Worst Christian Book Covers of 2013!

November 27, 2013


#14 – Mail Order Margaret

Apparently Jadis, the White Witch of Narnia, has changed her name to Margaret and more importantly, you too can now have her as a mail order bride.
(Submitted by Adam)
Another hideously covered mail order bride novel by the same author:

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49 responses to Worst Christian Book Covers of 2013!

  1. Is that a bra on her head?

  2. Actually, Kerry Nietz is a science fiction author and the book is a serious treatment of its topic, even if the title is an inside joke amongst science fiction people, and the terrific cover is perfectly suited to appeal to the book’s intended audience.

  3. The addition of Nietz’s book is just silly. You may not like the subject matter; you may even think the title is campy… but the art and design are spot on. It doesn’t belong anywhere near this list.

  4. Kristen Stieffel November 28, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    I gotta agree with Randy and Andrea on this one. The **design** of this cover is excellent.

  5. Hopefully Englewood Review of Books knows more about reviewing book content than cover design. The Amish Vampires cover is actually superbly done and to include this on a list of worst book covers is absolute buffoonery!

  6. If this were a list of the worst books published this year then I could understand the #1 choice, however, since this list was just about the cover then I call foul. You may not like dark covers, the Amish, or even women but even then it’s still a good cover.

  7. There is a distinct Amish fetish theme in these covers…. #8 looks awesome.

  8. E. Stephen Burnett November 29, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Annnd this would be a mismatch. If the cover is designed to do exactly what it does, and what it does is intentionally corny, or even (if readers will excuse the term) bad—, then it doesn’t belong on any “worst cover” lists. 😛

  9. I am inspired. ‘Amish Vampires in Space Play the Hunger Games.’ Time to get writing.

  10. Re: #15. I know, how dare they suggest that anyone who’s not a cute young thing be entitled to romance.

    • Cecilia Marie Pulliam November 30, 2013 at 10:14 am

      Yes, I agree. You must be the perfect specimen of humanity and commercially perfect, or you just aren’t good enough. This makes me sick. I need go do some serious praying on how to forgive my enemies.

      • Ummm… The remarks on this one were SARCASM, calling into question the prevailing ideal of Amish romances (and pretty much all romance novels) that the people depicted on the covers must be young, good looking, etc.

      • I understand your point, but on that one, I don’t the satire quite worked the way it was meant to. I thought it really did sound like the woman’s age was being mocked and the “cute young thing” model endorsed. Maybe there were just so many layers to the satire that I got lost. 🙂

        A lot of the others were hilarious, though!

      • Lord, I thank you that I am not like this tax collector. I do not make public messages designed to shame Christians for making embarrassments to the gospel. Instead, I just go to public forums and announce my condemnation of all of them and then announce how I am to pray to learn to be more righteous. Thank you that I am not like this tax collector.

  11. Cecilia Marie Pulliam November 30, 2013 at 10:10 am

    This is the most un-Christian thing I’v seen in a long time. Then, I guess this isn’t a Christian site, is it? This isn’t even civil. I will not participate in tearing someone apart just for the humor and I’m saddened that I followed a posted link and added my page load to this site. Unbelievably crash and cruel. I will not be back – ever or read any post by this site again.

    • E. Stephen Burnett November 30, 2013 at 1:11 pm

      Alas, one of the reasons Christian art suffers is that many Christians actually believe it un-Christian to say, “This was not done well or with excellence, and therefore does not glorify God as much as it could have if it were improved.”

      • There’s a difference between telling the creator that “it was not done well or with excellence”, and poking fun at them for all the world to see. It’s not showing a Christian way of thinking or acting, or showing a united front as we should. This whole post is a jab at Christians, by Christians. By all means give some constructive criticism, but don’t tear down your fellow believers like this. It’s just wrong.

    • The writer here is treating these book designers with the respect that does not give them special treatment because they are “Christian.” The industry demands excellence and there are plenty of designers that do not meet that demand. These are among many that do not belong in the designing world.

  12. The Christianity Lite cover was actually quite good!

  13. I agree, Christianity Lite and Amish Vampires are actually very well designed. Whoever put this list together doesn’t understand the difference between a book’s subject and its design. I find it ironic, considering this site’s logo and general layout, that they would be doing any sort of aesthetic judging. People in glass houses…

  14. Its funny that you slam all the Amish covers and then you place the best designed cover from the whole list at number 1 when it is mocking the world of Amish fiction.

  15. Nunofya Damnbiznus December 2, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    Shes a local author….and not a very bright one…i live in amish country.

  16. Most of these were hilarious. The Oregon Trail cover and description had me laughing out loud. However, #9 felt mean. That’s the author on the book cover, so it feels like you’re making fun of her. I’m all for calling out bad work, jokes and all – if an author puts his/her work out for public view and purchase, he/she’s gotta accept criticism. But it’s one thing to laugh about bad clip art or a human face in clip art. But poking fun of a person and her story, that felt a bit much. PS I’m still laughing at “If the Conestoga’s rockin’ “

    • Susan, In retrospect, I think you are probably right about #9. If we do future lists of this sort, will definitely be more careful in cases like this where the line between the person and the product gets really fuzzy.
      Sincerely appreciate the feedback!
      Chris Smith

      • I know, I’m a professional comedienne and I cross this line. It’s one of those things you really only know after you do it. Keep these coming. They’re hilarious. I can’t believe that someone actually wrote AMISH VAMPIRES IN SPACE!

