Why do modern fantasy books have such dogshit covers?

Why do modern fantasy books have such dogshit covers? Just vague items like crowns, daggers, feathers, etc that don't tell you a fricking thing about the setting or the theme. All this samey shit is why my eyes glaze over when I'm in the fantasy section of a book shop.
Put a proper fricking depiction of some characters in a location so I can make an informed purchase.

Die For Epstein's Client List Shirt $21.68

The Kind of Tired That Sleep Won’t Fix Shirt $21.68

Die For Epstein's Client List Shirt $21.68

  1. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Good covers requiere art. Art requieres effort and passion. Two things that are mostly absent in modern media.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Why is it specifically fantasy though? I see plenty of decent covers even in niche non-fiction works. Fantasy is targeted at a much broader audience but they won't even pay some illustrator 300 bucks to make their book stand out?

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        This is the part that confuses me. You could literally get an artist from Fiverr dirt cheap that will design something 100x better and more original than what the average publishing house does nowadays.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Covers aren't supposed to be good, they're supposed to designate it as for a certain demographic. Let's pull a random one. This says "we want the Calvino audience" even though it's published by Tor. It's under a fantasy house because it's Brazilian magic realism but isn't going to appeal to nerds and fujos. They're designed to look like other covers, or nothing at all, so that they fit with similarly marketed books. Strange & Norrell took a similar direction because it has appeal outside of the usual fantasy circles.

          This is as opposed to the old way of shoehorning anything into a genre by slapping a schlocky generic painted cover with space tiddy on it, regardless of what the contents were.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Now let's compare it to various forms of smut for women.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            horror

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous
          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Pinata's alright

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            litfic that's usually dank

            Pinata's alright

            Most everything other than the romantaslop is. The further it is from potential bestseller material, the higher the quality is. But really, I just like squinting at covers and deciding how shitty the book is going to be. Sometimes they do that on purpose to attract shit readers.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >T. Kingfisher, and other moronic pseudonyms

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >>T. Kingfisher, and other moronic pseudonyms
            I think it's kinda cool.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            I fricking hate these. I would take overused paintings any day

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >curvy girl summer
            >assuming any hamplanet is actually shaped like that
            Negresses cannot escape the BMI

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I find that if I blur my eyes in a fantasy/scifi/romance section in a bookstore all the books look the exact same. There are no distinct covers, there was one I found about some Dragon rider which looked good, but it was also not following whatever guidelines most of these books use.

        >Why is it specifically fantasy though? I see plenty of decent covers even in niche non-fiction works.
        Pen and Sword covers are unironically the worst published non fiction covers out there, if you see enough of them you will realise that they are probably all made by the same guy, they are passable otherwise. Other than hack job 20 minutes in MS Paint slop by independent authors. Check Penguin, any University Press, Oxford. All of them have great covers and are usually pretty tasteful that convey pretty well what you're going to be reading.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >Art requieres effort and passion.
      Incorrect. Art requires money, more specifically paying an artist to paint a cover. Why would a publisher do that when they can just pay some photoshop guy to photobash some okay-looking cover for a fraction of the price, knowing that most people are tasteless and they don't care?

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >Art requires money,
        First, nobody stops you from learning to draw except yourself and your lack of willpower.
        Second, these fantasy authors are in no need of money. Most of them are published by well known publishers and have plenty of sales. They don't pay because aside from lazy idiots they're also greedy.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Is that really true though? I think doing good art is only accessible to brain damaged morons who can’t do math

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            And yet you're unable to pick a pen. Curious.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          You completely misinterpreted my point.

          [...]
          I can't really say for certain how much artists for these things get, but I don't imagine it's as much as you think it does. Even big names like Frazetta at the time put out a lot of these and I don't imagine he was getting a whole lot each time.

          I don't know how much a traditional artist would ask for a commission on one of his paintings and it's also irrelevant, my point is that paying a photoshop guy to photobash you a cover in two hours is much cheaper and faster, so why would the publisher commission a traditional artist when most of the audience doesn't care either way?

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >Art requires money,
        First, nobody stops you from learning to draw except yourself and your lack of willpower.
        Second, these fantasy authors are in no need of money. Most of them are published by well known publishers and have plenty of sales. They don't pay because aside from lazy idiots they're also greedy.

