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snc84
07-26-2013, 08:52 PM
Saw this today and had a good chuckle. http://absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon7.gif

http://www.buzzfeed.com/lukelewis/19-book-cover-cliches

CrastersBabies
07-26-2013, 09:10 PM
Haha, that is awesome.

They forgot sweaty chick in leather with back arched.

Girl sitting on chair, with shoes pointing inward, eyes rolled up to sky, grinning.

Pale guy with stubble (black and white) but blood on fangs is red.

shaldna
07-26-2013, 09:21 PM
I did something on this a couple of years ago

http://clairewriteswords.wordpress.com/2011/05/05/stock-room/

Alpha Echo
07-26-2013, 09:27 PM
That was pretty funny! The woman looking out over water is definitely huge in the women's fiction arena. I think the 50 Shades-esque covers are just old. I'm not sure they've become cliche, we're just sick of 50 Shades. LOL

lolchemist
07-26-2013, 09:33 PM
I hate when I see books with the same stock images on the cover :C The list is hilarious though! They forgot the girls in prom dresses!

snc84
07-26-2013, 10:02 PM
I did something on this a couple of years ago

http://clairewriteswords.wordpress.com/2011/05/05/stock-room/

I'm amazed how they just slap stock images on a book cover and repeat something already used, not just a similar picture but the exact same one. I would be so embarrassed if something like that happened.

DanielaTorre
07-26-2013, 10:11 PM
Wow. Stock images. Stock images everywhere.

Makes me think about MG books and how wonderful it is that most of them have illustrated covers that don't usually ever repeat.

Alpha Echo
07-26-2013, 10:15 PM
I'm amazed how they just slap stock images on a book cover and repeat something already used, not just a similar picture but the exact same one. I would be so embarrassed if something like that happened.

Well, if you're self-publishing, it's more justified. My first book I used one of my friend's photos, and I paid to have my second designed. I'm pretty sure it's unique (not really in the pose or design, but the faces used, at least.)

You can't always know. If you're short on cash and want to publish it yourself, you do the best you can. I'd still be embarrassed to see the exact same cover on another book (let alone on two others like that lady with the birdcage!), but...there's only so much you can do if you don't have an agent or someone to create the cover for you.

Even then, I imagine, it's difficult. Just like no story you tell is exactly unique, neither is the cover.

*shrug*

Rhoda Nightingale
07-26-2013, 10:17 PM
13: Lots of black and red. Gothic font.

There's that Bleeding Cowboy font again! Damn, that's getting into mass market paperbacks even? I swear, it's EVERYWHERE. (The one in the middle, for context.)

Seconding lolchemist's "prom dresses" addition. Also, there should be something for "huge eyes in the sky, some weird color like yellow or red or silver."

Alpha Echo
07-26-2013, 10:21 PM
Oooh! Girl walking on train tracks!

Or girl walking along anywhere with her back to the reader, and everything's in black and white except her bright-colored dress.

James D. Macdonald
07-26-2013, 10:31 PM
A lot of the cliche-ness of the covers is that the covers are saying to the reader, "This is the kind of book you'll like if you like this kind of book."

Alessandra Kelley
07-26-2013, 11:25 PM
A lot of the cliche-ness of the covers is that the covers are saying to the reader, "This is the kind of book you'll like if you like this kind of book."

That's kind of what I was thinking.

These covers are visual clichés, but they all look pretty decent. They do the required job of a book cover, which is to tell the potential reader something about the story, even if it's nothing more than the genre and general mood.

They don't necessarily go beyond that, but that's okay. They aren't offputting or misleading, and sometimes that's enough for a cover.

Jess Haines
07-26-2013, 11:30 PM
I'm amazed how they just slap stock images on a book cover and repeat something already used, not just a similar picture but the exact same one. I would be so embarrassed if something like that happened.

This has happened a lot with the cover of an anthology I'm in. A lot. I see that frowny-faced guy all the time. In fact, I even saw him in a blog post promoting another author today.

I don't get it. I don't think the guy looks attractive. He just looks sulky to me. But... eh. If it sells books, it sells books.

swvaughn
07-27-2013, 12:24 AM
There's that Bleeding Cowboy font again! Damn, that's getting into mass market paperbacks even? I swear, it's EVERYWHERE. (The one in the middle, for context.)

Seconding lolchemist's "prom dresses" addition. Also, there should be something for "huge eyes in the sky, some weird color like yellow or red or silver."

I liked Bleeding Cowboys before it was cool. :tongue

(Disclaimer: Not actually a hipster)

mrsmig
07-27-2013, 12:43 AM
I don't see an example of the cliche I keep seeing over and over: the Scary Eyes Peering Over Title (http://bookcovermachine.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/premade-exclusive-book-cover-134.jpg) cover.

