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The Pleasure Hunt

The Pleasure Hunt

Someone’s definition of “pleasure” is very, very different from mine. (h/t Doug)

Comments

  1. I get the impression that the artist drew that (ridiculous) booty first and then sketched the rest in around it.

    1. From my understanding, according to the publisher, the original cover had to be pulled because the “booty” was too big for Amazon. I don’t know the whole story behind that, but it ended up with me having some generic stock photo of a woman’s face instead, and a rushed release. Later, he added this photo. It was a real cluster.

    1. I didn’t write it because I have “weird kinks.” This novel isn’t about bondage or S&M. She is an ancient being this man meets off the internet, and she possesses and tortures his mind and soul. A lot of research went into the mythos of the creatures. While it has sexually graphic and gory moments, there is a lot more to the tale. This is just the fraction of the story the publisher wanted to center on, so he had the illustrator focus on one small scene and this is what she came up with.

      1. Still looks like bondage gear to me; and why so defensive about a character? I don’t presume every author who writes about vampires and zombies and the like to be a cannibal into drinking human blood. I’m just observing that if she’s supposed to be some kind of alluring temptress, that dorky and ugly black leather outfit’s only got a very limited niche appeal (to prospective readers as well as to the character’s potential prey).

        1. Not defensive. Just clarifying that the novel wasn’t written to satisfy some bizarre, kinky fantasy, which the “weird kinks” comment implied, if not outright stated. It was not meant as defensiveness, just a reply. In itself, the outfit is just merely black bra and black panties, not a standard dominatrix outfit. The zipper in the back was not part of the outfit in the story. I don’t know where that came from. This was not the cover I wanted, so I do not disagree with your statement. I think the artist did well with what she was told to illustrate. The problem lies with the publisher misrepresenting the story.

          1. A dominatrix, no, but it does look a bit like the shiny black leather outfits some of the characters in Preaching to the Perverted wore throughout most of that movie. Yeah, it sounds like your publisher went for the Sex Sells school of design. Not to worry, though: as I say, you can get it redesigned to your specifications later and pick up more of its intended target audience the second time around.

            1. Never saw Preaching to the Perverted. The publisher’s idea was to sell it as dark erotica since that sells so well on the indie scene. Luckily, though, the occult horror fan base does not shy away from erotic elements. My concern was that they would think this book is strictly pornography and bypass it. And for those who were looking only for erotica, they might read it and be disappointed. I doubt there will be a second-time around. I don’t know if the publisher will give up the rights. Don’t really care, either. I have other projects to focus on. I’ll chalk this one up to a learning experience. LOL

  2. You should see the publisher’s website. I know the author wasn’t happy with this cover concept. I’m pretty sure he stopped talking to them altogether. LOL

    1. No, I wasn’t happy. But, there was a lot about how my book was handled that I wasn’t happy with. I don’t converse with the publisher much anymore, that is true. But, it’s not because of the cover. I tried to do the best I could with what I had. My wife makes really good graphic designs, so when I advertise the book, there are other visuals involved. I think the artist did a fine job on the work, I just don’t agree with the direction the publisher wanted to take it.

    1. I believe the artist was going for a more animated look when she illustrated the cover–and I am glad, because it kept it from looking like complete smut. I don’t believe she intended it to be an exact replica of the human form, as most cartoon drawings are far from reality. However, she is a well respected international artist. I think it’s safe to say she knows what she is doing. I don’t blame her.

  3. I hear the book is pretty good, but I haven’t read it myself. I hear it’s a tad racy in parts but not anything like this absurd cover implies. But Hellbound Books is pretty low rent.

    1. Thanks. So far, everyone that has read it seems to have enjoyed it. A couple of people did have issue with the more graphic parts, but most understood the nature in which they moved the story forward and explained the power and control of the villain. I don’t think the cover is absurd. It’s just meant to give off the impression that the novel is “dark erotica” since erotica makes a lot of money. Unfortunately, my book is not erotica. It’s horror. I don’t think HBB is low rent. They’re new and still trying to get their feet steady. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of them, but I am grateful they published my first novel.

  4. Seriously? This cover isn’t that great, but it isn’t even in the same ballpark as the others on this site, and it’s one of the better ones Hellbound Books has. 90% of their covers look like dogsh*t and this isn’t even among the worst. Does someone here have something against the artist or the author? lol

    1. Beg to differ; the cover sucks, so that’s why it appears here. User Doug saw the cover on Amazon and submitted it; I agreed that it was terrible, and posted it. No further animosity needed. I don’t make it a practice to do extensive research to find out if it is, indeed, the worst cover from a particular publishing house.

