Terrible Book Covers: The Return

I have no words this week due to Extreme Writing of Book, so here are some pictures: a few of my all time favourite book covers, lovingly curated for you.

It’s very hard to make a good book cover, and very easy to mock a bad one. Sometimes a group of talented people with the best intentions can produce a disastrous cover more or less by committee. And then there’s the other reasons covers go wrong…

Mistakes happen.

This one is deservedly famous. Go on, have a look, see if you can spot what’s wrong with it. I’ll leave a space for scrolling:


Count her hands.


This one…I don’t know how this one happened. It looks OK at first glance, but just try to work out how the lion’s leg got there. Then try to find its body:


Sometimes people fail to think through the implications.

Yes, yes, the title probably didn’t mean that to most people back in the day. Although, the impressively phallic lighthouse suggests the cover artist was, at least, channelling Freud.



This is just obviously wrong:



And this is just obviously even wronger:


(Yes, I look at a lot of Tarzan pulp covers. Your point?)

Sometimes the whole project is … poorly conceived.

I really want to do a movie updating of this. We could call it Dude, Where’s My Skull?


The tagline really helps this. ‘The Man They Couldn’t Kill’ plus ‘Lady, That’s My Skull’ adds up to an incredible Clive Barker horror of a revenant PI with an unpleasantly floppy head, determined to retrieve his own cranium before his brain falls out. Sadly, this is not actually the plot.


OK, you need to brace for the next one, this is weird. Assume crash position. Even better, assume foetal position.




And sometimes it was the 70s.


Enough said.

Got any favourite covers to add? Share them in the comments!

20 replies
  1. Celia Jansson
    Celia Jansson says:

    Oh good, I have seen the first one befor, but I can’t come over the Nazi-dwarfs! But “Lady, thats my scull” is the best trash title I’ve ever seen!

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    bw bank kredit online says:

    hey leute… das was Totenhorcher gesagt hat habe ich auch schon sehr oft gehört und gelesen und lionsgate hatte auch mal in einem interview gesagt das sie remake ähnliche teile drehen wollen… also vllt X.5 oder so =D

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    Such a cool idea! I’ve heard of a few other bloggers using this as well. I think the greatest benefit is definitely being able to try things on at home with other pieces you already own. So many times when I’m shopping I THINK something will look great with a piece I already have, only to discover that it looks reallllyyyyy crappy once I get the item home. I’m going to have to try this out!-Alyssa

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  1. […] her debut fantasy m/m romance THE MAGPIE LORD, btw – need to post a review…) posted this fun round-up of bad covers – I think the three-handed woman is a regular on this kind of lists, but I’ve not seen […]

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