The difference between a press you’ve admired for years and a press you’ve never heard of is the former is willing to pay a little money for its covers. There are presses that have been around for decades, that pour their sweat and tears into publishing more words than any of us realize, and that absolutely no one but a tenure committee cares about because they can’t be bothered to pay for a decent cover. I’m not above designing without the proper training myself, but I at least pay for raw art to use on my magazine’s covers — and I do try to actually design. I didn’t want to call anybody in particular out, and it’s insanely easy to replicate the bad covers that drive me up the wall, so I made a few shit covers of my own. If your press’s output looks anything like this, for the love of God, stop what you’re doing and find a freelancer to do something better.
Now let’s talk about what happened here:
Do you know what I’m tired of? Really bad cover art. I understand that when you run a small press you have limited funds and can’t pay some brilliant designer, but IDK, if you can’t create something new at least copy something good. I’m an aesthete and have no problem admitting that if a book has an awesome cover & i’ve never heard of it, I will be more likely to pick it up. Hell, if a book has an awesome cover and is some weird mathematical exploration of space I will pick it up and read it even though I formerly had no interest in mathematical explorations of space, etc. Here are 35 book/magazine/pamphlet covers that (I think) are better than most things in the world: