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
Please don’t be somebody’s grandma.
2. The Big Book of Lesbian Horse Stories by Alisa Surkis and Monica Nolan
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 there are women professional athletes but I don’t think Women with Balls went so well.
4. Cooking with Poo by Saiwuud Diwong
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
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
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
I don’t think Fido is impressed with his new hat.
8. Goodbye Testicles by Anne Welsh Guy
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
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
Let me guess, he owns a homicidal neo-Nazi rooster.
11. Isabella’s Last Gift by Laura Lawrence
Either this is a romance novel or a children’s book involving penguins.
12. Sleeping with a Wall Street Banker by Marlene Morgan
Looks like a fanfic spinoff of American Psycho to me.
13. Power of Positivity by Fred L. Von Guten O. D.
Yeah, that cover sure looks pretty positive doesn’t it?
14. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
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
Wow, didn’t know that Oz had fighter jets.
16. Computer Programs for the Kitchen by Terrence F. Dicker
As if computer programs are really necessary for cooking.
17. Computer Sex Input by Deena Cross
A computer-woman romance novel. Now I’ve seen everything.
18. Tarzan by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Tarzan looks a little too friendly with that monkey.
19. It’s Easy to Play Classical Themes arranged by Cyril Watters
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
Worst coloring book idea ever.
21. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Great, now a book about setting things on fire.
30. How to Shit in the Woods by Kathleen Meyer
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
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
This is for cat owners, not female masturbators.
33. Scouts in Bondage by Geoffrey Prout
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
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
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
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
Is this a children’s book about juvenile alcoholism or what? Seriously who writes this shit?
38. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
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)
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
Just add salt, pepper, and good old fashioned arsenic.
41. How to Avoid Huge Ships by Captain John W. Trimmer
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
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
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
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
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
Surely the girl on this cover surely doesn’t look like a teenager.
47. The Torture Device Coloring Book by Erik C. Ruhling
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
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
Hmm…makes A Series of Unfortunate Events more upbeat for some reason.
50. Virgin Heat by Laurence Shames
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
This has to be porn. Really, this has a very dirty title.
52. Unanswered Prayers by Penny Richards
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
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
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
Because there’s more to microwave cooking than ramen noodles.
56. Invisible Dick by Frank Topham
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
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
Who knew that 1980s video games can be so kinky? Neither did I.
59. Dump Him Marry the Cat
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
A novel on Nazi Leprechauns, now I’ve seen everything. Good God.