Thursday, 29 January 2009

When Self-Publishers Hire Friends Instead of Professional Cover Designers...

..these are the results:









As far as I know, one man is responsible for all of these. I shall not include his name or the titles of the books in the text here, as I fear him stumbling upon me. Also, from his site, he seems an awfully nice chap, and I feel bad about the sneering (though obviously not enough to not do it). And if that last cover isn't making use of a photo of Indiana Jones then I'll eat that hat.


UPDATE: Readers, I ate that hat. Sharp-eyed commenter Kim Senior points out that the cover in question actually knocks off this Humphrey Bogart image. The trenchcoat should have tipped me off.

14 comments:

Kim said...

Eat your hat, its a takeoff Bogey

http://www.art.com/asp/sp-asp/_/pd--10022097/Humphrey_Bogart.htm

JRSM said...

Damn it, you're right! (Muffled noise of man eating hat.)

Hels said...

I cannot believe I found another blogger who wrote about Yosl Bergner *weepy hugs*. I put a link from your post into my blog!

Do you know the publication details of the first Bergner cover - just the date and place would do.
many thanks
Hels,
Melbourne

JRSM said...

Hi, Hels: it was published by Penguin in 1961 (London): it's Penguin Modern Classics # 1572.

Thanks for the link! I'll be round at your blog shortly.

John Self said...

I love it when self-publishers and self-cover-designers run out of inspiration and take off existing images. How about this, clearly 'inspired' by this. Like you I will not name the author as he's a prickly chap who threatened to get another website taken down when we mocked him on it. Plus, I feel sorry for him. However, if you want a laugh, just look at the Amazon reviews of his other books.

JRSM said...

Oh dear: those Amazon reviews (not written by him) are great! I love: "This is supposed to be for young adults, like me. Well, a few pointers then: 1) get an editor 2) that squiggly red line under the words? It means there’s a typo, go back and correct them 3) that squiggly green line under the words? It means there’s a grammar suggestion. Your PC screen must glow like the Emerald City 4) I don’t need profanities and drug references to be entertained, Mr Wright. There’s relatively few in Jane Eyre, do try and remember that."

Steerforth said...

I liked 'This deserves minus four stars as a warning to future generations'.

This is all horribly familiar.

Self-publishing of this kind is bad for the soul. Towards the end of my days in bookselling, I was becoming increasingly like Basil Fawlty when presented with novels of this kind.

It was the result of years of trying to be tactful and diplomatic with people whose vanity and self-delusion had left them with as much charm and humility as talent.

Ian Shimkoviak said...

ouch. This is a big bummer.

JRSM said...

Just last night came across this depressing article on self-publishing: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/28/books/28selfpub.html?_r=1&ref=books - I know I got it from someone's blog, but I forget which: apologies for that. I like the way the guy in charge of Lulu.com cheerfully admits, "We have easily published the largest collection of bad poetry in the history of mankind."

Lucy Fishwife said...

I just read all his reviews and loved every one of them, particularly the 5-star self-wriiten ones... In that very vein I will just give you a quote from an unsolicited novel we had sent to us (I use the word "novel" because it's certainly like nothing I've ever seen before). All errors of spelling and punctuation are, it goes without saying, author's own...

"London in the 1980's drugs and prostitution are rife and to survive you have to be one hard hearted bastard with eye's in the back of your head. That's Linda Gerraty and Paulie Santini to a tee: but Linda has one weakness her Son Luke."

... oh, and her husband did the book jacket...

JRSM said...

That's certainly a, er, unique-sounding book. You are, I'm certain, displaying it face-out and in the front windows, right?

Picky said...

OK, I just stumbled upon your blog. I have actually been sitting here for hours, trying figure out how to go about getting commissions for cover design. I am relatively new to design. I do however think I am ready to start to offer my services for Ah-Hem Cheap! :) I just have NO clue who to contact. So I am making a leap here and asking you. If you would be so kind as to point me in the right direction, I would be so happy. Where do I start? Here is my online gallery www.pickyme.deviantart.com if you would like to give me your opinion. Thank you!

JRSM said...

To be honest, Picky, I'm not sure where you'd go from here, other than to do what sort of what you've been doing with "fake" book covers--except that I'd design "new" covers for some existing books from a specific publisher, and then submit them on spec. I suspect it's a pretty hard industry to get into, though. Sorry I can't be more help!

Picky said...

Thank you! Yes, that is what I am thinking as well.. sort of like.. here is what you did, here is what I could have done better, type thing? It just seems overwhelming to me at this point. Well, hopefully you saw a little potential in my gallery. Hopefully one day one of my covers won't end up in your blog being ripped apart! LOL..