      1. I submitted a cover that was worse than this called Trixie and June from the same publisher. While I agree this cover sucks, it’s still better than the one I submitted. Is that one on here? It’s way worse than this. lol

      2. Nathan–I looked at “User Doug’s” page and your own…I wouldn’t be blasting other people’s work if I were you guys, especially Doug. At least your work has some detail even if it is entirely one dimensional and unimaginative. His book covers look like something my nephew could have created when he was 12 and only dabbling with graphic design. The work I viewed on yours and his pages do not rise above this particular book cover. It’s rather odd to critique something you have yet to do better than.

            1. Pretty hilarious coming from you, Rocky: your personal attacks make you sound exactly like one of Star Wars: The Last Jedi‘s hatedom sounding off in a YouTube video’s comments section.

    2. I don’t take it personally. To each his own. You can’t please everyone. The artist, Caroline O’Neal is well respected internationally and makes book covers for a living. I seriously doubt she is a stranger to criticism or even cares about some internet thread when she has numerous publishers knocking on her door to solicit her for work. LOL

  5. I read mostly indie books and I’ve read just about all the books Hellbound has and despite the cover, this book is probably the best one they have. This one, No Rest for the Wicked and Worship Me and a couple of their anthologies are about the only books readable from that publisher. Most the others are either complete trash or really boring. And the editing is terrible. This guy is easily the best writer they got over there. You think this cover is bad? Look at Cabin Sessions, Trixie and June, and most of their crappy poetry books. God their Bootleg covers are atrocious. They need to hire a real artist and get some better authors, guys or gals that write actual horror like Floyd, Pamela Morris, and Craig Stewart. The rest are lame.

  6. LOL Well, the artist is an internationally respected illustrator named Caroline O’Neal who has done covers for numerous children’s books and dark fiction novels across many different publishers–she makes her living this way. I respect her work even though I do not like the direction the publisher wanted to go in. He wanted to push my book as “dark erotica” when it is an occult horror novel with necessary elements of erotica included in a few spots. He took one small scene and had the artist focus on it, and he rushed her. He wanted it out in like two months, and she is a very busy artist. I actually find it quite amusing my book is on here. That’s the nature of the beast.

    1. Maybe she is internationally respected, but this simply is not her best work. As you said, she was rushed. Your publisher appears to have a lot to answer for if s/he thought this was the right way to market your book.

      1. I agree about the latter statement for sure. But, I am just moving on from all that. I have other projects to focus on. What’s most important to me is that the book itself has gotten some good reviews. I’m trying to build on that.

  7. What we have here is a common case. On one hand, you have miserable people who like to tear down the hard work of others from the comfort of their keyboards, trolling and making really bad attempts at being humorous with their Internet “expertise” about art, writing, and whatever else. On the other hand, you have individuals with imagination and the spine and guts to get off their arses, get out there and create some form of art and put it in front of people–even the type of people who have nothing better to do than create websites and threads like this simply because something is missing from their lives. I believe you call these people ‘haters.’ One set of people is respectable, the other is not. One is making headway and/or doing something constructive with their existence; the other, most likely, is not–and if they are trying, they are most likely failing or they wouldn’t be blasting book covers on the Internet (seriously…grow up). I say to the artist and the author, just keep doing what you all are doing. Apparently, you’re doing more than these jokers who are trying to tear down your work. I mean, what kind of person creates a Facebook page and thread for this sort of balderdash?

    1. Rocky, typing the same responses and refutations to drive-by critics-of-critics is tiresome. Please read this: http://lousybookcovers.com/?page_id=8805

      (Edit: I would like to note that none of the commenters on this cover used the occasion to make disparaging personal comments about either author or artist. It’s hard to maintain the facade of moral superiority when you’re being a douche.)

      1. Don’t be upset by being called on your rubbish. I’ve worked in the entertainment business since 1983. “Critics” like you are a dime a dozen, even more so now with the rising popularity of the Internet. Show me a viable critic and I’ll show you some respect.

        1. Ooh, he’s pulling out the big “I’m Superior!” guns. Please, Rocky, explain to us how our opinions are all invalid! THAT ought to put us in our places!

          1. Ooh, he’s pulling out the big “I’m Superior!” guns. Please, Rocky, explain to us how our opinions are all invalid! THAT ought to put us in our places!”

            Deflecting with more of those failed attempts at wit. You fancy yourself a Roger Ebert, but you’re not even Statler or Waldorf.

            It’s not about putting you in your place. You have an opinion and I have one. Guess you shouldn’t have started this lame website to validate yourself if you didn’t want to hear another opinion.

            Think about it: Your contribution here relies on “lousy book covers” that you are making fun of. Without this covers that you feel are beneath you, what would you have? LOL

            1. Oh, no, Rocky also doesn’t think I’m funny! I HAVE FAILED!!!

              Hey, Rocky, old chum, it’s been a blast, but it’s time for me to show you the door. Hope you can find some other venue to make personal insults to inflate that sense of superiority.

