The Good, the Bad and the Are-You-Kidding-Me?

Filed in Book Covers , The Geeky Lover , The Good the Bad and the Are-You-Kidding-Me? , The HEA Lover Posted on September 3, 2012 @ 3:00 pm 15 comments

Welcome back to our new edition of The Good, the Bad and the Are-You-Kidding-Me? This week we decided to talk about look-alike covers. We’ve all at some point stumbled upon a cover that looks very very similar to another one. Sometimes it’s only 2 covers using the same Stock photo but doing 2 different thing with it…but sometimes it’s exactly the same cover. We’ve dig up a few example (mostly Historical romances because these are the ones I remembered the most) to show our point. It seems to happen a LOT with foreign (or UK) editions. It’s also often the case with YA covers but we didn’t go there today (it’s just too vast a field). So take a look and tell us what you think…

Libertine’s Kiss by Judith James Vs Ruthless by Anne Stuart (UK/Mills and Boon)

Susi: I like the Judith James version more. The whole setting looks neater and well I’m not a huge fan of the Mills & Boon thing with the border at the bottom. If you make a pretty cover I would like to see it instead of the stupid blue boxy thing.

Caro: Well every time I see the UK cover of Ruthless I think of Libertine’s Kiss. Honestly first time I saw it on Amazon UK I thought they made a mistake lol. Libertine’s Kiss is soooo pretty. Ruthless is a pale copy. And just like Susi said the blue thingy ruins it. Blergh!

The Master and the Muses by Amanda McIntyre Vs Scandalous Regency Nights by various authors

Susi: I actually like both here. I like that we see the brushes on the McIntry one and well his eyes are great on the second. I don’t like the title font on the McIntry one though.

Caro: I do like both too. But the anthology really looks like a movie poster and not a book cover. The Master and the Muses cover really fit the book. I like it, it’s super pretty.

Once Upon a Scandal by Delilah Marvelle Vs Proof by Seduction (UK cover) by Courtney Milan

Caro: I adore the Marvelle cover. It’s so gorgeous and sensual. Love it to pieces. I also like the UK Milan cover it’s just as pretty in my opinion. I even like that it’s more colorful. Of course for me this image will always make me think of the Marvelle book.  😉

Susi: Her dress is so much prettier in beige than in violet. I like that it’s all so tone in tone. If I had to choose I would vote for the Marvelle. The fonts are better matched and it looks more professional. I really don’t like that color for the Milan dress. LOL

Sweet as Sin by Inez Kelley Vs A Night of Living Dangerously by Jennie Lucas

Susi: Sweet as Sin is my winner here. The font and colors match the scene way better than the blue box (why are blue boxes so popular?). I like the classiness of Inez’ cover. The pink and blue are too much for me.

Caro: Same for me. Sweet as Sin wins. It’s more sensual and the font fits better. The Jennie Lucas cover isn’t bad either but it doesn’t give us the same feel. When I see it I think vacations on a tropical island or something.

Deeper by Megan Hart Vs. Undertow by Cherry Adair (German edition)

Susi: Megan Hart wins- always. LOL Well joking aside I do prefer her version- the font is prettier and it’s again more rounded and well professional. I don’t like the Cherry Adair font and well I hate that they always put that stupid NYT bestselling author badge on the covers. It feels more taky than just writing it. Like, hey you can see from three rows down that this book is awesome. Don’t mind looking at anything else- you need to buy this. Pah, I won’t ← my rebellious side

Caro: I do like the Hart better. Mostly because I hate the font on the Cherry Adair cover and yes the little stamp at the top is disruptive. Also the colors look better on the Hart cover. Maybe it’s better in real (I hope we’ll get to see Cherry’s cover in real at the LLC2013)


Ruthless, Reckless ,Breathless by Anne Stuart Vs My Surrender, My Seduction, My Pleasure   by Connie Brockway (German version)

Caro: *sob* It irks me to no end to see the 3 beautiful Anne Stuart covers used for 3 other books by the same author. I mean…1 cover …pass. 2? that’s pushing it…3? *grumbles*. I can’t be objective with these covers. i loved this series so much I can’t look past my annoyance at them being copied. Blerghhhh

Susi: Hmmm, Okay for the first 2 I prefer the Stuart versions. They do again look more professional and I like the recognition factor you get from the author and title font. I also do like the third Anne Stuart BUT the light is better in the Brockway for that one. And well the Brockway again have the stupid I’m a great book badge.

Do you have other examples of covers/stock photos being used for different books?
What do you think about that? Do you mind?
Can you deal with 2 similar covers or will your brain always think ‘This is the cover of  *insert books name* every time you see the ‘other one’? (which is my case!)

About Caro The HEA Lover

Caroline is a HEA loving, yarn addicted French who's desperately hoping to get a HEA of her own. If she's not reading then she can be found knitting while listening to Audiobooks or watching Tv shows. Her secret addiction is reading websites that make fun at other people's expense (DYAC, Failbook)! Caroline also blogs at the Secret HEA Society with Susi.

