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A Few of the Worst Book Covers

I’ve had book covers on the brain recently. I’ve been tasked with figuring out some things that might (or might not) work for my own cover. Because I’m much better at spotting (and explaining) what I hate than what I love, I’ve done a lot of looking around for terrible covers, in the hopes that I’ll be able to help the designers avoid these mistakes.

Here are a few of the worst covers in existence. This made me laugh nearly as much as the worst tattoos in the NBA post.

Once you’ve read the post about the book covers, please come back and cast your vote for the worst of the lot. And if you know of others, please point us to them.


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  • Gypsy June 17, 2012, 7:05 am

    Any publisher that approves a cover using ‘Word Art’ should be ritually tortured. And I really hope that Tarzan eventually realised that that monkey needed the Heimlich Maneuver. The content of some of those books seems much worse than their covers. For me the winner of worst should go to the rather poorly subtitled “She’s My Sister. Having a sister that I drag round on a ribbon and who looks a disembodied balloon head that’s been struck by a phone”. I especially like that the ‘artist’ was originally going to leave out the phone but then thought better of it and has tried unsuccessfully to erase the outline of the back of the sisters head.
    I have to say too I’d have very little confidence in that Vagina Colouring book with it’s totally ambiguous cover! Even with the promise of Fun Activities!

    • Gypsy June 17, 2012, 7:08 am

      Apologies for the terrible spelling! (Not the NZ English).

  • Daisy June 17, 2012, 1:00 pm

    Ew. The vagina book needs to go to a few of our legislators who want to legislate women’s health but are afraid to say the word.

    • Kosmo @ The Soap Boxers June 20, 2012, 9:43 am

      At first I just saw “The Big Coloring Book” and wasn’t sure why it made the list (sure, lots of colors, but that’s to be expected).

      But then I saw the rest of the title.

      I’m hoping there wasn’t a companion book to this.

  • Spencer June 18, 2012, 9:15 am

    Like you, I don’t know how to articulate it exactly. But I know it when I see it.

    And “Mind Pump” is far from the worst book cover I have ever seen.

    And the piano book was hilarious.

  • Kosmo @ The Soap Boxers June 20, 2012, 9:45 am

    How to Avoid Huge Ships is bad enough. But a second edition??? Not just a second printing, but someone actually took the time to make some changes to the book.

  • Josh Arnold June 23, 2012, 8:10 pm

    I checked out the worst NBA tattoo’s and loved number 8 of the tiger tattoo. What was so funny was I kept seeing his bellybutton as the tiger lips!

  • cinderkeys June 27, 2012, 12:19 am

    I once created a book cover that was dumber than all of those. Why? Because when you’re in self-publishing, you have to do what the author tells you, no matter how insane.