That Looks…Familiar

Don’t judge a book by its cover. Not exactly the easiest thing to follow through on. Let’s be honest, we all do it! That being said, thanks to my Kindle I don’t really pay attention to cover art that much anymore. Think about it. Even if I reach for the book I’m reading multiple times a day, all I’m seeing is my plain black Kindle case. Nothing special, no bells, no whistles. However, every now and again I’ll be browsing through romance book lists on Goodreads, and I’ll see something that looks a tad familiar.

clashThis is Clash: A Legal Affairs Story by Sawyer Bennett. I’ve seen it pop up a few times on a couple of different Goodreads lists. It’s about 2 people who initially hate each other, but have enough sexual tension that they come together for some physical exertion between the sheets. I have not read this book. I don’t know if I ever will. Every time I go to download it I experience a moment of hesitancy, and eventually turn away to look at another book on the list. Because you see, every time I see this book cover, I don’t see Clash. Instead I see this:

therapistThis is Therapist by Jaden Wilkes. I hated this book. It made me want to hurl my Kindle against a wall, and wash my eyes out with soap due to the sickening sex scenes contained within its pages. Sure, the image might be reversed, but it’s basically the same image, and it’s a trend I’ve started to notice with more and more romance novels: cover art borrowing/stealing. I don’t know which book came out first, but all I know is that whenever I see another book with this image on the cover, I am reminded of the terrible experience I had reading Therapist, and I turn away from it. And this isn’t the only example. Let’s look at a few more shall we?

catch my breathyield

Catch My Breath by Lynn Montagano and Yield: A Legal Affairs Story by Sawyer Bennett. Looks like the same models from the first example.

forever kind of guysecondhand heart

A Forever Kind of Guy by Barbara Meyers and Secondhand Heart by Kristen Strassel.

legally tiedmore than a fling

Legally Tied by Chelsea Dorsette and More Than a Fling by Amber Nation.

So what point am I trying to make with this collage of photos? Be careful when you choose your cover art! Don’t use something that’s already out there, because even if it seems like the most beautiful photo ever, you never know when you might be drudging up terrible memories of previous novels containing sociopathic sexual deviants. Good God I hated that book. And what about all of you lovely people? Have you ever noticed two different books with the same cover art?

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25 thoughts on “That Looks…Familiar

  1. Ok… just have to say… your comments about Therapist had me so intrigued I dug through your archive to find your review. Really???? I’d never heard of that book before today, and I think I’ll proceed to forget about it. I’m sorry you had to read it, but I’m glad you did because now I won’t have to. Ick….

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  2. Yeah, the problem is for stock photography, artists will put up multiple shots of the same couple. If I buy a photo, I’m buying that photo exclusively, but I’m not buying that photo from every angle. I recently saw the models for Corporate Fire on a different cover and I was sad. If I was selling thousands of copies I could buy completely exclusive stuff, but until that day, I buy as exclusive as I can afford.

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  3. Ugh. Unfortunately, one of the books you’ve featured is mine (A Forever Kind of Guy). Never saw Kristen Strassel’s book before today. Also, unfortunately, it would normally require A LOT of research to discover another book with the same cover. Small press art departments use stock photos, photos anyone can access/download/buy. In answer to your question, yes, I have seen a similar cover on (another) one of my books. What A Rich Woman wants has a cover very similar to one of Erin Nicholas’s covers and we both write for the same publisher! I mentioned this to my editor prior to the release. His response was basically, yeah it happens. What are you going to do? For the most part I love my covers. Can’t help it if another author/cover artist loved it too. 🙂 Having said that, my two indie books (Scattered Moments and Not Quite Heaven) had better not have covers like anyone else’s. I worked with a graphic designer and paid a lot of $$ so they wouldn’t!

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  4. Reblogged this on Dana Ellington Myles, MAPW and commented:
    Another reason I’m becoming increasingly happy about publishing my own work through :-). Now, while that doesn’t mean I won’t end up with covers that share some similarities with another, so far, I’m feeling very confident that what I’ve done so far is to this point, unique to my work.

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  5. I can’t count the number of Kindle books that I own, that have the same covers. I noticed it years ago, but now I won’t even buy a book that I’ve seen the cover of on another one. It makes one think that they’d have the same reading experience as the one they’ve read. I know I shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, but it really irks me to see the same one over and over. And there’s this one cover model (female) that graces so many covers of different books! The only thing different is that she is at least in different positions or has different backgrounds. Freaks me out sometimes.

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  6. All the time and it frustrates me to no end when I see it! I miss the days when people spent money to employ someone to make a cover specific to the books details and such, most of those were usually drawings but I’d prefer something original to something reused!

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  7. Thank GOD it’s not just me. I keep noticing this on so many different covers that I want to pull my hair out. There is one in particular that I’ve seen on at least four books. There is another cover couple that I can count seeing on at least SEVEN different books. Sure, it’s different poses, but it is the same couple. It makes me bonkers. I know we have digital now, but please, for the love of Pete, get new covers!

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  8. Wow, I’ve never seen this before and find it utterly baffling that the same cover, or just a slight variance of it, would be used for different books. The proliferation of using stock photos is obviously not a good thing. I can see how it would be confusing to readers and cause an author to loose a sale. Hopefully some attention will be brought to this and more authors will be able to avoid this happening in the future.

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  9. I just noticed a matching cover issue a couple weeks ago and thought it was weird. The cover is important, so you’d think people would attempt to be a little more unique. On a different note, I liked Clash and the rest of the books in the series. They’re super spicy!

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  10. Pingback: Looking for a great beach read? | Whispers in the air

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