Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Duplicate Covers - Not Wise IMHO

There has been a lot of talk about the same basic photo being used, reused, and over-used on book covers. Considering the fact that there are a LOT of romance novels coming out now in e-books, it’s bound to happen. I can especially understand if I’m thinking I’m seeing a book I’ve already bought (being a visual learner, this sort of thing catches my eye), only to find out it’s a different story from a different author and a different publisher.

What I don’t quite gander are these "theme" books where every author basically gets the same photo and cover. Even the font is duplicated. The only difference is the title and author. For me, when I’m flipping through Fictionwise, the covers are the first thing I notice. If I see a photo that jogs my memory, my senior-aged brain says, "Got it. Read it.", and I go on. But when I see two, three, four, or more covers that look exactly the same, then I’m in a quandary.

As an author, I pride myself on having covers that look a bit different from other covers. I like my covers to be as unique (different, strange, odd, unusual - pick your adjective :) as my stories. It takes a skilled cover artist to take a shot already rendered countless times and fuse it into a fresh idea. But I understand publishers have a bottom line, and those iStock photos, or wherever they’re gotten from, cost money. So duplication is to be expected.

But, shoot fire, couldn’t there be something done to make each cover a little different from the one before and after it?

1 comment:

Mina Carter said...

I have rather a few 'hats', one of them is cover artist for epubs. I pride myself on finding new ways to use the stock I have, either through manipulation (my last cover I 'beefed' a cowboy up with some extra muscles donated from another stock photo etc) or through lighting or other tricks. I do try and avoid using images I see used a lot in covers. I tend to browse through fictionwise and epub websites looking at covers so see what's being used. When you spend as much time on stock sites as I do, the base images are usually easy to recognise :)

But yeah, I agree, as both a writer and an artist, I like my work to stand out.