Since last week, I have sent my manuscript for Cascade to a few independent publishers and have yet to hear from them. As of right now, I’ve sent it to six in which four have reported on receiving my submission. Yet, in the meantime, perhaps I can brush upon the importance of presentation. Of course, we’ve been told not to judge a book by its cover, but sadly many would-be buyers do since the title and cover design do have significant marketing value. I can go on with all the great presentation with the book titles and covers that sell, but it would be boring so I’m posting the titles and covers which would turn off potential buyers or at least make the book seem like a joke. Also, these are unintentionally hilarious. Still, at least I have the title covered. So without further adieu, here’s a collection of book design fails that you don’t want to miss. (I’m using covers from mainstream publishing not vanity or self-published stuff on Amazon because it wouldn’t be funny.) Some of this content may not be safe for work.
1. Still Stripping After 25 Years by Eleanor Burns
Seems like a sprightly old lady doesn’t she? Also, I’m sure women who’ve been stripping for 25 years look more or less like one of those women on Real Housewives but significantly poorer.
Please don’t be somebody’s grandma.
2. The Big Book of Lesbian Horse Stories by Alisa Surkis and Monica Nolan
I mean c’mon, please. I’m there are equine enthusiasts who happen to be lesbians but I’m not sure if they’d be into such a story.
For those who couldn’t get enough of Lynne Cheney’s western erotic lesbian novel Sisters.
3. Men with Balls: The Professional Athlete’s Handbook by Drew Magary
You know the title and the image sort of have a double meaning because all men have two balls in a sack but they don’t consist of a a soccer or basketball.
You know there are women professional athletes but I don’t think Women with Balls went so well.
4. Cooking with Poo by Saiwuud Diwong
Also, what’s with the shitty title? Still, looks like a normal ethnic cookbook. Wonder what her PBS cooking show would be like.
Either it consists of burning it or using it as an ingredient. I don’t want to know.
5. The Best Dad Is a Good Lover by Dr. Charlie Shedd
Seems like a relationship advice book for single mothers. Let’s sure as hell hope it is because I have a squicky feeling about the title.
As long as your dad and lover aren’t the same person in your life.
6. The Loneliest Ho in the World written by Travis Heaton and illustrated by Gary Andrews
In the adult book world The Loneliest Ho in the World would be about something not so innocent. Moreover, it wouldn’t have anything to do with Christmas.
This was probably created on a bet to see if who can come up with the most unintentionally inappropriate title for a children’s book.
7. Knitting with Dog Hair by Kendall Crolius and Anne Montgomery
Besides, I don’t think knitting with your dog’s hair is possible unless it’s one of those long haired sheep dogs.
I don’t think Fido is impressed with his new hat.
8. Goodbye Testicles by Anne Welsh Guy
Guaranteed to incite horrors among young boys worried about getting their balls cut off. Also, one of the few children’s books having the word “testicles” on the cover.
Just what I need for my younger cousins. A book about why we need to spay and neuter our pets.
9. Autism’s Politics and Political Factions: A Commentary by Thomas D. Taylor
In some ways, this is kind of offensive to people who actually have autism as well as a disappointment to gun enthusiasts.
Yet, you wouldn’t know it from the picture of the multi-barreled antique pistol shown.
10. Papa’s Problem: A Novel by Patrick Kendrick
And this got a Florida book award. Why, Florida? Why?
Let me guess, he owns a homicidal neo-Nazi rooster.
11. Isabella’s Last Gift by Laura Lawrence
Seriously what’s with the penguins among igloos and evergreens? They live in Antarctica, goddammit!
Either this is a romance novel or a children’s book involving penguins.
12. Sleeping with a Wall Street Banker by Marlene Morgan
Makes Wall Street Bankers seem a little on the homicidal side these days.
Looks like a fanfic spinoff of American Psycho to me.
13. Power of Positivity by Fred L. Von Guten O. D.
Looks more appropriate for a Gothic horror story than anything or a sci-fi fantasy book.
Yeah, that cover sure looks pretty positive doesn’t it?
14. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Takes all the dramatic tension out of it. And believe me, I read this book in high school.
I know this book is depicting the scene when Raskolnikov murders the heartless pawnbroker but I think it’s best left to the imagination.
15. Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Those who are living under a rock will be very disappointed when they find out this isn’t a science fiction story akin to Star Wars.
Wow, didn’t know that Oz had fighter jets.
16. Computer Programs for the Kitchen by Terrence F. Dicker
Oh, and you sure wouldn’t be able to find recipes on that model which looks older than I am.
As if computer programs are really necessary for cooking.
17. Computer Sex Input by Deena Cross
Now we know how Robocop was conceived. Good God.
A computer-woman romance novel. Now I’ve seen everything.
18. Tarzan by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Hmm….Tarzan and monkey in cave alone with a bow and arrow stash. Wonder whether the monkey will either be eaten or worse.
Tarzan looks a little too friendly with that monkey.
19. It’s Easy to Play Classical Themes arranged by Cyril Watters
I don’t like the look of this set up. Seems like Beethoven has something dirty on his mind with that kid on his lap.
I don’t think you should trust Beethoven with your kids. You really shouldn’t.
20. The BIG Coloring Book of Vaginas written and illustrated by Morgan Hastings
Of course, I’ve heard about The Vagina Monologues but this is ridiculous. No way in hell do I want to give this to any kid.
Worst coloring book idea ever.
21. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
And boy would many guys be disappointed once reading it, or not.
I’m not sure if this book depicts a naked girl or not. Is probably appearing there to get a certain demographic who’d read anything with a naked woman on the cover.
22. Ooozing for My Lord by Betty Carolyn Hearon-Love
Looks like it if you’re jerking off for Jesus. Sorry but if there’s any seemingly inappropriate connotations in the title for anything to do with Christianity, I’m putting it on there, baby.
So does this mean that masturbation is okay now?
23. How Green Were the Nazis? Nature, Environment, and Nation in the Third Reich edited by Franz-Joseph Bruggemeir, Mark Cioc, and Thomas Zeller
Not that I’d want to anyway because they were among the most brutal people who ever existed. So I’d really don’t care how they’d treat Bambi.
Well, other than starting a world war, a series of death camps for certain demographics, and a construction plan designed by a guy with massive delusions of grandeur, I really wouldn’t know how green the Nazis were.
24. Fancy Coffins to Make Yourself by Dale Power
Also, it’s quite easy to make a coffin. Just make a man-sized wooden box and put a dead body in it.
Those look pretty expensive to make. Besides, I don’t think these were made by amateurs.
25. Unlocking Your Bowels for Better Health by Salem Kirban
The cover says “Twentieth century living has taken a toll on man’s elimination organs. This book reveals how to restore normal healthy function again!” Wow and I thought it was about pooping and BDSM!
Somehow the lock and chain is a metaphor for constipation.
26. Do It Rhino Style: Magrogan’s Method to Rapid Goal Achievement by Dave Magrogan with Molly Nece
Besides, I don’t like the look of this guy. Seems like a member of an organized crime syndicate to me.
Not sure if this is a self-help book or a sex manual.
27. Zombie Raccoons and Killer Bunnies edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Kerrie Hughes
Only the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch can stop these critters now. Seriously, I can’t talk about this cover without bringing up Monty Python jokes up. Of course, raccoons do spread rabies though.
Oh, I think Monty Python killed the effect of this title as far as the killer bunnies go. “What’s it gonna do? Nibble my bum?”
28. The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy
Of course, he could be a time traveler and use this as a cover nowadays.
I’m sure the Scarlet Pimpernel was a 18th century caper saving French aristocrats from the French Revolutionary rabble, not a contemporary businessman with a cat.
29. The Practical Pyromaniac by William Gurstelle
Wonder how many arsons this book inspired. Perhaps this is a go-to guide for arsonists.
Great, now a book about setting things on fire.
