Poor Cover Design Choices

Poor Cover Design ChoicesThe almost daily newsletter we receive highlights so many aspects of book covers, it’s become a series of posts in itself: poor cover design choices.

Check out the previous post if you missed it. This time, a little more constructive analysis.

SIKIK coverElijah Isaiah’s SIKIK plants the Top Gun style series logo top-centre, spelling it out in a terrible neon-candy-red font. But it’s the series title. The book title is planted vertically  in an unintelligible sci-fi font. It’s almost off the side of the page. Bottom-left, the author’s name is in a fancy serif font that doesn’t fit the genre. The illustration is a poorly drawn and low-contrast image of a rocket launch, watched by silhouetted spectators. An out-of-scale space-marine type figure (also poorly illustrated) is staring out at the reader. It’s probably sci-fi adventure. Probably.

You want to rearrange the whole layout and get a better image (as Isaiah does for his other illustrated covers).

A Cunning Liaison coverPatricia Shannon’s A Cunning Liaison takes five badly elements and completely fails to tie them together. There’s half a wrinkly man’s face in closeup, with his nose stuck in a book that’s out of focus and struck by lightning. Over the top of that is an ugly brown box with the tagline and some clipart of the scales of justice. The footer has the authors name over a pool of water. Both title and author name are in a font face straight out of a 1970’s TV titlecard. This may be a mystery, crime, detective, legal thriller, or it could be supernatural, or any combination thereof. No idea.

Honey and Almonds After Dark coverHoney and almonds after dark (title capitalised exactly that way) is by the mysterious Tamara A. No idea what that grey textured background is. Why float the text over a semi-transparent white rectangle? Especially since the words don’t fit in it. It’s a nice serif font face that you can’t read – particularly the author name.

It’s a cover that doesn’t at all say honey, almonds, after dark, or anything to do with the erotic short story collection that lies within.

Summoned book coverBest of all is by Stan The Man Griffin. No quotes around ‘the man’ so presumably that’s what’s on his birth certificate? According to the listings and the blurb, the novel is Summoned. Or, as it says on all versions of the cover, Summonded.

If you put your whole cover in shouty capital letters and still can’t proof-read your own title, what can you do?

If that’s not bad enough, the tagline is actually three sentences, or thirty-three words. That’s an essay. One that doesn’t nail the genre. Horror? Sci-fi? Medical thriller? Supernatural thriller? Clearly that’s not enough as there’s a second tagline below the five random creatures spilling out of five circles.

“The future of horror is yet to come.” Yep. We’re still waiting.