        I can't really say for certain how much artists for these things get, but I don't imagine it's as much as you think it does. Even big names like Frazetta at the time put out a lot of these and I don't imagine he was getting a whole lot each time.

  2. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    whats the last good cover ever?

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      wtf is going on here and who is the chocolate amazon?

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        is from a game called nortubel

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I like the a little life book cover. It is striking and even iconic

  3. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Because everything is aesthetically repulsive and factory-made today.

  4. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    the traditional industry is dead, all the interesting fantasy writers are self-publishing

  5. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I feel like covers in general have really gotten worse over time. I mentioned this in the actual scifi/fantasy thread but in addition to not really telling you anything about the book, it's characters or anything that might interest you it's all just boring on top of it. I like having a nice piece of art to go with my book. It was fun to browse through old paper backs and find one that just jumped out at you. Nowadays unless you're acting on an actual recommendation, which is easier to get now I suppose, there's just no joy in browsing.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Agreed. If you didn't know what you were looking for ahead of time you wouldn't have a reason to pick up any one of these samey books.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        The covers used to be an art and have an appeal all their own. It's the same with video tape covers. They were more often than not the coolest part of that schlock so even if the book was kind of a dud there was still at least the cool cover.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >nice piece of art
      >mfw it's just generic fantasy coomer bait
      The reason covers seem to have gotten "boring" to you is because publishers decided they wanted to expand their audience outside of horny white nerds.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        It's a genuinely good piece of art despite being coomery

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        The white nerd demographic is exactly who fantasy should be targeted towards.

  6. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Post kino book covers

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Though not book-accurate it gives a great sense of what the stories entail

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        https://i.imgur.com/0yLFFo0.jpeg

        Post kino book covers

        Man, the cover I got was so lame by comparison

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          That's because Tales is a compilation published decades after the first books. The ome I posted is just the first book,no Cugel or Rhialto.
          My mother has the original Dying Earth paperback, a bit tattered but still functional. The cover evokes pure fantasy, Tales evokes generic scifi and is completely different in tone from the stories themselves.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Still, there's no reason you can't just reuse the old art or something a bit more unique. You can toss my cover art onto any vaguely sci fi book and it wouldn't make any never mind.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous
  7. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Everyone is some sort of royalty these days, easiest way to appease the crown is with a crown.

  8. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    duuh i dunno maybe has something to do with copping the major soulless slop that got super popular due to mass advertising

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Anon the original cover looked like what I'm recommending. Showing a character in the setting, which gives a sense of the book.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        welp you can have a modern slop cover or an 80s dime store novel cover your choice

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          The 80s dime store covers are masterpieces compared to what we get today.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        They're designed for mass market appeal so normalfricks don't feel cringe reading them. is how you appeal to the market, the rest is how you market what may not even be fantasy. You clearly don't follow small press but it's either even worse genreshit than the tumblr art that Tor pushes in half their catalog right now, some decent covers from higher end presses, and the more generic style favored for anything potentially literary or outside the scope of genregay interest. Gone are the days of shit being pegged hard into a genre so the whales and dregs will read it.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I miss embossed covers.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I love the right cover as an example of decline in culture. There was already a version of a better cover, you could ctrl-v that to a new cover.
      Instead they commission thousands of dollars to get a sword.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        It was concurrent with this, which was done for the same reasons. Fantasy was like videogames where it was nerd shit unless you were smoking a lot of weed in college but still got the grades. It has simply never been broadly socially acceptable for adults, until sometime after 2007.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Yeah the whole "geek chic" thing really is a big slap in the face. For years you're mocked and teased for liking things but then when it becomes the big movie of the summer everyone's suddenly a fan and the, excuse the term, "normies" take over. It's even worse if you were into comics. At least Harry Potter gays did read the books but MCU gays not only parade about what marvel fans they are they don't pick up a single comic while the comic is desperately trying to shift focus to them.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            They're fricking posers is what they are, posing as massive dorks which is even gaygier than being a total autist and expert on obscure ephemera. The covers show this as much as they show that being a real dork isn't acceptable. Remember Name of the Wind? Look at the original cover and the ones after it sold a million copies.

