Worst covers

How about each of the wenches posts their least favorite cover (or covers), one original, one from a translation? After all, none of them are our fault. They can hurt because our precious children are sent out into the world in stupid clothes, but we have so little say. My publisher does ask me for input on the design, both at the start and then when they’ve done a first pass at it, but there’s a limit to how much they’ll do to change it. And often it’s a really subtle thing which amounts to good art v bad art. Some, however are mind-boggling, and I’m not talking about straight-out mistakes like extra arms, or even the “we don’t care about the details” ones like wrong hair-colour.

Consider, for example, my first paperback cover for Lord Wraybourne’s Betrothed. Who in the world could even imagine that this man was the hero of a romance novel? Who? (Click on the pictures to see a larger version, if you can bear it.)
Lwbpb

And then we have the cover of my sole Bulgarian edition, for my Georgian romance, Something Wicked. Teens going to a very strange Prom in the ’50s, perhaps?
Swbulg

Come on, Wenches. I throw down the challenge. Beat those if you can!

Jo

39 thoughts on “Worst covers”

  1. Oh cool, he looks like I’d imagine the sluggish villainous lord who tries to abduct the heroine.
    I’ll have to hunt through the stacks and scan something in. On the whole, I’ve rather liked most of my covers, although they’ve pulled some really dumb stunts that had to be fixed, sort of.
    Pat

    Reply
  2. Oh cool, he looks like I’d imagine the sluggish villainous lord who tries to abduct the heroine.
    I’ll have to hunt through the stacks and scan something in. On the whole, I’ve rather liked most of my covers, although they’ve pulled some really dumb stunts that had to be fixed, sort of.
    Pat

    Reply
  3. Oh cool, he looks like I’d imagine the sluggish villainous lord who tries to abduct the heroine.
    I’ll have to hunt through the stacks and scan something in. On the whole, I’ve rather liked most of my covers, although they’ve pulled some really dumb stunts that had to be fixed, sort of.
    Pat

    Reply
  4. Omigosh, Jo, those are wonderful covers! Lord Wraybourne sure has a receding hairline–perhaps caused by stress from posing for bad book covers?
    But the cover of Something Wicked is priceless–the hero in the background holding what looks like a baseball bat in a very threatening manner, and the heroine with big pouty lips looking like a 12-year-old with an attitude! Oh my!
    Sherrie

    Reply
  5. Omigosh, Jo, those are wonderful covers! Lord Wraybourne sure has a receding hairline–perhaps caused by stress from posing for bad book covers?
    But the cover of Something Wicked is priceless–the hero in the background holding what looks like a baseball bat in a very threatening manner, and the heroine with big pouty lips looking like a 12-year-old with an attitude! Oh my!
    Sherrie

    Reply
  6. Omigosh, Jo, those are wonderful covers! Lord Wraybourne sure has a receding hairline–perhaps caused by stress from posing for bad book covers?
    But the cover of Something Wicked is priceless–the hero in the background holding what looks like a baseball bat in a very threatening manner, and the heroine with big pouty lips looking like a 12-year-old with an attitude! Oh my!
    Sherrie

    Reply
  7. This is not a comment on the current blog, but on the design of the site. I find it quite difficult to relate the replies to the name of the person who has posted them, and this distracts me when reading the posts.
    The reason, I think, is that the name of the poster, and the date and time, are printed below her text, and, more importantly, beneath a broken line that divides her name from her own post, and tends, instead, to associate it with the following text.
    Does anyone else find this disconcerting?
    AgTigress

    Reply
  8. This is not a comment on the current blog, but on the design of the site. I find it quite difficult to relate the replies to the name of the person who has posted them, and this distracts me when reading the posts.
    The reason, I think, is that the name of the poster, and the date and time, are printed below her text, and, more importantly, beneath a broken line that divides her name from her own post, and tends, instead, to associate it with the following text.
    Does anyone else find this disconcerting?
    AgTigress

