Deceptive book covers?

I ran across a poem/song by the SF author Michael Flynn called There’s a Bimbo on the Cover of My Book to the tune of She’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain.

There’s a bimbo on the cover of my book,
There’s a bimbo on the cover of my book,
She is blonde and she is sexy,
She is nowhere in the text, She
is the bimbo on the cover of my book.

There’s a dragon on the cover of my book,
. . .
He is nowhere in the tale, he


You get the idea.

Just wondering if the same phenomenon applies to other genres? Murder mysteries about a private eye with a badge on the cover. Historicals with the costumes all wrong.
Et cetera.
Or is it just Sci-fi? I know authors have zero control over what is put on the covers of their books.

I know on a lot of writers’ (and readers’) forums, it’s a subject that’s often made fun of.

A lot of times, the illustrator isn’t able to/doesn’t read the book itself. They just get art direction and maybe brief snippets from the story itself. If no one tells them the main character is brunette with green eyes, a blue-eyed blonde might accidentally end up on the cover art. Or if they’re supposed to put the MC’s son on the cover, and no one tells them how old he is, an 18-year-old character in the story might end up as a 10-year-old boy on the cover. Or the story is set in the early 18th c., but the costumes are straight out of the 19th c. Races don’t get conveyed appropriately; dog breeds change.

But even better is when you get into sloppy Photoshop work, recycled artwork with minor changes, stolen-and-uncredited art, bad use of stock photography, stolen stock art with the watermark still on it; and so on. :slight_smile: You can accept the fact that mistakes might pop up because an artist was never informed about important details, and get on with things. But it’s fun to snicker over bad, careless cover art. Unless you’re the poor author and you’ve got a publisher with a lousy art department. :slight_smile:

Homoerotica is massively popular among young girls in japan, so the cover of a manga I bought once was exceedingly, inappropriately gay. I'd already been told then asserted for myself that the story was a slapstick, crackish comedy instead.

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