Little Anonymous Me
07-27-2013, 12:55 AM
:e2thud:


I never noticed how many repeats there are! Sometimes, I wish everything would be plain with a name and title on it. :tongue


And the eyes in trees thing...it drives me nuts. I will not touch a novel with them due to past experience.


They forgot "Woman in period dress clutched by half-naked dude." I've seen a few covers of that ilk that are nice. Then there are the rest.

DanielaTorre
07-27-2013, 04:35 AM
YOU GUYS, YOU GUYS!!! This might fall into the Gothic Red and Black Category, but what about book covers that look like Twilight? Granted, I believe Vampire Diaries came out first, but I think this might be a reissue. LOOK! http://beckysblogs.wordpress.com/2011/11/11/do-you-get-bored-of-ya-covers-imitating-twilight/

Liosse de Velishaf
07-27-2013, 05:15 AM
Are the literal copy covers on traditionally published books?

Donnie Marsh
07-27-2013, 05:22 AM
This was hilarious!

DreamWeaver
07-27-2013, 06:42 PM
Are the literal copy covers on traditionally published books?Yes, I've seen commercially published books using the exact same stock image.

CrastersBabies
07-28-2013, 12:09 AM
A lot of the cliche-ness of the covers is that the covers are saying to the reader, "This is the kind of book you'll like if you like this kind of book."

So, essentially you're saying that one man's cliche is another's market analysis? :)

Sunflowerrei
07-28-2013, 12:24 AM
That was the funny! Lady with the birdcage. This list didn't include the paste-on-a-different-head clinch romance covers, though.

aruna
07-28-2013, 09:44 AM
I can't count the times I've seen a big-bosomed, half-naked woman with flying hair and fierce expression waving a sword on fantasy covers. And I don't even read fantasy!

DreamWeaver
07-28-2013, 05:40 PM
I don't know if it's a cliché or a trend, but what's with all the covers that show people starting halfway down their face? (I'd say with half their head cut off, but that sounds gory and bloody, when it's just a placement & cropping issue :D).

Are we finally getting over that? I really dislike it, though obviously it works selling books or it would never have become so widespread :(.

aruna
07-28-2013, 06:16 PM
Hmmmm.... I've just bought a pre-made cover with a woman sans head! It's so beautiful, though...

Kevin Nelson
07-30-2013, 10:08 AM
Well, if you're self-publishing, it's more justified.

I can understand self-publishers doing it. Unfortunately, it seems like major commercial publishers have decided that recycling covers is a nifty way to cut corners.

For example, compare this cover (http://www.amazon.com/Years-Best-Science-Fiction-Collection/dp/1250029139/?pf_rd_mnb=ATVPDKIKX0D34&pf_rd_stb=center-2&pf_rd_rat=0817NMRY4ZRQZM6P18TH&pf_rd_t3r=101&pf_rd_ptd=470938631&pf_rd_ied=507846&tag=buaazs-20&pf_rd_ptd=470938631&pf_rd_ied=507846) with this one (http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.bloggang.com/data/moonfleet/picture/1190254087.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.bloggang.com/viewdiary.php?id%3Dmoonfleet%26month%3D09-2007%26date%3D20%26group%3D2%26gblog%3D94&h=671&w=400&sz=94&tbnid=uPbCjI0nqiNcfM:&tbnh=114&tbnw=68&prev=/search%3Fq%3D%2522Foundation%2Band%2BEarth%2522%26 tbm%3Disch%26tbo%3Du&zoom=1&q=%22Foundation+and+Earth%22&usg=__RhOPnjmz8MrmWzUKGxOt-v4Jt58=&docid=BgpP5rhclEFk8M&hl=en&sa=X&ei=QFb3UemyJISe9QSXl4DQAg&ved=0CEwQ9QEwBA&dur=41). Asimov's Foundation and Earth, far from being some of last year's best science fiction, was first published in 1986. The cover actually portrays a specific scene in the book, and I can't imagine how it could be appropriate for the Dozois anthology.

Samsonet
07-30-2013, 11:12 AM
I don't know if it's a cliché or a trend, but what's with all the covers that show people starting halfway down their face? (I'd say with half their head cut off, but that sounds gory and bloody, when it's just a placement & cropping issue :D).

Are we finally getting over that? I really dislike it, though obviously it works selling books or it would never have become so widespread :(.

It's the Barbie doll heads/pieces that I hope never become popular. (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/959322.Extras)

Lester.J.Blight
07-30-2013, 11:46 AM
a friend of mine is a tattoo artist, naturally she is good at drawing.
I plan on paying her to do the artwork/dust-jacket.
Though the theme of my first will be rather cliche, it will at least be unique.
(It's hard to put a grim reaper figure on your cover without it looking cliche - guy with hood and scythe - lol)

Alpha Echo
07-30-2013, 07:35 PM
I can understand self-publishers doing it. Unfortunately, it seems like major commercial publishers have decided that recycling covers is a nifty way to cut corners.

