I have had a few really terrible book covers during my life as an author. Sometimes I thought: (a) the designer has not read my book, (b) if they have, their IQ is smaller than the font size or (c) they are legally blind.
Looking around at other book covers over the years, I noticed that some problems didn’t start with bad design: there were also some pretty bad titles – or simply very misguided concepts.
I began to speculate on what some writers were thinking when they imagined their creation.
Did they really think that someone, somewhere might really want to read such a book? Did they ever look at the cover and the title and think: wait a minute, this might not be quite right?
What are the worst covers – or the worst book concepts – that you have ever seen?
Here’s a selection – my worst twenty ever.
NOTE: I have only included books that are currently available for purchase through Amazon. So unfortunately I was not able to consider THE THEORY OF LENGTHWISE ROLLING, by A.I.Tselikov (Central Books, 1982); THE LESBIAN SADOMASOCHISM SAFETY MANUAL by Patrick Califia-Rice (Lace Publications, 1990); HIGHLIGHTS IN THE HISTORY OF CONCRETE by Christopher C. Stanley (British Cement Association, 1979) or most disappointingly, GREEK RURAL POSTMEN AND THEIR CANCELLATION NUMBERS (Hellenic Philatelic Association of Great Britain, 1994).
Astonishingly, none of the above are still available in print.
Here are my candidates:
Feel free to vote for your favourite, if that’s the right word. I am strangely drawn to the lesbian horse stories. But for sheer creepiness, I find number two absolutely terrifying.
Over to you.