cover’s a doozy. And it isn’t just the “Pimp-My-Ride” car, or the vase. The font they used for your name looks like it was done with shaving cream.
    Definitely a contender….
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  2. Yep, Pat, this cover’s a doozy. And it isn’t just the “Pimp-My-Ride” car, or the vase. The font they used for your name looks like it was done with shaving cream.
    Definitely a contender….
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  3. Yep, Pat, this cover’s a doozy. And it isn’t just the “Pimp-My-Ride” car, or the vase. The font they used for your name looks like it was done with shaving cream.
    Definitely a contender….
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  4. How hard is VW BUG? It’s only the most basic car on the planet. EVERYONE has either owned one, had a friend who did, or at least had many a bruise from playing SLUG BUG on a road trip.
    That thing looks like some kind of limo on steroids.
    You could give this cover concept to a room full of first-graders and get something useable for dog’s sake.

    Reply
  5. How hard is VW BUG? It’s only the most basic car on the planet. EVERYONE has either owned one, had a friend who did, or at least had many a bruise from playing SLUG BUG on a road trip.
    That thing looks like some kind of limo on steroids.
    You could give this cover concept to a room full of first-graders and get something useable for dog’s sake.

    Reply
  6. How hard is VW BUG? It’s only the most basic car on the planet. EVERYONE has either owned one, had a friend who did, or at least had many a bruise from playing SLUG BUG on a road trip.
    That thing looks like some kind of limo on steroids.
    You could give this cover concept to a room full of first-graders and get something useable for dog’s sake.

    Reply
  7. tal sez:
    We’re supposed to be discussing books here, but we can’t seem to get beyond the covers!
    Could it be that we are shallow?

    Reply
  8. tal sez:
    We’re supposed to be discussing books here, but we can’t seem to get beyond the covers!
    Could it be that we are shallow?

    Reply
  9. tal sez:
    We’re supposed to be discussing books here, but we can’t seem to get beyond the covers!
    Could it be that we are shallow?

    Reply
  10. From Jo.
    Tal, once authors start talking covers, we become obssessed. You’ll have noticed that, I think.
    Okay, I’ll ask a question in a main post.
    Jo

    Reply
  11. From Jo.
    Tal, once authors start talking covers, we become obssessed. You’ll have noticed that, I think.
    Okay, I’ll ask a question in a main post.
    Jo

    Reply
  12. From Jo.
    Tal, once authors start talking covers, we become obssessed. You’ll have noticed that, I think.
    Okay, I’ll ask a question in a main post.
    Jo

    Reply
  13. from Susan/sarah:
    Nobody’s Angel is a fabulous story, but what an odd cover — looks like the Little VW That Could. How strange that the art dept. though a cartoonish image of a car with a few flowers on the hood would be the best frontline selling point for that wonderful story.
    Sometimes the art directors are hard pressed to come up with ideas, and sometimes they don’t seem to grasp the synopsis (they probably don’t have time to actually read the books!).
    Covers are integral to published books as the face and the market representation of the story and the writing within. Seems to me it’s well worth discussing, since we can see what doesn’t work as well as what does, and it’s a fun topic to toss around. Thankfully writing isn’t always a serious biz!

    Reply
  14. from Susan/sarah:
    Nobody’s Angel is a fabulous story, but what an odd cover — looks like the Little VW That Could. How strange that the art dept. though a cartoonish image of a car with a few flowers on the hood would be the best frontline selling point for that wonderful story.
    Sometimes the art directors are hard pressed to come up with ideas, and sometimes they don’t seem to grasp the synopsis (they probably don’t have time to actually read the books!).
    Covers are integral to published books as the face and the market representation of the story and the writing within. Seems to me it’s well worth discussing, since we can see what doesn’t work as well as what does, and it’s a fun topic to toss around. Thankfully writing isn’t always a serious biz!

    Reply
  15. from Susan/sarah:
    Nobody’s Angel is a fabulous story, but what an odd cover — looks like the Little VW That Could. How strange that the art dept. though a cartoonish image of a car with a few flowers on the hood would be the best frontline selling point for that wonderful story.
    Sometimes the art directors are hard pressed to come up with ideas, and sometimes they don’t seem to grasp the synopsis (they probably don’t have time to actually read the books!).
    Covers are integral to published books as the face and the market representation of the story and the writing within. Seems to me it’s well worth discussing, since we can see what doesn’t work as well as what does, and it’s a fun topic to toss around. Thankfully writing isn’t always a serious biz!

    Reply
  16. I think that the reason that ‘cover art’ discussions are such a recurrent theme amongst writers and readers of romance and related fiction is that publishers’ marketing people are not on the same wavelength as readers when it comes to popular novels. There are many false assumptions around about the type of reader who enjoys so-called genre fiction. I have written several thousand words on this subject over the last few years, on various discussion boards, so I won’t say much more now.
    Of course we all have different tastes, and it even appears that some readers actually enjoy the most garish traditional clinch covers, but I think all of us would prefer a cover that at least expresses, visually, the same ideas and atmosphere as the book itself. If the book is set in the English Regency, there is really no good reason why the picture on the cover should depict characters dressed (or undressed) in the fashions of 1860s America. What would help more than anything else would be if publishers took more account of the suggestions of the authors, since the author actually represents the tastes and preferences of her readers. She also knows what the book is actually about, unlike the marketing people and art department, who won’t have a clue. At least, then, there would be some kind of correspondence between the wrapping of the package and the present itself – the book.
    If it’s any comfort, cover designs (and titles) are often a source of discord even in non-fiction academic publishing, but because we are dealing with much smaller print-runs and each book takes longer and is treated more as an individual project, the author can sometimes get her way.
    And I agree with everyone who gasped with amazement about the inflated ‘VW’ with, gasp, a radiator grille in the front! A Volkswagen Beetle is probably one of the most recognisable cars ever built. To get it so wildly wrong is truly baffling.