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  • draconismoi September 3, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    The entire series cover theft is ridiculous. As an attorney, I’d be investigating the publisher for copyright or trademark violations. That’s freaking ridiculous.

    • pattepoilue September 4, 2012 at 3:06 am

      I was really wondering if it was legal or not. 1 cover can be coincidence…but 3? blerghhh I was pissed when I saw that

      • draconismoi September 4, 2012 at 3:36 am

        The only thing saving it is that they are in different languages, because American publishers probably can’t envision bilingual bookstores, and wouldn’t be concerned that a novice author is trying to ride the coattails of an established genre powerhouse.

        It’s definitely actionable, but would be up to the publisher to pursue.

        *I presume Stuart is a big romance author simply because I have seen her name before.

        *Also, LOVED the fact that I could walk into bookstores in Europe and find multiple languages.

        • pattepoilue September 4, 2012 at 4:01 am

          Yes it’s probably a reason. This problem is obvious here in Europe because you’re bound to stumble on one of these in a store.
          Yeah Anne Stuart is a big romance author (I LOVE her books). I have NO idea about the other one though. it was the first time I heard about her.

  • Angry kitty September 3, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    HATE the recycling of covers! When M&B UK started their Modern Extra line, they were using a stock photo site, so any old Joe could still use the same photos. I’ve also seen an Annie West French cover match a Paula Roe Aussie cover, and a UK Antho the same as an Aussie Antho, just a different color. You’d think a company as big as HQN could afford not to reuse…

    • pattepoilue September 4, 2012 at 3:09 am

      I know! That’s what I thought too. You’d think a big publisher would have the means to buy a photo JUST for their product. *shakes head*
      Or maybe they don’t care since it’s in a different country? *sigh*

  • Anne Stuart September 4, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Good god! I had no idea. Not that I wish to bite that hand that used to feed me, but this is what comes of thinking of books as product, not as stories. One cover fits all. Very entertaining.

    • pattepoilue September 4, 2012 at 12:52 pm

      🙁 It really made me angry when I saw them. I can’t even imagine when you see your own covers used like that. *shakes head*

  • Susan September 4, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    Wow. This is amazing. And not in a good way. I’ve seen this happen with self-pubbed books when they’re using stock photos, but I’ve never seen it with bigger publishers. (Altho Carina Press (Harlequin) did use the same stock image of a woman on the cover of Susan Edwards’s White Vengeance as Ilona Andrews did on the self-pubbed Silver Shark.)

    Anne Stuart and Connie Brockway are both big-time authors. They each deserve to have unique covers for their books.

    Aren’t Harlequin and Mills and Boon essentially the same company? Maybe that’s why they can recycle covers among their various lines since the big umbrella company owns the images. It may be a cost saver, but it’s a pretty sleazy thing to do to the authors and readers. I can’t believe Harlequin is so hurting for cash that they need to be this cheap.

    And–for another peeve–ebook readers get shafted on the cover experience anyway. The cover image and various other artwork often isn’t even included. Grrr.

    • pattepoilue September 5, 2012 at 3:45 am

      I just looked up Connie’s work and realized I do have at least one of her books LOL *headdesk* I think the name didn’t ring any bell until I saw the cover.
      I remember the stock image from Silver Shark being used again yes!
      I can understand using the same stock image and doing your own thing with it. It happens very often. but yes here i’s just recycling. I guess it’s exactly because they are the same company in the end that do that. It does seem a good way to save money on the costs of finding a cover for foreign market LOL

      Ughh I know, it irks me too. I want covers on all my ebooks! Even if I have to add it myself I WILL have covers on my ebooks.

  • aurian September 5, 2012 at 5:34 am

    Yes! There are way too many double covers out there! Sometimes it is just a mirror image, or the colors are changed, but I hate it. Do something original please! I will always prefer the first book I know with that cover. Or I see a cover and think: I already have that book, so don’t buy it.

    • pattepoilue September 5, 2012 at 5:38 am

      Yeah it’s not asking so much to ask for originality. Even more when you consider that these are big authors,
      When we were searching for covers with Susi, We found a Stock image which had been used more than 10 times in different covers. But they made it different for each cover at least. So it’s not so hard to change things a bit

  • Sheree September 5, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    On one hand, one can’t get enough of Paul Marron covers (I kid! well, maybe not), but too much recycling is confusing.

    • pattepoilue September 5, 2012 at 5:11 pm

      OMG where? I didn’t recognize him! *hangs head in shame*

      • Sheree September 7, 2012 at 5:24 pm

        No, not in the above examples, but I have seen covers, especially Harlequin/Mills & Boon ones, that use the same pic in various covers.

        For example, both Marissa Day’s THE SURRENDER OF LADY JANE and Tessa Dare’s German cover, Wirbelsturm der Liebe, have the same Chris Cocozza artwork, albeit cropped differently.

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