Book Cover Artist Attempts Suicide After Bullying From Authors
I got mad just writing that title.
What is going on in the literary world? I thought it was immune from low brow behavior, but then I get the heartbreaking news about Sherman Alexie and now this crap. A whole rabble-rousing crowd on a private Facebook group ganged up on a poor woman who was trying to create book covers and now their bullying has led her to attempt suicide. I will block her name to protect her identity.
——–, book cover designer at Under Cover Designs, left a suicide note on her laptop over the past few days. A relative found her unconscious after she’d ingested a large quantity of sleeping pills. The reason? According to multiple sources, a collective of around 80 indie authors messaged her what amounts to hate mail, including several messages urging her to kill herself.
According to the post she left on Facebook, —– stated, “I am sorry for to those I have hurt. I am sorry to everyone affected. I am sorry to those who don’t or won’t ever believe me. I am sorry that I am shouting in a [sic] empty room and no one hears me.”*
I belong to some writer groups on Facebook and trolls do get in once in awhile, trying to harass and trigger members until the troll is eventually blocked. But this was 80 members bombarding this woman with hate mail. What was her great sin? She made a bad book cover. Seriously. From what we’ve heard, she used a common stock photo (the horror!) and her cover was too similar to another author’s. If you are not professionally published, the only options for cover creators are really Canva and Createspace so yes, there are probably going to be duplicates out there.
When did making a bad book cover become the equivalent of farting in an elevator? You can’t escape horrible covers. There are so many out there. Like this one:
And this one:
There’s even a magical place where you can enjoy bad book covers called, Kindle Cover Disasters.
And girlfriend, heads are about to roll. According to the Reddit thread that really goes into detail about the incident, the family of the recovering woman (at the time of this article, she is alive and hospitalized) is making sure those bullies pay:
A group of a few hundred Audible narrators have banded together and will be refusing to narrate for the authors who posted in that group….it was a private FB group. The family of the girl plans on making the list public, there were 80 authors in there who participated.
I absolutely support the family’s decision as it may deter bullying like this in the future if authors know that there are consequences. Don’t feel bad for these people. They told a woman to kill herself.
My personal philosophy on bullying. I ignore you.
Even super author Terry Goodkind is accused of being a bully. He and a bunch of readers had a problem with the cover for his new release, Shroud of Eternity. The cover illustrator, Bastien Lecouffe-Deharme was harassed and laughed at for his finished product which, mind you, he didn’t even design. He was doing the publisher’s bidding. Goodkind classed things up by adding a poll on his Facebook page asking for fans to rate the cover’s awfulness with the opportunity to win a hardback copy. Almost 12,000 people voted, some choosing “laughably bad” as an option.
What is so bad about this? Really, truly. Tell me!
I didn’t even understand what the big deal was. This cover seemed fine. In all my years of working in bookstores, it wouldn’t make me pause as I shelved it in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy section. The artist clapped back in a delicious way by posting on the poll…
“It was nice working with you Terry. What you are doing is totally disrespectful. As if I didn’t create those covers accorded to exactly what I was told to do. In my entire career I have never seen an author behaving like that.”
Of course, THEN Goodkind had to apologize. Like a kid who was caught on camera denting the car. It’s not as if he’s really sorry. He just got cornered.
Behave, you literary people. What is wrong with you? We’re in a profession that used to be put on a pedestal. Remember the days of Hemingway in Cuba or Maya Angelou reading poetry on stage? Maybe it was the Kardashian “books”, but over the last few decade, the literary industry has started to smell. It doesn’t help that we’re dragging other writers in the mud.
To the woman who attempted suicide, don’t you worry about those bullies. If they liked themselves at all, they wouldn’t have treated you that way. No one I know who is happy with their life acts like this. Milo what’s-his-face and Anne Coulter admit to self-loathing, proving that the biggest bullies don’t grow out of the playground because they can’t fix themselves. Heal and keep making your covers any way you want. If you need some more stock photos, holler at me. I’m happy to send some your way.
As for the bullies…you are about to be called out. Stay tuned…
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Available 24 hours everyday