Had a chat with another writer yesterday on the subject of weird western cover art. I was lamenting my problems that I got a total mess and was wondering if the artist was spending too much time at the marijuana dispensary. Well, he thinks the situation is that weird westerns are getting such crummy art because most of them are self published and the people won't spend any money to hire an artist. There may be something to that--as two books I was asked to review both had black and white clip art covers.
Alas, that does not make folks want to but a book. It reminds me of an art panel I was on at a con last year and the guy next to me was so proud they only spent a few dollars on cover art by using some stock photo agency. I wanted to say, "And they look like it," but didn't.
A good cover can really help sales, a bad cover can doom what's probably already a project that's unlikely to succeed. Self published books tend to be poorly edited. Ad crummy art and you've got a real turkey on your hands.
That said, my dilemma was this was a pro artist who sent me something that was simply baffling. There was supposed to be a ghost; it looked more like someone hung a shower curtain on a porch. Sigh. No ghosts tonight.