Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Best of Bad Book Covers

I'm all for DIY: do-it-yourself. The act of self-publishing definitely falls under that category. But writers, like everyone else, have their limitations. For some writers, a limitation is the complete inability to draw...or capably use a graphic design program. Yet, in the true spirit of DIY, they forge ahead anyway. The results are what I shall diplomatically call "questionable" book covers. 

Not so diplomatically, Nathan Shumante calls them "Lousy Book Covers," and he displays some of the best of them on his Tumblr. Shumante, who earns his living as a book designer, knows good cover art and he's not ashamed to say that this ain't it. "Just because you CAN design your own book," he says on his Tumblr, "doesn't mean you SHOULD." Quite right.

There are quite of few gems to behold, all of them from seemingly self-published masterpieces. Blurry artwork, dubious clip art, childlike illustrations, garish color schemes, and bad Photoshop abound. This is what happens when "creativity takes a wrong turn," Joe Berkowitz keenly observed when writing about Shumante's tongue-in-cheek Tumblr for Co.Create. 

Initially, Shumante charitably offered "a free cover redesign to any author whose book was featured" on his Tumblr. "But because a couple of hyperventilating 'sweet snowflakes' accused me of posting these covers as nothing more than a cynical 'negative business model' to driver readers to my cover design sight," he had to rescind that offer, he said. At least he extended that olive branch.

To see many more "Lousy Book Covers," check out Shumante's Tumblr site HERE.

* All of the above images are from Lousy Book Covers Tumblr.

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