  17. I thought #10 (Christianity-lite) was actually a pretty good cover. Sure the photoshopped label wasn’t curved or textured quite right, and the “embossed” cross was completely flat, but the social and cultural rejection of beer seems to me to be diminishing and for a growing number of Christians that title and image contains several layers of meaning, all of which are appropriate to the apparent message of the book.

    • Kathleen L. Maher December 3, 2013 at 10:14 pm

      agreed. I think this was a pretty good cover, and a great concept. I might just read this book now.

    • Stephen Cadilac January 12, 2015 at 6:04 pm

      The copywriting for the cover was awful and paradoxical. If this bottle is offering “Christianity Lite,” why would it be saying to stop drinking a watered down gospel. Water doesn’t come in green bottles, so this is either sprite or beer; however, there is no carbonation in the liquid and it is not the right color for either. The typefaces do not go together, the label looks nothing like a beer or soda label.

  18. Frank O Pionion December 3, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    My impression, is that your brand of criticisms are just mean rather than constructive. And belong on a middle school play ground. Also you should try to improve things by starting with your own site, which has so many adds and elements just thrown onto a plan background. The most artistic things are the covers that you are bullying. It leaves the impression that you just wish to be paid for being mean.

  19. I have offered an explanation of why we do this list, and responded to some of the criticisms here:

  20. Oh man, I couldn’t be more delighted to be a part of this list. See my blog for the cover I decided NOT to use: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/simchafisher/2013/11/29/i-knew-i-should-have-gone-with-the-sinners-guide-to-amish-vampires-in-space/

  21. I’d love to see the list if I didn’t have to see a pop-up ad between each one. Talk about terrible web marketing…

    • Weird… that shouldn’t be happening! There is a popup box that appears the very first time a user visits our site, but there definitely should not be popups between pages. Looking into this… What browser/device are you using?

    • Ditto, and I’m on a PC with Firefox. I’ve been “forwarding” for over ten minutes and only got to #6. Why weren’t these all just placed in a single post so we could scroll down? Oh, yeah….revenue.

  22. I liked the whole list – gave me a much needed laugh today. Please keep doing the list. Wish I hadn’t read the other comments here. Can we just file them under, “Curmudgeon?”
    Someday, when I get published, may I be so fortunate as to get free publicity by having a hideous cover on your list.

  23. Ah, the beauty of wabi-sabi! (I thought some of them looked decently professional, though–way beyond the reach of my own self-publishing budget. *envy*)

    On an unrelated note, I actually want to read about Amish vampires in space now.

  24. I’ve always wanted a bonnet with sparkle power.

  25. I don’t know… I kind of dig #8 haha

  26. I did this cover April 15, 2014 at 2:45 pm


    #10… really… that was totally an author based concept and the book is about a “watered-down gospel” read what the book is about before you make judgment on the cover…. I don’t know if any of you guys know what its like to work in a publishing company but its not all about artistic freedom, when it comes to design or concept, if you’re going to make a list about bad book covers, at least make it a good list and not put covers on here that are actually well designed. HONESTLY! What are you, a 1st year web-design student with no design or real world experience???

    Your second rate list is nothing compared to this list of REAL BAD, BOOK COVERS: http://lousybookcovers.tumblr.com

    Plus, how could you have #10 listed as a bad book cover but then this one listed as a good one…. http://englewoodreview.org/best-book-covers-of-2012/4/

    …. seriously…..


    • Stephen Cadilac January 12, 2015 at 5:52 pm

      Maybe that’s the problem, the publishing business needs to have a higher regard for artistic freedom. When designers are given more freedom, you get better book covers. You may finish crying to mother, she still loves you despite your bad book cover.

    • Stephen Cadilac January 12, 2015 at 6:13 pm

      The copywriting for the cover was awful and paradoxical. If this bottle is offering “Christianity Lite,” why would it be saying to stop drinking a watered down gospel. Water doesn’t come in green bottles, so this is either Sprite or beer; however, there is no carbonation in the liquid and it is not the right color for either. The typefaces do not go together, the label looks nothing like a beer or soda label (or water, for that matter). The triple outline of the circular backdrop of the logo does not serve a purpose (think form AND function and please, please, please study design history, especially the evolution that began with modernism). The embossing on the glass is not good, at all, and stylistically conflicts with the other styles presented on the cover. Consistency, darling. No need to get all pissy because someone has something bad to say about your design, that’s terrible for learning. Especially if you’re rebuttal is trying to shift attention to someone else’s cover.

      I will also add that the cover you posted had a sans-serif typeface that could have been better for the title, yes, but worked with the style of the cover. There is a basic allusion to the content of the book that also provides color without overwhelming a viewer. The drop shadow on the title is unnecessary and the areas of dark type could have been dialed back a bit. It’s a very simple cover, and overall is better than a lot of Christian book covers. Still much better than yours.

  27. Evangelist K L Rich July 27, 2014 at 10:56 am

    I believe in never judging a book by its cover. However, I would like to introduce everyone to my new book, “The Weight of Weights” by K L Rich available on my website at http://www.klrich.net. What weights do you need to release?