    Reply
  9. This is not a comment on the current blog, but on the design of the site. I find it quite difficult to relate the replies to the name of the person who has posted them, and this distracts me when reading the posts.
    The reason, I think, is that the name of the poster, and the date and time, are printed below her text, and, more importantly, beneath a broken line that divides her name from her own post, and tends, instead, to associate it with the following text.
    Does anyone else find this disconcerting?
    AgTigress

    Reply
  10. Jo, those are a hoot, thanks so much for posting them. I love the Bulgarian prom–they look like pouty teen models drafted for a costume assignment and not too happy about it.
    Overall your covers have been beautiful, though the odd–truly odd–cover does sneak in there now and then, especially in foreign editions (I’ve had a few books with some pretty odd covers myself). Love your line about sending our precious children out in stupid clothes– so true!
    Susan Sarah

    Reply
  11. Jo, those are a hoot, thanks so much for posting them. I love the Bulgarian prom–they look like pouty teen models drafted for a costume assignment and not too happy about it.
    Overall your covers have been beautiful, though the odd–truly odd–cover does sneak in there now and then, especially in foreign editions (I’ve had a few books with some pretty odd covers myself). Love your line about sending our precious children out in stupid clothes– so true!
    Susan Sarah

    Reply
  12. Jo, those are a hoot, thanks so much for posting them. I love the Bulgarian prom–they look like pouty teen models drafted for a costume assignment and not too happy about it.
    Overall your covers have been beautiful, though the odd–truly odd–cover does sneak in there now and then, especially in foreign editions (I’ve had a few books with some pretty odd covers myself). Love your line about sending our precious children out in stupid clothes– so true!
    Susan Sarah

    Reply
  13. Apparently it’s bad cover week. They’ve been having a bash of it over at the SmartBitches site for days now about bad covers happening to great books. I voted for Candice Hern’s Avon covers (did they have it in for her or something?).
    LOVE the pouty prom queen cover, Jo. *GIGGLE* Talk about a nightmare . . . though not nearly as bad as NGG. That’s one of the worst things I’ve ever seen (ugly + has nothing to do with the book).

    Reply
  14. Apparently it’s bad cover week. They’ve been having a bash of it over at the SmartBitches site for days now about bad covers happening to great books. I voted for Candice Hern’s Avon covers (did they have it in for her or something?).
    LOVE the pouty prom queen cover, Jo. *GIGGLE* Talk about a nightmare . . . though not nearly as bad as NGG. That’s one of the worst things I’ve ever seen (ugly + has nothing to do with the book).

    Reply
  15. Apparently it’s bad cover week. They’ve been having a bash of it over at the SmartBitches site for days now about bad covers happening to great books. I voted for Candice Hern’s Avon covers (did they have it in for her or something?).
    LOVE the pouty prom queen cover, Jo. *GIGGLE* Talk about a nightmare . . . though not nearly as bad as NGG. That’s one of the worst things I’ve ever seen (ugly + has nothing to do with the book).

    Reply
  16. I have to agree with AgTigress (whom I enticed here in the first place). We both post on a number of the same blogs, and the normal format is to have the poster’s name precede her post.
    However, this same format is used on the other TypePad blog I occasionally visit, so I guess you don’t have the option of changing it, other than by moving the blog elsewhere.

    Reply
  17. I have to agree with AgTigress (whom I enticed here in the first place). We both post on a number of the same blogs, and the normal format is to have the poster’s name precede her post.
    However, this same format is used on the other TypePad blog I occasionally visit, so I guess you don’t have the option of changing it, other than by moving the blog elsewhere.

    Reply
  18. I have to agree with AgTigress (whom I enticed here in the first place). We both post on a number of the same blogs, and the normal format is to have the poster’s name precede her post.
    However, this same format is used on the other TypePad blog I occasionally visit, so I guess you don’t have the option of changing it, other than by moving the blog elsewhere.