            This whole display is why I've grown fond of secondhand hardbacks with long-lost dust jackets. Give me a dead guys ex-libris and inscriptions to a gay lover, that's when you know a book is going to be good. And not highlighted for 15 pages with the spine unbroken after that.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Seriously, I just about hit the motherload with this one
            >original owner
            >original sales receipt
            >ex-libris
            >free bookmark
            You don't get an inscription with this kind of thing, but I think the bookmark beats it.

            [...]
            >Anon why are you reading this old book?
            >Anon why is this movie black and white?
            >Anon why don't you join tiktok?
            Because it seems that everytime I peak my head and see what modernity has done, it's for the worst.

            >You wouldn't get it.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            God I love old books, they have a soul to them. Soul as in you can feel the living history of the book, as it was passed to your hands. I got some aircraft's homework assignment once, a prideful moment in my life.
            >>You wouldn't get it.
            You're right I never did.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            You get the old book thing, that's what matters. I don't know if you've run into this, but genreplebs and casuals are so buckbroken they have an aversion to hardcovers. I don't know what to make of that, but the ratty collection of mass market paperbacks they only read once, yet display as a trophy is preferable to a hardcover.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            It's a bit hard to put into words but when you find something that's be clearly well read, clearly well loved it kind of feels like you're connecting with the previous owner on some level. This is part of why I think book swapping had more energy to it. You find something you like and share and pass it on to people who keep the ball rolling. This is how genuine fandoms used to operate. People sharing their interests, love of a happy and passing along their books tapes or whatever. It's so much more genuine than everyone diving onto a latest trend. You were making the trend.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          https://i.imgur.com/Zqz88tj.jpeg

          >Anon why are you reading this old book?
          >Anon why is this movie black and white?
          >Anon why don't you join tiktok?
          Because it seems that everytime I peak my head and see what modernity has done, it's for the worst.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            It's not that I'm especially trying to dislike modernity, I'd love nothing else than to love things the way I used to, but it's all so sterile.

  9. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The original Redwall covers were unbridled kino, even when I was too young to read them I used to go to the bookstore and just stare at the covers. Imagine my delight when I got older and found out the contents were even better. Brian Jacques was my first real literary experience, GOAT children's author.

  10. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    don't judge a book by its cover
    these books could be some serious hidden pearls

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >these books could be some serious hidden pearls

      >young adult fantasy by female authors
      lmao no, i don't think so

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        thanks for explaining my joke

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >thanks for explaining my joke
          Blanket sarcasm does not convey from simple text.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            I could argue but whatever, let's not derail the thread

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Ya fantasy has some gems with gorgeous covers

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >ranks rowling higher than martin
          Genuinely kys

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          I shudder to think of the kind of person who would make such a chart, even ironically.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >didnt even correctly rank the harry potter books

          >6
          >4
          >1
          >2
          >7
          >3
          >5

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >order of the phoenix over the hobbit
          why anon why

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >First Law not even mentioned

          Its amazing how many people are missing out on the best fantasy author of the last 20 years and instead reading slop like HP

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            The First Law has fun characters and good action scenes but it just kinda goes nowhere and feels pointless. I prefer the standalone novels Abercrombie wrote after, especially Best Served Cold.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Lol I have read the first law and Harry Potter series both within the last 2 months and let me say unequivocally thag Harry Potter is way way way fricking better. As the other anon says, the first law series goes nowhere and barely has a plot. It’s only even tolerable because I enjoyed glokta

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Who in their right mind is ranking Rowling above Tolkien and Martin? Shits not even better than Sapkowski and Bakker.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous
    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >don't judge a book by its cover
      Bullshit. Covers are our first introduction to books. It's the covers job to make us want to even regard the book at all. Not judging books by their cover is just some tired metaphor the parents of ugly kids try and tell their slob of a child to make them feel better.

  11. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >why do publishers, driven by profit and terrified of change, create cheap, derivative covers, carefully market researched and meant to appeal to the lowest common denominator?
    It's a mystery.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      My point is they aren't remotely appealing, because they're totally generic and characterless.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Yes, they're not for you, why are you complaining you don't like something that's not for you?

