Judge a Book: You be the Judge!

So occasionally I get masochist authors who want me to snark on their books. Now, we all know I'm too nice to make fun of my readers, right? That's why I leave it to you! Here are a couple of submissions (thanks, Julia and Lee!). Snark away!

Okay, I can't resist snarking on this one. Looks like Blossom got a double mastectomy and is four months pregnant. But my favorite part is the shadowed lettering. Doesn't look like bad photoshop at all!


Susanna said...

Looks like someone pulled the old "flaming poo" trick on Mr. Mortal Ghost. Poor ghost, always getting picked on.

Ordinary Artisan said...

Picture the scene: Outside the window of Barnes & Noble, a crowd is gathering. Are they salivating over the latest Nora Roberts release? No, the large amount of spittle on the floor is generated by the random people falling into epileptic seizures. Those not so sensitive merely develop splitting migraines, and the cagey don dark glasses and stare fixedly at the storefront across the way until they are out of visual range. The manager of B & N, witnessing it all, looks at ole Herb, longtime employee and notorious prankster. "Herb!" she bellows. "Did you put 'Sexy Librarian' in the window display again?"

Toonhead said...

Where's the perspective? Send that first book cover to Photoshop Disasters (photoshopdisasters.blogspot.com)

Snow said...

I don't think I want to eat Mortal Ghost's proffered cupcake.

Lee said...

I don't mind snark at all, which is good publicity, only the fact that you didn't link to Mortal Ghost !


The cover was designed by Australian artist L.M.Noonon (link at the novel blog) for a POD copy of the novel, issued as a service for those who find reading longer fiction on a screen difficult. I'm an indie writer who has otherwise no interest in conventional publishing - and originally not much in covers, just writing, though I see how they might become fascinating.

I'm absolutely committed to making my work freely available to everyone, everywhere - and many of my readers come from very far off places where a printed book would be hard to come by (or unaffordable).

Mortal Ghost is downloaded about 50-100 times per day, and the podcasts, read by British theatre student Bill Uden, are even more popular: ca. 25,000 downloads to date:


Since I plan to add an image to the website and, eventually, to the PDF/POD copy of Corvus, my new F/SF novel which I hope to begin serialising in Autumn, would you suggested a painted/sketched design instead? Here's the link for those interested in reading an excerpt:


Thanks for your feedback in an area where I'm an utter novice.

(P.S. I'm definitely not going to reveal a clue to the 'cupcake', which made me chuckle.)

Mathew Walls said...

Please stop saying "snark". It's not a word¹, and there are already perfectly good words you can use instead.

It's unnecessary and it makes me die a little inside every time I see it.

¹ OK, it is a word, but it's a fictional creature invented by Lewis Carrol.

Lee said...

Wallsy, I disagree. Language changes based on usage - and watch out, then, because I've coined lots of of my own words and slang in Corvus. You'd probably hate it!

Anonymous said...


Snark is an amalgamation of 'snide remark', and has as much right to word status as blog or blook. I, personally, love the word.

Anonymous said...

Whoops, my comment read, "Snark *also* is an amalgamation of 'snide remark', and has as much right to word status as blog or blook. I, personally, love the word."

Lee said...

What a pity. I thought people here would actually offer constructive suggestions, which is why I originally visited. I guess I'll stick with the Caustic Cover Critic.

JamiSings said...

Well, Lee, I may not be smart enough to give you the review of the cover you're looking for, but I can say what I feel.

Whomever was hired to do this should be fired. The agroginous character with his/her buldging belly - apparently he/she is pregant with a burning house - the flaming cupcake - or as I see it, a music box (with a ballerina on top) that's on fire - ug. It's just a total turn off. The story inside may be good, but the cover isn't. The fact is, it looks like something a barely artistically gifted goth would do to freak out their art teacher. On the whole, likely very unworthy of the words inside.

Lee said...

Hi Jamisings, I expect you mean 'androgynous', which is in fact relevant to the story, likewise the object in Jesse's hand. If you want to know what it is, you'll just have to read the novel!

However, I have certainly noted the dislike of shadowed lettering, and though I understand the criticism of a photoshopped look, which I'll keep in mind for future covers, I ought to point out that the artist in question donated her efforts to support my project. She is an award-winning painter, and I am happy to express my gratitude to her publicly.

Whether or not you're smart enough to review my work is not germane. I'm grateful for your honest reactions.

xenobiologista said...

lee: I bet you can find friends who can draw better than that.

As for the "sexy librarian" one, the cover's fine. Except for that "Critical Edition", which sounds kind of pretentious. It did take me a while to figure out that the book was supposed to be wrapped in a fishnet stocking though.

Anonymous said...

I take it that by "masochist authors who want me to snark on their books" you mean "desperate authors who want to publicise their books"...?