Show & Tell – Cover Similarities
Posted by Vivi Andrews/Lizzie Shane Sep 16 2015, 12:01 am
In this era of stock art, cover similarities seem to be popping up more and more often. You want your cover to have a certain feel… and so do authors of similar books, so there are bound to be some accidental crossovers. In some cases, it might actually be a good thing (your cover will automatically seem more familiar to readers and perhaps they will trick themselves into thinking they’ve been waiting to buy you), but it can also have drawbacks (people not buying your book because they think they already read it).
What it boils down to is the tricky truth that we want our covers to be unique and memorable, but also give readers the familiarity of the genre cues to help them know what they will be getting, because let’s be honest, we all judge a book by it’s cover.
When I put out my first self-pub venture (a superhero novella under my Vivi Andrews name), I was worried that it wasn’t selling because it didn’t look enough like a romance (which just happens to feature people who commit acts of derring-do). So I tweaked the cover, added a kiss… and found myself accidentally duplicating On Dublin Street. (Or at least that’s what a reviewer thought, even though my novella released three months earlier. Hers was more famous and therefore I copied. Arg.)
Roll forward a couple years and the stock art duplication issue is only getting worse. Recently the cover to my hawk-shifter book was completely redone because we realized the exact same models (in slightly different poses) had been used for three other books (in my same sub-genre, at the same publisher) in previous months. Luckily, I loved the redo, but it was eye-opening, to realize that with all the books on the market, and all the cover artists going for a certain look and feel, individuality is a rarer commodity than ever.
When I decided I was going to self-publish my contemporary romances, I got the covers for all three of the first books at the same time, since I planned on releasing them in quick succession. Unfortunately, between the time I purchased my (charming!) cover for Falling for Mister Wrong and when it came out, I tripped across these two… (and a couple more I wasn’t able to find for this post).
You can’t entirely avoid cover similarity, so I didn’t really worry about it, but I’ve decided that since this book has some winter themes (although there is also a classic car) I’m going to revamp Falling for Mister Wrong. So now, I am pleased to reveal my new, (hopefully) unique cover for the third book of my reality romance series. Viola!
Have you tripped across duplicate covers? Do they bother you? What’s your take on stock art cover proliferation?