I've blogged several times about book covers, or at least the unintentional humor to be found in bad ones (see Now for Something Completely Different, Can There Be Too Much of a Good Thing?, Romance Cover Contest 2006). Most authors have no control over, and very little input into, the cover designs for their books. The most they can do is make suggestions, hope the publisher considers them, and pray that the final result will appeal to book buyers. For the fiction authors in my writers' group, covers are a big concern. Last year we devoted a couple of meetings to analyzing and making suggestions for the cover of C.S. Harris' second St. Cyr mystery, When Gods Die--and, whaddyaknow, when she e-mailed her editor with our suggestions, the publisher actually revamped the cover with our list in mind. The final result was a marked improvement over the original.
New-York-Times bestselling author Jennifer Crusie worries about covers, too. Over on Aargh Ink earlier this week, she blogged about the struggle to develop a good cover for the second collaborative novel she's done with thriller author Bob Mayer. Take a look and watch the evolution of a book cover. (Agnes and the Hitman will be released in August.)
For interesting info on the Crusie/Mayer writing collaboration, see their joint site. This is one way to solve the dilemma of portraying the opposite sex--have a co-writer who does the p.o.v. scenes of the characters of his/her gender. Since Crusie is known for her wit and humor, while Mayer presents a tough-guy/macho-man face to the world, reading the potshots they take at each other adds a lot of entertainment value.