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A Lesson In Terrible Book Covers


Nothing brings the joy of humor and the mental anguish of awkwardness like a really, really bad book cover.

Some of these featured in today’s post are just painful. All of these come from an awesome Tumblr called Lousy Book Covers that I recently discovered.

And all of these are real. I wish I could say they weren’t. I wish I could say they were just fake Photoshop jobs. But, no, these are indeed actual book covers from actual, real books. The Lousy Book Covers site links back to all the books on Amazon.

Here’s a few of my favorites:


I see a disproportionately large silhouette of a man falling out of the sky. Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango?¬†Oh, and there’s a palm tree.


When you’re just getting started at the whole poverty thing, nothing makes the pain go away quite like some ramen noodles, brown sugar, and a little chili oil.


What if I told you that this cover really wasn’t a metaphor–that there really was a ginormous needle sticking into this oblivious woman’s head as she meditates? I bet you’d be more likely to read the book, wouldn’t you?


This was how I met my wife. One day I got out of the shower, and I saw her face in the sky.


This was the day when Joe and Frank found out that Holly’s avatar in Sims was actually a man.


Life on the goat farm was never quite the same after that day.


“The Rancher Meets His Match”…in the form of a decapitated bride and groom on their wedding day.


I’m guessing this is one of those images where if you stare at the upper left corner for 45 seconds and spin around 3 times, then you’ll see the cabin, or maybe Jesus’ face in the trees.

For more awesomely terrible book covers, check out the Lousy Book Covers Tumblr. Be careful, though, it’s addicting.

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25 Comments Post a comment
  1. lmao that is so funny – sadly after owning around 8,000 e-books I can say that these aren’t even the worst I’ve seen. There are some really awful covers out there.

    March 11, 2013
    • I wish people who put out e books would realize that the cover is important!

      March 11, 2013
      • I think the problem is a lot of e-books (not all but a lot) are self-published and the authors either don’t want to pay for a nice cover, or they just aren’t sure where to get a hold of an artist or photographer that will make them a nice cover XD. So we end up with photoshopped crap and poorly rendered models.

        March 11, 2013
  2. onsiu #

    The poverty cookbook got pretty good ratings on But it has the worst cover ever

    March 11, 2013
  3. wOw

    March 11, 2013
  4. I don’t think I would read any of those books. The covers are completely unappealing!

    March 11, 2013
  5. The one with the syringe got me. Cringe-worthy. But all pretty painful to look at.

    March 11, 2013
    • What was that author thinking? A giant syringe?

      March 12, 2013
  6. I think my favorite thing was the “Award Winning Author” on the last book. It’s genius, really. Her award could be “Crappiest Book of the Year” but that means she is still truthfully an award-winning author. Everyone just assumes it was a positive accolade.

    March 11, 2013
    • The Sim-like characters in Against All Odds look pretty white trash! The worst one has to be the last one as you said also because you can see that the grass in the image is relatively sharper while the trees behind are terribly blurry. Couldn’t even capture a good image on camera sheesh! The one with the rancher wearing a hat which seems to hide his and his bride’s faces is pretty amusing too. Catching A Shooting Star cover is such an OBVIOUS ploy to target women readers. The list eventually made the first book about the palm trees seem to have the best out of worst covers!

      March 11, 2013
  7. XD

    March 11, 2013
  8. XD

    March 11, 2013
  9. wow.. I didn’t know about this! Really glad that I haven’t come across any of these, or worse! Lucky me, I guess :p *touch-wood*

    March 12, 2013
  10. Miss_More #

    This is beyond terrible!!!!!!!!! I’m speechless, what possessed them to think those book covers were acceptable.

    March 12, 2013
  11. ..what… I..what? Those are real? O_O That is sad. Are those self-published? They’re really awful…

    March 13, 2013
  12. The noodles get me. I mean surely they could put up a packet of value flavoured noodles as its essentially the same thing. Job done. No need for spices.

    March 13, 2013
  13. Good lord…I can’t look!

    March 16, 2013
  14. Oh my gosh. I admit, I’m a total book snob so I’m trying to reform my bad habit of not even reading synopses if I can’t get past the title/cover, but these really take the cake.

    March 18, 2013
  15. Nyssa #

    That is some classy WordArt on The Rancher Meets His Match. The author probably spent a grueling three minutes figuring out that color scheme.

    March 24, 2013
  16. Terrible book covers should be encouraged. They are highly amusing to look at :)

    March 27, 2013
  17. Wow. Those are amazingly terrible! I haven’t laughed this hard since I discovered cake wrecks. The syringe is my favorite- I guess they didn’t know how to scale the object in Ps? (Or maybe it’s a giant space- alien sized one.)

    November 5, 2013
  18. The ones with the giant syringe, unformatted WordArt, and “Award Winning Author”. . . . I think I’m gonna cry.

    January 31, 2014

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Let’s Look At More Terrible Book Covers | 101 Books
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  3. This Terrible Book Cover Deserves Its Own Post | 101 Books

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