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Cover rant - a very mild one, but still warranted

Dear Reader, does it bother you when the cover design of a book doesn’t fit the contents of the book?

I have occasionally mentioned book covers and how important I think they are for the appearance of a book. One of the things that annoys me about cover images is when they show something that is either wrong or not in the text. Here is a good example:

I had one of these books recommended to me but I couldn’t find the single volume edition, so I bought a reissued volume with both novels in it. The cover image is that of a typical Regency romance cover, with a handsome man gazing into the eyes of a beautiful woman, their body language and facial expressions suggesting that kissing is about to commence. So far so good. Then I read the first novel, Viscount Vagabond, and found out that the hero of that novel has dark blond hair and the brown-haired heroine only comes up to his chest. While the original cover is wrong about her height, at least it gets their hair colours right:

 When the gentleman on the cover did not resemble the hero of the novel I just assumed that the image was of the hero and heroine of the second novel. But no, the heroine in The Devil’s Delilah has black hair, so that didn’t fit either.

 As a matter of fact, the man in the first cover image could be the hero of the second book posed with the heroine of the first book. Now I was curious, so I googled both titles and found both covers, neither of which was the cover on the book in question. The original covers had people who fit or nearly fit the descriptions in the respective books. It’s a small thing, but annoying nonetheless. It makes me feel that the publisher doesn't care enough for the potential book buyer to get the cover right.


Dorte H said…
I agree that it is too bad, but I think there are worse example with absolutely no connection between the cover and the story. Not that I can remember any right now, of course :)
Bibliophile said…
Of course not, I couldn't either in the same situation.

This is actually quite common in romance novels - just consider all the covers where Fabio or John de Salvo pose as the hero, always as their fabulous selves in costume - never mind the actual appearance or age of the actual hero.

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