30. How to Shit in the Woods by Kathleen Meyer
Of course, the cover seems to say it all. All you need is a roll of toilet paper and a shovel as well as some place where the sun doesn’t shine on your ass.
A great book to take on any long term hiking trip with no bathrooms along the way.
31. The Beginner’s Guide to Sex in the Afterlife
Of course, this make perfect sense if you believe in that sort of thing.
As if you’ll be having sex after you’re dead. Seriously who writes this shit?
32. Games You Can Play with Your Pussy: And Lots of Other Stuff Cat Owners Should Know
Of course, I don’t see how you could play chess with your cat. Also, the title is so inappropriate.
This is for cat owners, not female masturbators.
33. Scouts in Bondage by Geoffrey Prout
And this is an old children’s book to add to the irony. Really, the cover seems kind of gay and disturbing.
Now I wonder why the Boy Scouts seem so homophobic. Course, there seems to be plenty of BDSM sexual action as far as the cover shows.
34. Anybody Can Be Cool…But Awesome Takes Practice by Lorraine Peterson
Seriously, this looks like some sort of 1990s stock photograph or something. Written by the woman of If God Loves Me, Why Can’t I Get My Locker Open?
I’m sure the teenagers posing for the obligatory diversity shot certainly didn’t want to be seen with the blond douche.
35. The Sinner’s Guide to Natural Family Planning by Simcha Fisher
One of the most sexually explicit Christian book covers I’ve ever seen. I mean the two naked people are literally having sex in church which is okay if you’re straight married and not using artificial birth control as far as this book is concerned.
I’m sure the priest in the confessional is not too happy since he probably won’t be getting any.
36. Under the Mantle: Marian Thoughts from a 21st Century Priest by Donald H. Calloway MIC
Also, the sunglasses and surfboard really don’t help things either. Seriously, who gets away with this shit?
I think this priest needs a better title for his book, preferably one without the sexual connotations. I mean he’s supposed to be celibate here.
37. Little Bobby’s Drunk Again by Herbert Biddleman
Sure hope Bobby doesn’t get liver cirrhosis at a young age. Or worse. Also, who the hell is giving him drinks?
Is this a children’s book about juvenile alcoholism or what? Seriously who writes this shit?
38. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
The cover depicts something you’d see from an erotic sci-fi novel, not what inspired a family friendly fantasy film.
I’m sure Buttercup was never a Sucubus. Seriously.
39. How to Make Money in Your Spare Time by 673126 (Note: author’s pen name)
I mean just look at the author’s name. It’s his prison number for Christ’s sake.
Okay, there are plenty of good ways to make money in your spare time. Being a hitman isn’t one of them.
40. Cooking to Kill: the Poison Cook Book concocted by Prof. Ebenezer Murgatroyd with comic drawings by Herb Roth
This would’ve came in handy for those two sweet little old ladies in Brooklyn, you know, the ones who poisoned old gentlemen callers through the elderberry wine.
Just add salt, pepper, and good old fashioned arsenic.
41. How to Avoid Huge Ships by Captain John W. Trimmer
Of course, in some situations at sea, you might want to welcome the presence of a huge ships. At least they’re one of the nice things to see in the remotest corner of civilization.
Great, something everyone needs if they’re a fugitive at sea.
42. They Did It with Horses a scrapbook of photos from the Philip Weber Collection
Anyone anticipating pictures of people having sex with horses will be sincerely disappointed looking in this one.
Sure the cover of a horse drawn carriage is nice but the title is mildly suggestive of bestiality.
43. Down Home Gynecology by Dr. Martin and Mary Sue Jaffee
And what’s with the naked woman silhouette on the cover? Jesus Christ!
Sorry, but I don’t want to know how I can do my own pap smear.
44. How to Succeed in Business without a Penis: Secrets and Strategies for the Working Woman by Karen Salmonsohn
Of course, this is a book for the working woman, not the working eunuch who may not have a penis either.
Sheryl Sandberg may not be the most reliable self-help guru to women in the workplace but at least she chose a better title than this woman.
45. Teach Your Wife to Be a Widow by Donald I. Rogers
Of course, if you teach your wife to be a widow, she may become a black widow if you succeed.
Such a sexist piece of advice from the 1950s.
46. How to Get a Teenage Boy & What to Do with Him When You Get Him by Ellen Peck
The go-to guide for all Mrs. Robinsons everywhere. For instance, make sure he’s 18 or else you may risk being arrested on statutory rape.
Surely the girl on this cover surely doesn’t look like a teenager.
47. The Torture Device Coloring Book by Erik C. Ruhling
Hey, at least it doesn’t have any sex organs you can color. Still, this is disturbing. Torture devices, seriously?
A coloring book only Dick Cheney would love.
48. Are Your Children Playing with Lucifer’s Testicles? The Truth about Easter Eggs by Dr. Daniel Cameroon
Fundamentalist Christians: Taking the fun out of everything since, well, ever. At least the Puritans drank and smoked for God’s sake. Next thing they’ll say is that Christmas is too pagan or something like that.
Now out of all the Christian titles I’ve seen this one is totally fucked up. I mean the guy’s talking about the sinfulness of Easter eggs for God’s sake!
49. Matilda Who Told Lies and Was Burned to Death written by Hillaire Belloc and illustrated by Steven Kellogg
Seriously guaranteed to make children shit in their pants and never tell a lie again. Yeah, right.
Hmm…makes A Series of Unfortunate Events more upbeat for some reason.
50. Virgin Heat by Laurence Shames
I mean what else could a cute little kitty in a ring of fire could mean metaphorically? Or something about a virgin getting horny for someone.
Makes me wonder that what inspired June Carter Cash to write “Ring of Fire” was a yeast infection.
51. The Doom Pussy by Elaine Shepard
What do you mean it’s about Vietnam? I sure as hell wouldn’t know.
This has to be porn. Really, this has a very dirty title.
52. Unanswered Prayers by Penny Richards
Seriously, there’s nothing romantic having a couple pose framed at a crotch shot. It’s disgusting. Really disgusting.
Sure there’s nothing more romantic than having a picture of someone’s crotch on the cover.
53. Coyote’s Big Penis and Other Stories by Guy Mount
Seems like this whole cover appears unintentionally dirty for some reason. I don’t know why.
Isn’t the cover kind of suggestive here? You don’t need phallic imagery to tell us the coyote has a giant dong.
54. Got Cancer? Spring Break Gone Bad by James J. Gaudio
Hey, if this book doesn’t have anything about making meth, then I don’t want to read it. I’ve already seen Breaking Bad you know.
Read this guy was a chemistry teacher before he got cancer. I’m not naming names but who does he kind of remind you of?
55. Microwave for One by Sonia Allison
Still, at least the food would be better for you than ramen noodles and on a budget. This is pretty lame, though.
Because there’s more to microwave cooking than ramen noodles.
56. Invisible Dick by Frank Topham
Just so you know, dick is a boy, not a penis.
Now this is a children’s book that will incite a lot of shits and giggles.
57. The Long Journey of Mr. Poop by Angele Delanouis and Marie Lafrance
Seriously, why is a turd carrying a handbag and wearing a beret? Also, why does it have legs?
Great, now a children’s book about poop. Really shows how bad children’s book authors would go for creative ideas.
58. Forth on the Atari: Learning by Using Forth by E. Floegel
I’m sure a lot a people will be disappointed that the game won’t have as much eroticism than the cover. I mean, judging the contents of Atari games.
Who knew that 1980s video games can be so kinky? Neither did I.
59. Dump Him Marry the Cat
Of course, there’s another book called Dump Her Marry the Dog but I haven’t seen it.
I’m sure Mr. Whiskers would be happy to settle for a human woman and not anyone of his own species.
60. The Little People by John Christopher
I’m sure anyone who’s Jewish shouldn’t dare go after one in hopes of getting its pot of gold. Instead, find a Nazi leprechaun and a Jew may find him or herself in a concentration camp.
A novel on Nazi Leprechauns, now I’ve seen everything. Good God.