I genuinely do know that I'm a dreadful nag. In my first post here at CFC, I posted the second part of my discussion on book covers (Cover Design Calypso, Part II), which appeared here in November of 2011, and then reposted the first portion, which originally appeared on my own website, Cover Design Calypso, Part I, here on CFC during the Christmas holiday, I did indeed nag our gentle readers about the import of good cover art. In thinking about it (and in my happy treks around the Internet), I discovered a source that has become a daily stop for me, before I open my emails--it's called "Lousy Book Covers" (on tumblr) and it's the CakeWrecks of book covers. If you haven't discovered CakeWrecks, ("Where Professional Cakes Go Horribly, Hilariously Wrong") you don't know how to live, but suffice it to say: LousyBookCovers is worth a daily visit.
And it occurred to me, in my enjoyment of LBC, that I'd learned an old but valuable lesson: a picture is worth a thousand words. And thus, this week's nag is an urge for you to visit LousyBookCovers, and think to yourself: Would I ever pick up this book and flip through the pages?
Since Blogger won't allow you to reblog from Tumblr, and my understanding of the associated rights isn't quite thorough (Mr. Shumate pulls the images through his Amazon associates link, and I don't know how he manages to obtain only the cover images, sans Amazon text--I think it's a Tumblr thing, which is, after all, an images weblog site), here are some links to his Tumblr blog that I know reinforced my theories on "what NOT TO DO" when creating a cover:
Erotic Refugees: (captioned, "We don't want your kind here!")
Talon of the Raptor Clan (captioned: "I don't want to startle you, but you have an eagle where your hair should be."
Goat Suckin' --- Hotter Than It Sounds (captioned: "It would have to be, wouldn't it?")
Elfthade (captioned: "Words fail me.")
If You Miss the Train Im [sic] On (captioned: "On the plus side, the unreadable font almost hides the fact that the apostrophe is missing")
Now, trust me when I tell you: there are plenty more. These aren't even the worst; they're just five examples of why you not only need Beta readers for your book (not to mention editors and critique groups!!), but for your cover design as well. Remember two things: if you enjoy LBC from now on, you have me to thank. (Okay, really, you have Nate Shumate to thank, the evil genius behind LousyBookCovers, but, hey, I am the one who toldja!). Secondly: when you look at your cover, close your eyes and just imagine: "can my cover end up on Lousy Book Covers?" If the answer is yes, or maybe: get working on that redesign! (if you're on a budget, don't forget our Super-Secret Budget Saving Tip from Cover Calypso 2: Check out Goonwrite.com, for high-quality pre-made covers.)
If you have a good amount of memory on your computer, click through and view Nate's "ARCHIVE," which will leave you gasping for air, because you'll either be crying or laughing so hard, you won't be able to breathe. If these don't make you laugh, you're clearly a cyborg designed by Cyberdyne systems, and they left out your humor module.
You've been warned! The posts are all in good fun--but an object lesson is to be had, as well.
Next time: actually, I have absolutely no idea.