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Old 06-12-2012, 02:06 AM   #1
xg4bx
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See, this is why cover art is important

because atrocities like these are what people picture when they think of indie novels-

http://lousybookcovers.tumblr.com/
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Old 06-12-2012, 03:03 AM   #2
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I don't think most of those are too terrible.
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Old 06-12-2012, 05:57 AM   #3
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Some of them aren't too bad but could do with a bit of work with the lettering. I quite like Outlaw Heroes, The Speed of Wind, and Dead to Rights, myself.
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Old 06-12-2012, 07:32 AM   #4
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Eh... maybe they are going for shock factor.
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:35 AM   #5
Steven Lyle Jordan
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I wouldn't touch a novel with a cover like those with a ten-meter cattle prod... uh...

(Checks his novels page in mild panic)
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Old 06-12-2012, 01:20 PM   #6
QuantumIguana
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There might be some good books there, but if I see a cover that looks slapped together, I'm going to think that the book inside the cover is slapped together. I could be wrong, and I could be missing a good book. But the odds are that I am not. A good cover won't make me buy the book, but it might get me to read the blurb. If the blurb is good, I might read the sample, and if the sample is good, then I might buy the book.

A cover probably shouldn't look like it was drawn by a child. It shouldn't have too much on it, probably should be fairly simple. There's the one cover "Come and Talk to Me" it isn't too bad, but the Coast Guard ship probably shouldn't be there in the first place, let alone be badly photoshopped. Some of the art would have been considered acceptable cover art in the decades ago, but that cover art isn't highly regarded now.

If you're not really good at drawing, it probably is best that you don't draw your own book cover. Good enough for little doodles isn't good enough for a book cover. I couldn't draw to save my life.
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Old 06-12-2012, 02:11 PM   #7
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Those covers are all terrible. Not because they're ugly, though some of them are, but because they look like they've been slapped together in a hurry by someone who doesn't know what they're doing and who is too lazy or cheap or both, to hire someone to do it for them.

A good cover won't make me buy a book I'm not already interested in, but a bad cover will make me walk away from a book I might otherwise have bought. As QI said, if the cover was slapped together in a hurry, then I'm going to assume that the book inside the cover is a poor rush job as well.
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Old 06-12-2012, 02:24 PM   #8
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I don't think most of those are too terrible.
I agree. They are not too terrible. They are worse then that. The one with the badge on the cover is beyond awful. Basically, they are garbage. If the cover is that bad, I'm not taking a chance given that the inside could be just as bad.

Last edited by JSWolf; 06-12-2012 at 02:26 PM.
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Old 06-12-2012, 02:35 PM   #9
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There might be some good books there, but if I see a cover that looks slapped together, I'm going to think that the book inside the cover is slapped together.
I agree, and part of me tells me I shouldn't; there's no natural law that says a good writer has to be a good artist as well. But a major part of bookselling is in the presentation, and if your cover, being the absolute first thing people see, looks so incredibly bad... you can't help but assume that it'll all go downhill from there.

Another part of me is actively shouting in my middle ear: "Shut up, you fool! You'll only draw negative attention to yourself!" Because all of my covers are Photoshopped, you see. But in my defense, I was a graphic artist before I was a writer, so I at least know my way around Photoshop, and understand the words "minimalist" and where they apply.

But on a bad day, I could see one or two of my older covers in that list...

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There's the one cover "Come and Talk to Me" it isn't too bad, but the Coast Guard ship probably shouldn't be there in the first place, let alone be badly photoshopped.
Actually, I thought less of that cover: Yes, the ship was badly-placed; but worse than that, the photo of lovers kissing is not in sync with a title like "Come and Talk to Me." The photo is the after of the title's before. A photo of someone looking longingly at some else, or looking lonely as someone else notices, would have been in better sync with the title.

This is the other thing about covers that people don't always think of: The image should reinforce the title and/or the intent of the book. A title that suggests some effort involved in getting two people together, shouldn't be backed up by a photo showing two people already, effortlessly together.

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Old 06-13-2012, 03:08 AM   #10
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I agree. They are not too terrible. They are worse then that. The one with the badge on the cover is beyond awful. Basically, they are garbage. If the cover is that bad, I'm not taking a chance given that the inside could be just as bad.
<shrug>

I don't think they are that awful. I guess I'm just not that bothered about covers. A cover would certainly never influence my decision about whether or not to buy a book.

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Old 06-13-2012, 04:10 AM   #11
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A cover would certainly never influence my decision about whether or not to buy a book.
You might very well think that; but of course I couldn't possibly comment.
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Old 06-13-2012, 07:09 AM   #12
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<shrug>

I don't think they are that awful. I guess I'm just not that bothered about covers. A cover would certainly never influence my decision about whether or not to buy a book.
I think it does more so when randomly browsing unknowns. For example if Stephen King, or Tom Clancy put out a book with a horrible cover, most people probably would not even notice. Their NAME sells the book.

However if you are just scrolling through your favorite genre on Amazon all you have is title, and a thumbnail of the cover. If the cover sticks out you are more likely to click on it then if it blends in. If you never click on it, you will not buy it.

So, IMO, at least for most people I think the cover does have buying impact of some degree.
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:58 AM   #13
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For a self-pub, it says something about the taste and standards of the author.
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Old 06-13-2012, 09:02 AM   #14
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The one with the badge on bare skin looks painful.

And I'm with Harry, for the most part. While a really cool cover might indeed entice me to pick up a book, I'd doubt I'd turn away from most of those because of the cover quaity.

I understand the reasoning, but in my mind, I make allowances for a self-publishing indie author trying to save money, and hope they put the money they saved on a graphic artist into paying a good editor.

Sort of like finding a run-down dive of a resurant in NYC...often what they saved in real estate and decor shows up invested in the food.*

ApK

*unlike in LA where image seems to come first...if the outside looks shabby, RUN!

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Old 06-13-2012, 09:09 AM   #15
Steven Lyle Jordan
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<shrug>

I don't think they are that awful. I guess I'm just not that bothered about covers. A cover would certainly never influence my decision about whether or not to buy a book.
If so... you are a rare bird, sir. Now, if I'd heard good things about a book, I might still buy it even if it sported a bad cover (in fact, I have). But if I knew nothing about the book, a bad cover would prevent me from looking any further.
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