Tuesday, January 26, 2016

In the grayness of winter, a little sunshine

We’re having a pretty easy time this winter here in this part of Canada (south central). As a matter of fact, it’s been downright wimpy: little snow, close to or above freezing, rain instead of snow. I’m not complaining, mind you. Things can get really bad in a big hurry, and I’m sure the weather gods have something unpleasant in mind for us before spring rolls into town. If you enjoy winter (like Vicki D., for instance), this year’s been a bit of a bust.

So why am I bringing this up? It’s the long stream of gray, lifeless days we’ve had to endure. This is not out of the ordinary, either, for winter weather, but somehow this year it seems more onerous.

It also seems to sap the creative juices before they have a chance to flow, and that’s never a good thing when there’s a blog post to write!

So I’m falling back on a topic that’s an old favourite: bad book covers. In this era of rampant self-publishing we also arrived to a Golden Age if bad design and typography float your boat. Too many authors (of any stripe) seem to think they know what should be on the cover of their latest tome. Fortunately, publishers — while allowing them to feel part of the process — don’t let them get too far from shore in the cover design sea.

In doing a bit of research, lo and behold, I found a tumblr.com website dedicated to bad book covers. Here’s the link: http://lousybookcovers.tumblr.com/

Visit this site with the knowledge that what you’ll see may not assist you in keeping a balanced equilibrium. Laughing too hard has that effect on many. Shaking my head so much in wonderment brought on an attack of vertigo.

In looking these over, I was left with a slightly melancholy feeling. I sort of wish that I could help these poor, misguided souls. Having worked with some, though, I’m also aware that they’re hard to talk out of their folly. If they’re friends, then it’s also difficult to be truthful, too. I mean how do you tell someone their child is an ugly wretch?


So even though it’s exceptionally gray and depressing outside today. There’s a little bit of sunshine in my studio.


Vicki Delany said...

Love these. In a bad way.

Rick Blechta said...

In a way I sort of felt bad about pointing out these very bad covers. The people who did them, whether they be authors or someone else, obviously would have tried very hard to do a good job. I'm sure there are people very happy with the way they turned out, and there's something uncomfortable about raining on their parade.

If there's anyone out there faced with this prospect, for heaven's sake, get to a large bookstore and spend several hours browsing -- and not just the mystery section -- to get an idea of what's happening. As a last resort, find a cover you like and shamelessly imitate it -- assuming it comes from a legitimate publisher and not someone who's in the same boat you are!