Honest Book Covers: My Cover Art Snark
Some genres are unfairly lampooned for having low-quality writing, banal plots, and and overuse of tropes. Romance and Erotica get the sharp end of the humour stick. It's only fair then, that I start with my own genre, Fantasy Fiction.
The Snark Lord Cometh!
Fifty Shades of Snark
It is a truth universally acknowledged that if your mildly kinky fan fiction erotica based on a YA publishing sensation is to succeed, you must have a greyscale cover, possibly with a number and a colour in the title.
White Chicks and Katanas
The supreme irony of this cover is that my female protagonist, Harper Castlemaine, does indeed wield a katana. Because, you know, katana's are just cooler. One of my chief reasons for deciding to go independent was because the Big Six publishers would have a book cover like this for the book, depicting a white chick in vagina-crushing leather with a sword on the cover, thus ensuring that no man will ever - EVER - pick up the book.
Action Snark: Bechdel Test Failures.
The Bechdel Test (much discussed in writing circles) is an informal test applied to a book or movie that assess how "female-friendly" the story is. The test is as follows:
1. Are there two female characters?
2. Who have names?
3. Who talk to each other?
4. About something other than a man.
You'd be surprised at how many books and movies with an action-adventure theme fail this test. Typically the hero gets rewarded with a woman who does not speak, and has no friends.
Fifty Shades of More Snark
Sorry sorry sorry Erotica readers and writers! I actually feel really bad about this, because of the imbalance of snark in the world directed at your genre.
Have you noticed though, there is a certain kind of erotic romance market with vaguely suggestive inanimate objects on the cover? No one need ever know! Ever. As you say in a America, suuuuuuuuuuure. As we say in Scotland, aye, right.
Historical Action Snark
Well, here the Bechdel Test has been termed the Ordeal Beccdelum, Beccdelum Defectum is of course Latin for "Bechdel Fail". Essentially the standard themes of historical action novels differ little from their modern counterparts.
Urban Fantasy Romance Snark
Back to my genre (look, I don't really write Romance, it comes out…all wrong, somehow) but I just couldn't resist this. Why is this outfit proper PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for Vampire Slaying? Kinky boots? Don't trip while you run from the evil, bloodsucking fiend, love.
You can just imagine him, right? Top floor window, Armani tux, no tie, sipping on a fine glass of Chilean reserve as she approaches. "That's it, lover ..just a little closer …"
Cosy Mystery Snark
When I started making these snark covers to amuse my writing group, my mates in other genres started feeling left out.
"Tell me what you want snarked," I asked. "The Cosies!" cried the crime writers." Do the Cosy Mysteries!"
So here it is. Ever wondered why the 1930's amateur sleuth always ended up at country house parties where there was murder most foul? Yeah. I did too.
Do I even need to explain why I've snarked the way women are objectified in manga/anime?
Literary Smut Snark
This cover was inspired by two discussions in my writers group. Firstly, an earnest discussion on the 1976 winner of the Grosvenor Medal, a literary novel called "Bear" which featured the female protagonist engaging in oral sex with an actual bear.
This was followed by a number of discussions on how the authors of literary fiction seem to be able to get away with rather a lot - as long as its art. When I do write smut, it is literary, and so I am deserving of the Snark of Many Snarks.
More Historical Action Snark
Born out of a discussion between a Romance Author and an Historical Action Author, it was commonly agreed that Man Chest sells a metric arsetonne of books. There's always just something wrong with the picture...
Highland Romance Snark
Look, I'm Scottish. I'm entitled to snark Highland Romance. The idea that Scotsmen actually look like this .. no no, please, make it stop.
I also objected to the idea that only Man Chest will sell a Romance novel. Rubbish! All parts of the objectified male anatomy will sell. Provided it is barely wrapped in anachronistic tartan...