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          They don't appeal to normalgays either. There's a very good reason why half of all fantasy shelves are Tolkien and Martin. It's because people have a sense of what they're getting into with those books - whereas all the other slop just gets looked over. A cover is supposed to be eye-catching. Even the most pathetic goyslop loving bugman wouldn't be excited by the generic covers.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Normalgays can't read, this shit is for redditors and whatever booktok is. Total dregs who are halfway literate. Compare with the other genre and litfic covers above and you'll get what you're looking for.

  12. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    when you see covers like these, they're usually porn for women. But they dont want everyone on the train and at work to know its porn and they're gooning in public, so they make these "minimalist" covers that make them look like a real novel.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      hmm good point, actually. Back then you could tell smut just by looking at the cover. Now you can, still, if you know what you're looking for but most laymen don't know that these simple "girly" covers are basically just porn.

  13. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >Cover has a giant "NOW A HIT MOVIE/TV SERIES" or is an image of a still from said movie/tv series.
    I get it. I understand the business angle. But it annoys me. A lot.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Film posters can be kino, especially when the book didn't have a great cover in the first place. Makes me feel like a poser reading one unless it's waaaay after the fact.

  14. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >browsing female authors
    NGMI

  15. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous
    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      i like the Mistborn cover best

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      why are there poops behind him

  16. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Genre fiction is for morons anyway

  17. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    It needs to be instagram-friendly
    eyeondesign.aiga.org/the-endless-life-cycle-of-book-cover-trends/

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Death to marketing departments holy frick. The rise of advertising is one of the worst things to come out of the 20th century, and it has some stiff competition.

  18. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous
    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      https://i.imgur.com/XUi1dje.jpeg

      vs. Also in addition to having a boring ass cover this edition of the book has, WITHOUT QUESTION, the smallest font I think I've ever seen in a book.

      Odd how the first example evokes a science fiction or time travel story and the second looks like a self-published fantasy novel. The subtext on the first cover makes me confused why there are dragons on the second. Not enough to read it.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        The thing is, the weird pterodactyl creatures are actually really important to the story, but you'd never be able to gleam that from the second cover where they're just kind of flying in the back ground NOT looking as threatening as they should. They're a big deal and if you want to use them on the cover they should look like a threat or imply some kind of danger. The second cover seems like they want them to come off as majestic but it ends up being boring.

  19. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    vs. Also in addition to having a boring ass cover this edition of the book has, WITHOUT QUESTION, the smallest font I think I've ever seen in a book.

  20. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The editions of ASoIaF with nice little window art have so much nostalgia for me, I'll probably spend some money on those in the future cause my original copies I bought from Barnes & Noble got torn to shreds from rereading.
    There were other nice ones too.... Anything with illustrated scenes featuring an artist's careful rendition of the characters was so cool.

  21. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    They all look the same because they are trying to evoke a pavlovian response in readers. When a fantasy reader sees a book cover in that style, they instantly recognize it as an object of pleasure. Romance novels did something similar, always having two people posed in the same handful of ways with similar background scenery. A creative, high effort cover won't set off that instant "I'm looking at a shiny new toy" response in the brain of novel junkies, so there is no reason to pay money for it.

  22. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    its all written for women to color coordinate with the rest of their shelf

  23. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous
  24. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >why don't they make it unique
    >why don't they make it stand out
    >they could just pay [artist] to make something totally fresh and different
    you're all dumb. they all look the same on purpose, so that the kind of person that reads them knows it's that thing they like and buys another one. the publishers 100% know what they're doing, they've tested it, they know that if you have an "original" cover on a fantasy book you lose more customers than you gain because the kind of person who buys this slop just wants the same thing as the last time and will be scared away if the cover doesn't communicate that. "uuuh but i would have bought it if it had a better cover." okay, but they would have lost five normie sales to get yours. it's not going to happen.

    also they don't have characters on them because "people covers" are the standard for selfpub slop on amazon and avoiding them is how tradpubbed books try to communicate that they're "premium quality"

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >you're all dumb. they all look the same on purpose, so that the kind of person that reads them knows it's that thing they like and buys another one.

      They were like that in the past already. Now there's no distinction if something is horror, fantasy or even romance.

  25. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous
  26. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I'd love to find a thrift store near me to just browse some old books purely for the cover art. We used to have one but they closed down due to .... reasons.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *