Wednesday, December 21, 2005

A rant with a bit of a snark

This is not so much a cover snark (which SB’s & BAM do so very deliciously) as it is a cover rant. Now it’s no secret that I am not a fan of Avon. I can be persuaded on occasion to still give them a try and Lisa Kleypas is still an auto buy – the only one left I’m afraid. Some of the others that used to be I judge based on buzz before buying.
I was reading the review of this one at AAR and it looked interesting. First off it has a scarred hero, a storyline that has always appealed to me. It is a medieval, another thing going for it. Hmmmm, I thought, I just might give this one a try. Then I looked it up at Amazon.


If I was Ms. Maguire and I saw my book with that cover I would a) scream b) cry c) get very very angry and d) look into getting a lawyer to sue. This cover is so bad. How bad is it? Let me count the ways.
First off the dress the heroine is wearing – or rather the excuse of a dress. Pardon me, but I don’t think that style was in vogue during the middle ages. Reading the review, the heroine starts off as rather a shy quiet kind of gal. Being one myself, there is no way I would ever wear such a dress – even if it were in style. Can we say TRAMP? Next there’s the hair. Why is she wearing a hairstyle that again doesn’t match the time. Did they pay the least bit of attention to the book when they came up with that cover?
Then we come to the hero. Oh dear – where does one begin. He’s just so overall bad. OK, OK OK We will start at the top with the hair. I did not know they had salon’s back in those metro medieval times. Nor did I realize mousse was so readily available. Next– the eye patch. Ridiculous, just utterly and stupidly ridiculous! Laughably HAH HAH HAH ridiculous. The review said the whole side of his face was scarred – but gee – the picture seems to miss that with the “look I’m a pirate” eye patch. Next, the armband. One must ask why is it there??? And then there is the lack of clothes. Do the PTB actually think us readers like this look? Cover up man!!!
The overall colour of the book is truly hideous. I know I’ve read before that red is supposed appeals to consumers but there is red and then there is “looks like slasher movie bucket of blood red.”
Which brings me to my larger rant. Unless the author is a big name author like Kleypas, Avon covers are for the most part, garbage. Garbage, garbage garbage. There is nothing to tell one book from the other or one author from the other. They are about as generic as they come. Man half naked standing beside/behind woman with low cut dress. Woman looks very slutty, man is unattractive with unnaturally sized chest. That’s it! That’s their covers. I find them extremely insulting. Compare them to other publishers who actually have taste.
Well, a picture is worth a thousand words so here are examples of what I mean.

Trashy Cover

Tasteful Cover

Trashy Cover

Tasteful Cover

Here is another thing that irritates the hell out of me. I unfortunately am not one of those readers confident enough to read romance with trashy covers in public. I wish I were, but I haven’t grown up that much yet. There is no way I would read a good 80% of Avon books in public, if I were to even buy them.

Now this picture on the other hand is a beautiful medieval!!! I don't know if the book is any good or not but I bought it because of the cover

This is one I wouldn't mind reading in public!

The jury is still out on the Maguire book. If I don’t buy it, the reason will be 100% due to the nasty cover. How many other like me are they out there? It seems a shame for the authors.

'til later


Nicole said...

I mentioned the Bride Hunt one on my blog awhile back and had pretty much the same idea regarding what the author should've done when she saw it. My God, it's nasty!

Megan Frampton said...

I agree--and I have a nice cloth cover for the more egregious paperbacks.

That cover is really bad and generic, even for Avon.

But since right now there is NO SUBWAY, I don't have to be worried about being embarrassed in front of other commuters.

ReneeW said...

Great analysis of that cover and exactly matches what I was thinking when I saw it a while back. I sewed three fabric book covers for just such occasions when I'm embarrassed to read a book in public. I'll make you one if you want. Tradesize or mm. They also help preserve the condition of the book.

CindyS said...

Well done! It's funny how you can look at a book and know it is by a *certain* publisher. I guess they are attempting to brand the book as 'such and such' publishing. Which I totally get but, Avon has had those same trashy covers now since, what? The early 90s? Time for an update - 2005 people!!

As for not buying because of a cover? I cannot buy creepy cartoon cover books. Just can't. I had picked up a short story to read and they were in the carribean and all I could think about were the H/H portrayed on one of the nominated covers for the worst category at AAR. It had a ::cough:: man striding along a dock carrying the heroine I think. I wouldn't have bought the book if someone told me the author was the next Anne Stuart. Okay, compare something to AS and I don't care if the cover reaks! Bad example, but you get my point. Or do I have one. Oh! I couldn't get the cartoon guy out of my head so I couldn't focus on the characters I was reading. Bad cover spoils a perfectly good book. One which has a cute cover. Amazing.

Man, I'm tired. It's midnight and the nocturnal wonder is slurring her typing. Can that happen? Yep.


Gabrielle said...

Completely with you. WHY do they do this????

Anonymous said...

Anne Stuart once said in a speech at RWA, "Editors aren't the enemy -- Marketing is." You look at some of these covers and it is so true.

It's not just that covers like that are bad -- they look like they should be on VHI1's "I Love the 80's" or other similar show. Avon's covers don't seem to have changed since then.

Nicole said...

Maybe someone needs to do an Avon covers through the years post.

romancelover said...

I love your site and I, too, have a distaste for Avon. I love Kleypas though; she's also an autobuy for me. I try not to buy the Avon books full price, choosing instead to go to UBSes. Check out my site -, posted on romancing the blog.

sybil said...

I am so beginning to think you don't like Avon Kristie.

Romance covers mostly suck in general I think. Although as much as I want nicer ones I wouldn't buy a book just because it had a nice cover, although I did pick up The Last Bride? or whatever that was but didn't get it. I forget why.

The Switch by Diane Whiteside screams gay porn to me, not sure why.

I have a list somewhere of some Avon books you need. I don't think you will lurve them and call them george but you might like them.

What? I can try damn it!

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