    Reply
  17. I think that the reason that ‘cover art’ discussions are such a recurrent theme amongst writers and readers of romance and related fiction is that publishers’ marketing people are not on the same wavelength as readers when it comes to popular novels. There are many false assumptions around about the type of reader who enjoys so-called genre fiction. I have written several thousand words on this subject over the last few years, on various discussion boards, so I won’t say much more now.
    Of course we all have different tastes, and it even appears that some readers actually enjoy the most garish traditional clinch covers, but I think all of us would prefer a cover that at least expresses, visually, the same ideas and atmosphere as the book itself. If the book is set in the English Regency, there is really no good reason why the picture on the cover should depict characters dressed (or undressed) in the fashions of 1860s America. What would help more than anything else would be if publishers took more account of the suggestions of the authors, since the author actually represents the tastes and preferences of her readers. She also knows what the book is actually about, unlike the marketing people and art department, who won’t have a clue. At least, then, there would be some kind of correspondence between the wrapping of the package and the present itself – the book.
    If it’s any comfort, cover designs (and titles) are often a source of discord even in non-fiction academic publishing, but because we are dealing with much smaller print-runs and each book takes longer and is treated more as an individual project, the author can sometimes get her way.
    And I agree with everyone who gasped with amazement about the inflated ‘VW’ with, gasp, a radiator grille in the front! A Volkswagen Beetle is probably one of the most recognisable cars ever built. To get it so wildly wrong is truly baffling.

    Reply
  18. I think that the reason that ‘cover art’ discussions are such a recurrent theme amongst writers and readers of romance and related fiction is that publishers’ marketing people are not on the same wavelength as readers when it comes to popular novels. There are many false assumptions around about the type of reader who enjoys so-called genre fiction. I have written several thousand words on this subject over the last few years, on various discussion boards, so I won’t say much more now.
    Of course we all have different tastes, and it even appears that some readers actually enjoy the most garish traditional clinch covers, but I think all of us would prefer a cover that at least expresses, visually, the same ideas and atmosphere as the book itself. If the book is set in the English Regency, there is really no good reason why the picture on the cover should depict characters dressed (or undressed) in the fashions of 1860s America. What would help more than anything else would be if publishers took more account of the suggestions of the authors, since the author actually represents the tastes and preferences of her readers. She also knows what the book is actually about, unlike the marketing people and art department, who won’t have a clue. At least, then, there would be some kind of correspondence between the wrapping of the package and the present itself – the book.
    If it’s any comfort, cover designs (and titles) are often a source of discord even in non-fiction academic publishing, but because we are dealing with much smaller print-runs and each book takes longer and is treated more as an individual project, the author can sometimes get her way.
    And I agree with everyone who gasped with amazement about the inflated ‘VW’ with, gasp, a radiator grille in the front! A Volkswagen Beetle is probably one of the most recognisable cars ever built. To get it so wildly wrong is truly baffling.

    Reply
  19. Shaving cream, snarf! That was politer than I said at the time.
    And yes, we are that shallow. People DO judge books by covers. This one says “I am an idiot.”
    I do know that the publishers’ very small art dept was under personal stress at the time, but how the VW morphed into a limo on steroids (love that!) is beyond my capacity to comprehend. It was the only thing in the computer that day?
    We do tend to overlook the human factor in publishing, but if I can manage to write a book through toil and trouble, I think an entire publishing house should be able to manage a cover.
    Not that I’m opinionated or anything.
    Pat

    Reply
  20. Shaving cream, snarf! That was politer than I said at the time.
    And yes, we are that shallow. People DO judge books by covers. This one says “I am an idiot.”
    I do know that the publishers’ very small art dept was under personal stress at the time, but how the VW morphed into a limo on steroids (love that!) is beyond my capacity to comprehend. It was the only thing in the computer that day?
    We do tend to overlook the human factor in publishing, but if I can manage to write a book through toil and trouble, I think an entire publishing house should be able to manage a cover.
    Not that I’m opinionated or anything.
    Pat

    Reply
  21. Shaving cream, snarf! That was politer than I said at the time.
    And yes, we are that shallow. People DO judge books by covers. This one says “I am an idiot.”
    I do know that the publishers’ very small art dept was under personal stress at the time, but how the VW morphed into a limo on steroids (love that!) is beyond my capacity to comprehend. It was the only thing in the computer that day?
    We do tend to overlook the human factor in publishing, but if I can manage to write a book through toil and trouble, I think an entire publishing house should be able to manage a cover.
    Not that I’m opinionated or anything.
    Pat

    Reply

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