    Reply
  19. Having the name beneath the post would not be too much of a problem, Tal, if it were closely related to the foregoing text, but the fact that one’s post is not separated from the name of the previous poster, but IS separated by a line from one’s own name, which therefore appears, in bold, at the top of the NEXT person’s comments, is a bizarre design feature, and is definitely not an aid to clarity.
    AgTigress

    Reply
  20. Having the name beneath the post would not be too much of a problem, Tal, if it were closely related to the foregoing text, but the fact that one’s post is not separated from the name of the previous poster, but IS separated by a line from one’s own name, which therefore appears, in bold, at the top of the NEXT person’s comments, is a bizarre design feature, and is definitely not an aid to clarity.
    AgTigress

    Reply
  21. Having the name beneath the post would not be too much of a problem, Tal, if it were closely related to the foregoing text, but the fact that one’s post is not separated from the name of the previous poster, but IS separated by a line from one’s own name, which therefore appears, in bold, at the top of the NEXT person’s comments, is a bizarre design feature, and is definitely not an aid to clarity.
    AgTigress

    Reply
  22. Well, I don’t want to get too competitive or anything, but I think I have more bad covers than any of the other Wenches–and all of you have written more books!
    Loretta, the cover cursed

    Reply
  23. Well, I don’t want to get too competitive or anything, but I think I have more bad covers than any of the other Wenches–and all of you have written more books!
    Loretta, the cover cursed

    Reply
  24. Well, I don’t want to get too competitive or anything, but I think I have more bad covers than any of the other Wenches–and all of you have written more books!
    Loretta, the cover cursed

    Reply
  25. I haven’t yet read any of Loretta’s books yet, but I know from “Smart Bitches, Trashy Books” that her covers are notorious!
    I LOVE that prom picture! I’m going to see if I can make a blow-up for my office. It’s like adding a dollop of Buffy to a romance. 😉

    Reply
  26. I haven’t yet read any of Loretta’s books yet, but I know from “Smart Bitches, Trashy Books” that her covers are notorious!
    I LOVE that prom picture! I’m going to see if I can make a blow-up for my office. It’s like adding a dollop of Buffy to a romance. 😉

    Reply
  27. I haven’t yet read any of Loretta’s books yet, but I know from “Smart Bitches, Trashy Books” that her covers are notorious!
    I LOVE that prom picture! I’m going to see if I can make a blow-up for my office. It’s like adding a dollop of Buffy to a romance. 😉

    Reply
  28. From Loretta:
    Susan/Sarah wrote “Bring ’em on, Loretta, let’s see those covers!”
    Well, one of them’s posted under the Reissues. The Lion’s Daughter. How about the billowing wraparound shirt? How about the tights he’s wearing (must be fun answering Nature’s call in those) with the–are those boots Wellingtons? As in the kind you wear in the garden? And what is his right hand doing? Are his feet huge or what? And what’s with the belt? Regency gentlemen didn’t wear belts. And how about that haircut? And why is the Adriatic Sea purple? Does this look like an LSD trip to anyone else?

    Reply
  29. From Loretta:
    Susan/Sarah wrote “Bring ’em on, Loretta, let’s see those covers!”
    Well, one of them’s posted under the Reissues. The Lion’s Daughter. How about the billowing wraparound shirt? How about the tights he’s wearing (must be fun answering Nature’s call in those) with the–are those boots Wellingtons? As in the kind you wear in the garden? And what is his right hand doing? Are his feet huge or what? And what’s with the belt? Regency gentlemen didn’t wear belts. And how about that haircut? And why is the Adriatic Sea purple? Does this look like an LSD trip to anyone else?

    Reply
  30. From Loretta:
    Susan/Sarah wrote “Bring ’em on, Loretta, let’s see those covers!”
    Well, one of them’s posted under the Reissues. The Lion’s Daughter. How about the billowing wraparound shirt? How about the tights he’s wearing (must be fun answering Nature’s call in those) with the–are those boots Wellingtons? As in the kind you wear in the garden? And what is his right hand doing? Are his feet huge or what? And what’s with the belt? Regency gentlemen didn’t wear belts. And how about that haircut? And why is the Adriatic Sea purple? Does this look like an LSD trip to anyone else?

    Reply

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