August 15, 2010

Bad Book Covers

I receive several e-mails a week from different sites wanting me to feature something on my blog. Appoximately 99% of those e-mails clearly come from spanners who have no idea that a blog called In Bed With Books is about books. maintains a blog about a variety of topics designed to interest college students. Doesn't really line up with IBWB, but the article I received an e-mail about does fit my interests: 25 Worst Book Covers of All Time.  I'm impressed by the variety of genres covered, though most of the books are pulpy SF.  It's so easy to make fun of pulpy SF covers.

But I'm always interested in cover conversations.  After all, different people have different tastes.  Although some cover art is brilliant or awful no matter what.

Judge a Book by Its Cover is a hilarious blog by a former librarian Maughta (and a few others). If you think you know hideous book covers, wait to be astouded by the depths of awful she and her compatriarts have illuminated.

The famous Smart Bitches, Trashy Books blog frequently features awful romance covers.  (Cheesy romance covers come close to being as bad as pulpy SF covers.)

The super interesting Jacket Whys is another librarian blog.  She examines trends in children's and young adult book covers, whether they be good or bad. She also compares different editions of a book to track which covers work best.

I can't think of a cover I truly hate off the top of my head, but I love this one for Golden Fool by Robin Hobb.

Golden Fool (The Tawny Man, Book 2)

It's detailed, beautifully colored, and the image directly relates to the contents of the book.  Plus, it shows a little skin without being faux sexy or impossible to carry on the bus without embarrassment.

Oh wait, I thought of a bad cover.

HottieBurning Ambition: A Hottie Novel

So, what covers do you hate or love?


  1. Weren't the Poseurs series covers pretty bad? XD I remember just grimacing at them.

  2. I have a copy of "A Confederacy of Dunces" which has a horrible cover, cartoonish and bloated. Good thing I knew it was an awesome book when I bought it.

    Worse than bad covers, tho, are the "meh" covers. The ones that are neither good nor bad, attractive or not, etc. Regardless of how good the book is, they don't get picked up because they blend in with everything else.

  3. @Diana: I think Poseurs suffers from the same problem as the Hottie series. The covers are made on a budget, but the characters are supposed to look high fashion. It just doesn't work.

    @Leigh: That's the cover of A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES that I own.

    I think some "meh" covers work. They're boring, but they're good shorthand. If you liked two books with emo!tilt face covers, then you'll pick up other books with the same type of cover.

  4. Two of the earlier covers of Running Loose are horrible, but at the same time, the book was originally published in 1983, and times have changed since then. :P Also, YA barely existed back, so I can give it some slack.

    ^scroll to the bottom to see the covers.


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