Why Do a Lot of Book Covers Look So Bad?

How a book cover looks to both authors and readers is important. Many book covers do not seem to display the book as effectively as others. Additionally, some book covers look repetitively similar to others. From the overall template to the font, some books simply do not look very good. Why do a lot of book covers look so bad?

A lot of book covers look so bad for several reasons. The cover may be bland or does not fit the genre of the book. Authors and readers are often disappointed in the turnout of a book cover, and oftentimes, not even authors have the power to do anything about it.

Continue reading to learn more about why a lot of book covers look so bad, including factors that may make a book cover look bad and other questions you may have about the book cover design process. If you are publishing a book or designing a cover for another author, you want to make sure the cover – as the first thing readers see – stands out.

Why Do a Lot of Book Covers Look So Bad?

A lot of book covers look so bad for numerous reasons.

Some of the main factors that may affect a book cover’s lack of character include:

  • Blandness
  • Inconsistency
  • Irrelevancy

Let’s take a look at some of these points further below.

Lacks Depth

Not every book cover is perfect, but some book covers certainly get the job done better than others. One of the main reasons book covers look bad is because they lack depth. A one-colored page with a few words on it can work in some scenarios, but many readers simply prefer more detailed, eye-catching covers.

Too Over-the-Top

On the other hand, it is just as easy to put way too much into a book cover. Some designers tend to add much more content onto the cover page than is necessary. If it is difficult to focus on each aspect of a book cover, readers may think the cover is too over-the-top, thus making the contents inside less enticing.

Tacky Design

Many book covers are bad because of design inconsistencies. Particularly concerning the font, a cover with four different pieces of writing – each of which is a different font style – looks incredibly tacky.

It can appear that the book is trying too hard to be original. Too many words, in general, are not great for a book cover, but when those words are in unnecessary fonts, it looks even worse.

Other book covers are poorly designed with inconsistencies. Of course, using several fonts is in this category, but more than that, book covers with a design that does not seem to fit with the book’s genre or theme can throw readers off or prevent them from understanding what they are getting themselves into.

What Makes a Book Cover Bad?

It is worth noting that not all book covers are bad just because they do not appeal to a certain demographic.

Book covers categorized as “bad” are bad because the designs are poor. Much of designing a book cover involves enticing readers, and poor designs simply do not accomplish that.

Some bad book covers come from less experienced graphic designers who may not have access to higher-quality design software. While novice designers may not be able to control and afford this problem, it is a large piece of evidence for bad book covers.

Below, you will learn about affordable, high-quality software, but for now, know that bad book covers lack good design.

Why Do All Book Covers Look the Same?

Along with book covers looking so bad due to poor designs, you might notice that many book covers look the same as a different book sitting on the shelf right next to them. While too much detail is not great on a book cover, you want notable differences from other books.

Although not mentioned in the bulleted list, sales strategy is another reason many book covers may look the same to some people. Marketing agencies and publishers know that certain books that look enticing to readers sell better.

In their attempts to have a cover design for better sales, they may botch the ideas you have for your cover. As you will learn shortly, authors typically do not have the final decision on a book cover.

Do Book Covers Matter?

Yes, book covers matter.

The cover is the first thing a reader sees when browsing new books to buy. Not to mention, an author wants their book cover to look great. Book covers matter to those writing the book, those designing the book, and those reading the book.

Although most bad book covers may be at the fault of the designer, that is not to suggest that designers do not care. If they do not have sufficient design software at their disposal, they may simply not be able to produce covers with the quality of other designers.

Book covers matter because they are the face of an author’s work, and although the phrase argues against it, countless readers judge a book by its cover. You want a cover to look good both so that the author is satisfied and people will buy the book.

Do Authors Get to Choose Their Book Covers?

Most of the time, authors do not have the final say on their book cover.

Publishers, designers, and marketing agencies typically work together to design the cover of a book, and while they may value your input and allow you to say your piece, they may not be as accepting of your preferences as you might hope.

Placeit For Book Cover Designs

As mentioned, a bad book cover is the result of a poor design. Fonts may not fit with the background, pictures may make words difficult to read, or words and colors may simply not fit together as a whole.

If you are designing a book cover – be it for yourself or a client – consider Placeit as your hub for good book cover templates. Just search for “book cover” in the design category, and start customizing professionally made templates.

With thousands of templates, designs, logos, and more, Placeit will allow you to utilize anything you need to develop clean designs, clarify noticeable features, and make your book cover stand out from the rest.

One of the biggest problems designers face when creating book covers is a lack of suitable software to get the job done. Placeit’s free, online software is simple to use and as effective as any other software you have seen.


A lot of book covers look so bad because the designs on the covers do not mix well with other designs, fonts, and collective templates. Authors only have so much power in the appearance of their book covers, so it is essential to make sure the designers have the proper outlet to create what is needed.