      2. By the way, I like that little article you linked me. It’s basically something you created to belittle, in advance, the very true statement someone might make on your hackneyed critiques–the very statement I previously made. I can imagine you typing it out, thinking, “Oooo, this will show them when they challenge my site!” Failed attempt, sir. But, it was at least entertaining–certainly more so than anything I’ve seen you post so far. You may not have personally insulted someone, but you needlessly blasted their work, which is much worse to an artist–if you were a true one, you’d know that.

        1. Wow, for an internationally respected artist, Caroline O’Neal’s defenders sure get butt-hurt awfully easily. If our assessment of the cover is really so wrong as you say, Rocky, where’s your vote of confidence for it? There’s no such thing as bad publicity, after all, and nobody likes a sore loser.

        2. Rocky–while I cannot say I completely agree or disagree with your assessment as I think it depends on individuals and cannot be a blanket judgement, people still have a right to their opinion. If they don’t like the cover, then they don’t like the cover. No big deal. If they want to critique it, cool. That’s their right. Apparently, Caroline and myself have some fans that found the thread! If anything, this thread has boosted my confidence. LOL

          As for Caroline’s defenders getting butt-hurt, I don’t know about these other guys because I don’t know them from Adam, but I can assure you I am not butt-hurt. I am glad to see that my novel reached someone and made a large enough impact that they would include the cover on their site. My way of looking at it, for anyone who looks at this site, they might see it and think, “I wonder what that’s about,” and then look it up, see my modest reviews, look at the synopsis and think, “Well, that might be interesting.” Or, they might look at my profile and see my other books, or find my blog page on Facebook. You never know.

          I was told my cover was on here, so I checked it out and just decided to join in the conversation. No harm, no foul. No reason for people to get heated. It’s just a book, after all.

          1. Well, there you have it: there really is no such thing as bad publicity. It sounds like any blame for the dubious design choices (making this look like some kind of dark erotica instead of a horror novel, for instance) lies with the publisher. Moreover, as we’ve been seeing in postings from last week, you can always try getting a redesign on the cover later to pull in a second wave of prospective readers.

            1. The book’s only been out since December and has done okay. I’m not disappointed in the success yet. I’m not breaking any records, but the book isn’t sinking, either. The cover has had mixed reactions. Some people really like it, others do not. As I said, I like the work, not the concept. My cover pitch to the publisher was: the creature’s human form standing in the foreground of her monster form’s shadow, with blood dripping from her talons, and the vacant building she lived in somewhere in the background. I wasn’t opposed to her being dressed in a seductive manner, but he took that to the next level. She is a powerful, ancient being and he wanted her to look like a stripper, it seems. LOL

  8. Wow…for a group of guys who like to insult book covers, you sure seem to take backlash criticism pretty hard. That Rocky guy sounds like a total douche, but he made some pretty strong points. But, I looked at Nate’s stuff and thought it was pretty good even if this site makes him look like a jerk. But hey, I’m all for that. I’m quick to offer a negative opinion of something I don’t like, too. That’s what is great about free expression. Nonetheless, wow…

    I do have to give props to Jacob. You’re handling this like a true professional. I want to read more of your work. You got anything else coming out soon?

    1. Thanks. I have thick skin. I’m realistic. Critique is something you can learn from, and really, the critique has nothing to do with my work. LOL

      Yes, I do have other projects in the works. I do have a short story that will be in HellBound’s next anthology–Big Bootleg Book of Horror IV, or whatever they call it. That will most likely be my final project with HellBound Books. But, there are other works out with other publishers, so we’ll see what happens. You can follow my page: Jacob Floyd, Author, on Facebook.

    2. Eh, we’ve had worse complainers than Rocky around here, believe me. About the only strong point he’s making with his personal attacks, though, is ours: surprising as it may be to some people, the strongest defense of a given artwork is not an all-out personal attack against its detractors, but for the work to succeed on its own merits (whatever those may be). The author Jacob’s professionalism is an example of this kind of success: why complain about detractors if even their critiques are helping sell your books?

      As to your pointing out this cover is better than many others, I dare say you’re right: a brief look at any of the monstrosities by Tanya Allan and Baron LeSade we’ve had on here should confirm people have done far, far worse. However, your point is also irrelevant: the marketplace doesn’t grade on the curve, and neither do we. (In fact, you may notice we’re not grading at all.) Over at the companion site Cover Critics, “…but it’s a better cover than Baron LeSade has ever designed!” and “…but you don’t realize how much noble effort went into making this cover!” will cut no ice with us as critics; while we try to refrain from snarking about covers there (saving that for the covers here), the cover’s no good if it won’t attract the book’s target audience and make them want to buy it.

