That’s Totally the Same Cover! (#1)

Posted March 29, 2012 by Jana in Discussion / 26 Comments

Hi! So, I’m kind of a book cover person. I remember covers, which is usually how I can tell if I’ve read a book or not. Haha. And it’s always funny to me when I come across two book covers that are either identical or very similar. Of all the images and photographs in the world, why use the same one for two different books, right? Especially if one is super popular and nobody has even heard of the other one. Yeah… I know… stock images. I’m a graphic designer, and use stock images too. But with a book cover, you need to be super careful! I always feel bad for the worse of the two covers. It’s like being an ugly stepsister, or something.



Mermaids of Venice by Silas Knight
Breathless by Cole Gibsen (The better cover)




Sing Me to Sleep by Angela Morrison (The better cover)
For Pete’s Sake by Linda Windsor




This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
Bewitching Love Potions & Charms by Raven Tempest

Which covers do you like better? Do you ever notice copy cat covers in bookstores or online? How do you feel about cover images being reused, especially on really popular books?

(This blog post is the first of several that will appear over the next few months!)
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26 responses to “That’s Totally the Same Cover! (#1)

  1. I notice this all the time, too! Even though they are stock images, I’m always surprised that a publisher wouldn’t do a little more research. It seems like it would be bad for marketing to have the same cover as someone else. I recently saw a book that has the same exact cover photo as Holly Cupala’s DON’T BREATHE A WORD, and it took me a minute to realize it was a different book. Cool post :0)

  2. I’ve noticed a couple of copy cat covers lately. I find them to be rather distracting because I think I’m looking at one book and it turns out I’m looking at a different one. lol

  3. Sarah, I was totally going to add Holly Cupala’s book, but forgot which one had the copycat cover! It totally threw me as well. Haha. It’s definitely bad marketing. I know I’d want a custom cover and not a stock photo if I were an author. I’d want mine to be unique!

    whatthecatread – I totally agree that they are distracting. I always worry I’ve read it already.

  4. UM, THIS IS CRAZY! I can’t believe those first two are the SAME picture but cropped (first book) and photoshopped (second book). Oh my gosh. Kind of breaks my heart a little bit that they’re so similar. I know similarities happen, but these are THE SAME picture!

  5. I can’t believe publishers do this. I know of people who’ve had great covers designed for less than a thousand dollars and that included the model. A person would think the publisher would pay the extra expense. Good post.

  6. I never notice these things, but when someone points it out I think it’s insane. Why do people do that at all? How hard is it to come up with an original image for your book ocver? Or do they think they’ll be able to trick some readers into reading it by the cover?

  7. All the friggin time! I mean, really, SO many books these days have the same or almost the same cover, it’s getting ridiculous! And I’m also one of those people who know if they’ve read the book by looking at the cover ;) I prefer the same covers you did :)

  8. Melissa, great catch! That’s crazy!

    Thanks for voicing your opinions, guys! I’m really glad I’m not the only one who feels this way! Haha!

  9. I realise this is the entire point of this post, but… That’s totally the same cover!

    I hadn’t realised how often this happens. I tend to automatically disregard those pretty-girl-in-dress covers and they seem to be the worst offenders. The books they usually contain aren’t generally my kind of thing.

    Strange seeing them all next to each other though… I prefer the left-hand one for each of them though, haha!

  10. Sharon, thank you for posting those links! How interesting!

    Mandee, I felt the same way about Sarah’s versus the unknown copycat.

    Hanna, I frequently disregard covers with girls in pretty dresses as well. I just started noticing, though, how often these girls are re-used on other covers! Thanks for stopping by. :)

  11. I see them all the time and it drives me insane! The worst is when the both are YA too. It’s still bad if they’re from two totally different genres, but not quite so bad as when they’re from the same one. Come on, people, do your research!

  12. Breathless, Sing me to sleep and This lullaby, if I have to choose.

    I’m a sucker for pretty covers and I think that a cover should be used for one book only. You don’t take the inside of a book and place a new cover on it, do you? So why would you take the cover of a book and place a new story inside it? I don’t get it..

  13. Whoa! That’s crazy! I have seen a couple duplicates, although I never know what the books are just that I’ve seen the cover before. Look forward to more of this series!

  14. It costs a publisher about $5000-7500 to do a cover with models, costume, photography and design. They can do one in-house for $1000 using stock photography. And not all stock photos are rights-controlled, so you can’t find out where a photograph has been used…Prepare for more of this!

  15. Lisa’s absolutely right. As a book designer, I can attest that often clients don’t have the necessary budgets for photo shoots, so stock art (which is less expensive) comes into play. Like Chey, I feel embarrassed for the designers/publishers of these. They certainly didn’t mean to repeat a cover image and are called out on their error.

  16. Dixie, I am a graphic designer as well, and I know how stock images work. I’m not calling people out on their errors here, I am simply showing that it happens. It’s fun to see, that’s all. :)

    – Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl

  17. I always love it when you feature posts with book covers on them. I had no idea that there were book covers that used exactly the same photo – and to see them side by side is so interesting! I think your choices for the better cover are spot on!