Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

It’s All the Same to Me: Cover Art Recycling

I noticed on Sybil’s blog today a cover for an Avon Red book which looked strikingly similar to the cover for Sunny Chen’s Mona Lisa Awakening. Are these too similar? They are for my tastes. It’s a great cover, but I’ll always like the first one better. Is it that there are just so many books and not enough unique ideas? Is it better to have one hot cover idea recycled continuously than have a hideous cover?

I tend to think the similar cover may backfire. I may see it and think, I’ve already read, bought, borrowed that book.

recycled covers

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

11 Comments

  1. Jayne
    Sep 21, 2006 @ 13:35:40

    I noticed similar covers on two vampire novels earlier this year. One was the cover of Squires’ “The Burning” and I can’t recall the name of the other. But both had close-ups on a woman’s head thrown back with the vampire male poised over her exposed throat, fangs out and about to chow down.

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  2. Sybil
    Sep 21, 2006 @ 16:11:39

    Alison Kent’s new cover is the same as Linda Howard’s upcoming book… just different colors.

    Alison posted it on her blog a while back I think. hmmm I think she had something on this topic but I must go to work. Shall look later.

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  3. Bev (BB)
    Sep 21, 2006 @ 18:00:23

    I actually think it’s becoming a lot more common just lately. Check out Am I seeing double? that I posted back in May. Both of those books came out like a month apart, if not the same month.

    I have to agree, Jane, in that I think they may be shooting themselves in the foot, particularly that close together. I mean it would be one thing if there were years between similar ones. But this close?

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  4. Jane
    Sep 22, 2006 @ 08:59:11

    Bev and Sybil, I now remember both of those posts. I guess cover art, like titles, must be recycled. I just wish they did it farther apart. Like a year or something. It’s confusing to me as a reader.

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  5. Alison Kent
    Sep 22, 2006 @ 10:46:34

    [quote comment="4029"]Bev and Sybil, I now remember both of those posts. I guess cover art, like titles, must be recycled. I just wish they did it farther apart. Like a year or something. It’s confusing to me as a reader.[/quote]

    The art is stock, and in my case, my publisher had no idea Linda’s publisher was using it, and vice versa.

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  6. Jane
    Sep 22, 2006 @ 11:48:40

    Is it cheaper, if you know, to use stock art versus a painting or something like that? I can see the recycled covers more readily if it was an epublisher but for NY publishers, it just seems odd. Confusing, cheap and odd. Obviously this is not an author’s issue but a publisher issue.

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  7. Bev (BB)
    Sep 22, 2006 @ 14:11:34

    [quote comment="4031"]The art is stock, and in my case, my publisher had no idea Linda’s publisher was using it, and vice versa.[/quote]

    Hmmm, I’m not sure how to feel about this one. On the one hand, I can sort of understand the need to use stock art with so many books coming out. But on the other . . . well, let me put it way, the pictures that Jane posted above have distinct differences even in the way the woman’s body is presented. Innocent coincidence or great minds thinking alike? It probably doesn’t matter . . . except maybe to confused readers who can’t remember if they’ve already gotten the book or not. ;p

    The two I posted about in May are shockingly similar, however. The really crucial thing that struck me smack in the face when I first ran across them was that the head was changed – obviously so – on a very recognizable body that’s positioned prominently exactly the same way in both images. They are basically the same cover and a lot harder to swallow as innocent coincidence or great minds thinking alike cause it sure looks like the same mind created both.

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  8. Alison Kent
    Sep 22, 2006 @ 16:15:32

    More examples:

    Example 1

    Example 2

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  9. Alison Kent
    Sep 22, 2006 @ 16:16:04

    Hmm. That may need to be edited, sorry!

    ReplyReply

  10. Jane
    Sep 22, 2006 @ 18:29:29

    The Lawless/Harper books are ones that a friend of mine emailed to me today. Wow. It is confusing to the reader.

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  11. Which Book Has the Best Title? | Dear Author: Romance Book Reviews, Author Interviews, and Commentary
    Sep 19, 2008 @ 17:00:55

    [...] know that there is alot of stock photography used in cover art today leading to very similar cover [...]

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