Beware the Ugly Covers

Christina Dodd has been poking fun at bad covers on her Facebook page this week.

I inadvertently did the same after stumbling across the cover for the new Amanda Quick hardcover, Burning Lamp, due out April 20.
No, that's not her mouth. It's her nose.

There's something not quite right about this cover. With the creepy angle, near baldness of the woman, the odd eye color, and the nose-mouth thing at the bottom it's a wonder how this example of hideousness made it out of the art department.

Even weirder is the UK version. Perhaps it's because Jayne Ann Krentz is more well known in the UK than the Amanda Quick pen name that the JAK name was given such prominence. It's disconcerting to say the least. At this size, I can hardly even SEE the Amanda Quick name.

From there, it's just a quick jump to pondering the usefulness of the not-really-a-secret pen name. Is it merely to keep your genres separated ala Nora Roberts/JD Robb? Is it to keep prolific authors from overwhelming the market ala Barbara Michaels/Elizabeth Peters? Or is it strictly a marketing tool? Given the intertwined nature of the Arcane Society series between both Krentz and Quick, I'm thinking the latter in this case.

For me, it seems a bit silly to write under assumed names that are open secrets. And even sillier to put those multiple names on such ugly covers.

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