For example, compare this cover (http://www.amazon.com/Years-Best-Science-Fiction-Collection/dp/1250029139/?pf_rd_mnb=ATVPDKIKX0D34&pf_rd_stb=center-2&pf_rd_rat=0817NMRY4ZRQZM6P18TH&pf_rd_t3r=101&pf_rd_ptd=470938631&pf_rd_ied=507846&tag=buaazs-20&pf_rd_ptd=470938631&pf_rd_ied=507846) with this one (http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.bloggang.com/data/moonfleet/picture/1190254087.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.bloggang.com/viewdiary.php?id%3Dmoonfleet%26month%3D09-2007%26date%3D20%26group%3D2%26gblog%3D94&h=671&w=400&sz=94&tbnid=uPbCjI0nqiNcfM:&tbnh=114&tbnw=68&prev=/search%3Fq%3D%2522Foundation%2Band%2BEarth%2522%26 tbm%3Disch%26tbo%3Du&zoom=1&q=%22Foundation+and+Earth%22&usg=__RhOPnjmz8MrmWzUKGxOt-v4Jt58=&docid=BgpP5rhclEFk8M&hl=en&sa=X&ei=QFb3UemyJISe9QSXl4DQAg&ved=0CEwQ9QEwBA&dur=41). Asimov's Foundation and Earth, far from being some of last year's best science fiction, was first published in 1986. The cover actually portrays a specific scene in the book, and I can't imagine how it could be appropriate for the Dozois anthology.

Wow. That's crazy!

And to Lester - yeah, I get the difference between unique and cliche. There are so few NEW things out there, that not hitting onto on of the cliches is difficult, IMO. But, it's possible to make that cliche unique (by not using someone else's stock image, for example.)

Alessandra Kelley
07-30-2013, 09:39 PM
I can understand self-publishers doing it. Unfortunately, it seems like major commercial publishers have decided that recycling covers is a nifty way to cut corners.

For example, compare this cover (http://www.amazon.com/Years-Best-Science-Fiction-Collection/dp/1250029139/?pf_rd_mnb=ATVPDKIKX0D34&pf_rd_stb=center-2&pf_rd_rat=0817NMRY4ZRQZM6P18TH&pf_rd_t3r=101&pf_rd_ptd=470938631&pf_rd_ied=507846&tag=buaazs-20&pf_rd_ptd=470938631&pf_rd_ied=507846) with this one (http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.bloggang.com/data/moonfleet/picture/1190254087.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.bloggang.com/viewdiary.php?id%3Dmoonfleet%26month%3D09-2007%26date%3D20%26group%3D2%26gblog%3D94&h=671&w=400&sz=94&tbnid=uPbCjI0nqiNcfM:&tbnh=114&tbnw=68&prev=/search%3Fq%3D%2522Foundation%2Band%2BEarth%2522%26 tbm%3Disch%26tbo%3Du&zoom=1&q=%22Foundation+and+Earth%22&usg=__RhOPnjmz8MrmWzUKGxOt-v4Jt58=&docid=BgpP5rhclEFk8M&hl=en&sa=X&ei=QFb3UemyJISe9QSXl4DQAg&ved=0CEwQ9QEwBA&dur=41). Asimov's Foundation and Earth, far from being some of last year's best science fiction, was first published in 1986. The cover actually portrays a specific scene in the book, and I can't imagine how it could be appropriate for the Dozois anthology.

Oh, that. Hmm. Interesting.

The image is a classic Michael Whelan cover, painted, as you noted, in 1986. Whelan was the top, coveted cover artist in the science fiction field for a long time. He always made a point of insisting on reading the books he illustrated (many artists, alas, don't have the clout for that) and specifically illustrating actual scenes, as you also noted.

Some years back Whelan retired from science fiction illustration to focus on his interest in allegorical gallery paintings, and the last I heard he was doing gangbusters over at the Tree's Place Gallery in Massachusetts.

I don't know for certain, but I would guess Whelan's covers are still considered prizes for the books lucky enough to get them. That cover might be considered general enough that it could also work for an anthology.

To be fair, science fiction anthology covers have a long history of quirckiness and lack of direct connection with any particular story inside.

Silver-Midnight
07-31-2013, 09:39 PM
Saw this today and had a good chuckle. http://absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon7.gif

http://www.buzzfeed.com/lukelewis/19-book-cover-cliches

:roll: :roll:

Jon M
08-01-2013, 03:46 AM
This list didn't include the paste-on-a-different-head clinch romance covers, though.Was surprised by that. When I read "Book Cover Cliches" my thoughts basically went to the whole romance genre in general. Like, when was the last time anyone saw a fat slob posing on the cover, bitch tits and angel wings gloriously on display?