      As to being a jerk, well… if hosting a site that encourages snarky critiques of substandard products makes someone a jerk, I guess we snarky commentators and our host will just have to live with that the same as all the jerks at Honest Trailers, Cinema Sins, The Nostalgia Critic, Bad Movies, and about a billion other jerks on the internet. In turn, any authors and cover designers and their fans who feel we’ve insulted them on here will just have to do what Stephenie Meyer does: keep depositing those fat royalty checks from all her squeeing fangirls while watching so many of the jerk celebrities who’ve slammed her books either choke on their own bile or swallow their pride along with the big fat paychecks they were given to appear in movie adaptations of her books. Living well is truly the best revenge.

      1. Hey, you don’t need to explain it away to me, my man. I’m a troll and a hater, too. I just fess up to it where others make excuses for it. You should see my Google and Facebook. I’m not afraid to trash stuff I think sucks. Hell, I’d troll this site harder if it wasn’t already a parody of what it’s about. I was also ready to troll the Pleasure Hunt because of the cover until I actually read what it was about, then I thought it sounded cool so I read the samples and said to myself, damn, this guy can write. I bought the book and was very impressed. One of the most original horror stories I’ve read in years. However, the cover blows. It does not capture the book one bit. As for Rocky, he’s definitely got a stick up his ass, but the point he made that I agreed with was that Doug’s book covers suck terribly and he has no room to trash anyone else’s. Also, I saw where he was going with the statement of how this site thrives off what it makes fun of. That brings me back to my trolling. I’ll troll the hell out of anyone. I don’t care. But, at the same time, I’ll also be as quick to praise something. Maybe what he was getting at was that a real critic site praises as well as critiques and doesn’t just bash. Bashing sites give off the impression of a bunch of greasy fat teenage dorks sitting in their mama’s basements pissing on everything and no one really takes it seriously. If that was what Rocky was trying to say, he certainly did a sucky job. He probably wasn’t saying that at all and he was just bitching like a crinkled up old fartbag. But, I get it. Anywho, I still find comedic value in sites like this that zip out their oneliners and banter back and forth. I enjoy these threads. LOL

        1. So Doug’s covers suck? Maybe so, but again, we’re not grading on the curve here. This is the site for snarking, not for constructive criticism.

          The site for that is the aforementioned Cover Critics, where (in fact), Doug submitted one of his book covers for advice. (I think you’ll agree it definitely needed improvement.) If you really think Doug’s book covers are all that bad, feel free to submit them here; but even if his book’s covers were absolutely atrocious, there’s no logical reason he shouldn’t continue to submit bad covers here. You don’t have to be a producer to know a bad product when you see it; just a consumer.

  9. Hey, you don’t need to explain it away to me, my man. I’m a troll and a hater, too. I just fess up to it where others make excuses for it. You should see my Google and Facebook. I’m not afraid to trash stuff I think sucks. Hell, I’d troll this site harder if it wasn’t already a parody of what it’s about. I was also ready to troll the Pleasure Hunt because of the cover until I actually read what it was about, then I thought it sounded cool so I read the samples and said to myself, damn, this guy can write. I bought the book and was very impressed. One of the most original horror stories I’ve read in years. However, the cover blows. It does not capture the book one bit. As for Rocky, he’s definitely got a stick up his ass, but the point he made that I agreed with was that Doug’s book covers suck terribly and he has no room to trash anyone else’s. Also, I saw where he was going with the statement of how this site thrives off what it makes fun of. That brings me back to my trolling. I’ll troll the hell out of anyone. I don’t care. But, at the same time, I’ll also be as quick to praise something. Maybe what he was getting at was that a real critic site praises as well as critiques and doesn’t just bash. Bashing sites give off the impression of a bunch of greasy fat teenage dorks sitting in their mama’s basements pissing on everything and no one really takes it seriously. If that was what Rocky was trying to say, he certainly did a sucky job. He probably wasn’t saying that at all and he was just bitching like a crinkled up old fartbag. But, I get it. Anywho, I still find comedic value in sites like this that zip out their oneliners and banter back and forth. I enjoy these threads. LOL

  10. Eh, don’t get butthurt because someone gave you guys back a little bit of what you dish out. I think you missed the point of what I said. It’s hard to take someone’s critique seriously–“snarky” or not–when they produce trash. The Pleasure Hunt’s book cover looks pretty lame, but I’d take it over any of Doug’s. It’s kind of like someone who’s 400lbs calling a 275lbs guy fat, in this case, Doug being the 400lbs guy (not literally, of course). Point is, the old adage goes: You got no room to talk, pal. LOL

    No reason to defend him. If you guys can’t take it, it makes your site look even more pitiful. Troll sites are pitiful enough, though I admit I enjoy them, but it goes double when the trolls whine when they get called on it. You guys are trolls, own it and love it. LOL

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