Whenever I see a woman out in public with her skirt tucked into the back of her panty hose, or a man with a comb-over, I always think, why didn’t someone not love them enough to tell them they looked ridiculous? Well, sometimes when I’m browsing Amazon looking for my next read, I see book covers that make me wonder the same thing. Why didn’t anyone love these authors enough to tell them their covers were awful?
Now, before all the authors out there jump on me with both feet, I’d like to say that I realize covers are subjective, and what’s awful to me is beautiful to someone else. And I know that some authors feel they can’t afford a professionally designed cover and need to create their own (which is pretty untrue because there are tons of lovely premade covers out there available for a SONG...but I digress…). But let’s set all that aside and think about the greater good. The romance genre takes plenty of heat every day. It’s marginalized and maligned in every conceivable way, even though it outsells pretty much every other genre there is. I’ve read so many wonderful romances that I’d like to say all the genre’s critics were totally out of line...but…
There are still covers out there that are pretty much doing everything they can to reinforce the romance stigma.
Don’t believe me? Well check these out:
(A quick aside: I’m not calling anyone out just to be mean. But if we really want to rehab the genre—and WE DO—then stuff like this can’t happen anymore. We don’t want to embarrass or pick on anyone. We just want romance book covers to reflect how wonderful the genre really is.)
The font is awful and hard to read, there’s something terribly wrong with that man’s jaw, his hair is one of the worst Photoshop fails I've ever seen and the woman in that photo is making the same face I make when I see my dog dragging his ass across the carpet. The blurb for this book is far from the worst thing I’ve ever seen, but I wouldn’t read the book because I’d be embarrassed to have this cover on my Kindle. Shallow of me? Absolutely. But I make no apologies.
I...uh...have no words. I’m just gonna...leave this here.
OK, let’s just say that I was able to look past the weird, 1980s purple font and photo background (which I’m not), I’d still be left to contend with the fact that the heroine is seriously channeling Disney’s version of Esmeralda from The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and the fact that the hero has a mullet. I'm talking full-on Billy Ray Cyrus MULLET! That is NOT OK for a book that was re-covered in 2011.
Oh, sweet merciful crap on a crust, what happened to the lower half of that man’s body?! What kind of horrible accident was he in??? Did the book cover designer quit halfway through? Did the "Treasure Bear" maul this guy? What?
On second thought...maybe it's best if we never know.
Frankly, I’m a little uncomfortable with the way Fabio’s kid brother is looking at me in this one. There’s a fine line between intense eye contact and the piercing stare of a psycho, and this guy has crossed RIGHT over the top of it. Yikes.
I would’ve paid good money to see the designer’s face when the author said, “I want a baby, a shirtless dude, and Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon on my romance cover.”
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