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Writing Ninjitsu: It's War on Shitty Covers

Covers matter.

Authors know that there is nothing more heartbreaking than having an ugly cover slapped on their work, and readers know they steer clear of books with laughable or ugly covers (unless they already know and love the author).

Not only that, but there are whole blogs devoted to bad romance covers (Uncle Walter’s Rants) as well as Tumblr and Pinterest sites, because, let’s face it, bad romance covers have the potential to be not only bad but hilarious.

Whether things go wrong with a cover due to an author’s poor Photoshop skills, or due to a lack of communication between publisher, author and cover designer, we offer five ninja tips below that everyone should adhere to.

 

1.     Hair matters: Say no to any model with a mullet, otherwise you may end up with a cover hero who resembles Richie Sambora crossed with a My Little Pony. 

 

2.     Inappropriate foliage: Remember, it’s awkward for everyone when mistletoe (or any other plant) sprouts from your heroine’s backside. 

 

3.     Avoid animals in strange places: This particularly applies to erotic romance, where it may be assumed that any animal is part of the ‘action’. 

 

 

 

4.     I’ll just add an appendage: We don’t recommend it, especially if said appendage looks like a turd from a distance. 

 

5.     Things sprouting from crotches: Never a good look, whether it’s flames, or, as in this case, a trail wagon. 

 

6.     Super-imposed silliness: Don’t move, darling, there’s a unicorn in your armpit! 

 

 

All jokes aside, we know that getting the cover you want is not always easy (for authors or designers). For that reason we’ve interviewed four cover designers and asked them how authors can work with them to get a cover that will help sell their work. The first interview is with Fiona Jayde from Fiona Jayde Media. The second is with Kerrie Knutson from Alchemy Book Covers.