I declare a vendetta! A vendetta on that terrible genius, that ungodly, but brilliant mind who first came up with the idea of a book cover!
Who did this? Who is responsible? Step forward and pay penance for your misdeeds!
I think that all of us are guilty, at one time or another, of perusing a list of images entitled ‘worst book covers of all times,’ or ‘what were these authors thinking?’ I certainly know that I’m guilty. Page after cringe-inducing page of misshapen, but recognizably human figures with terrible teeth and disturbing smiles. Image after image of somebody that we know is supposed to look intimidating and mysterious, but who actually looks kind of bloated and to be carrying some congenital defect that has twisted their visage into something resembling an angry teddybear.
A few seconds staring at it and you cannot imagine trying to read whatever monstrosity inspired this mess.
But how the hell is a broke writer going to come up with a decent cover? That’s not our medium. That’s not our wheelhouse. And yet it’s important, and every book that is printed is judged by potential readers based on two simple criteria: what’s the cover look like? and is the title any good? Sure, we have some control over the title, but that damnedable cover… unless you’re one of those savants who can write AND draw, you’re going to need to dish out good money for a book cover that will draw readers in, instead of sending them screaming for the hills.