About a year ago I started to notice how all the Kindle books started to look alike. At first I thought it was just the nature of genre fiction. After all, one pair of lovers looks pretty much like every other pair of lovers. However, once I started paying attention, and did some digging, I realized it wasn’t me. I wasn’t growing desensitized (or going crazy), I really was seeing the same covers on different author’s books. After that day I’ve made it a game. I collect these offenders everywhere, and marvel that more people don’t notice them.
I know what you’re thinking; “It’s just a few independent authors cutting some corners with free stock photos.” Or “It’s a simple mistake. The design company accidentally resold the same cover art.” Well, in both cases you’d be wrong. The big publishers are just as guilty of relying on stock cover art as the little guys. Even major authors don’t escape the curse. Also the stock art issue predates the independent publishing boom. Digital shopping just makes it easier to spot.
Here are a few of the examples I’ve found, I hope they amuse and entertain. Or in the event that you’re currently negotiating a new cover, I hope they make you wise enough to ask what you’re paying for.
One of the first covers I noticed.
And yet didn’t land original cover art.
Is this making sense to anyone?
I’m wondering how many photos are out there of these two?
The eyes have it here.
Turn it the other way.
Crop it, that’s sure to help.
No one will notice.
I loved this cover when it came out.
So cool, so blue.
And so popular!
Looking for more, don’t worry, there are hundreds of them out there. Pay attention and find your own, or for the instant gratification types Goodreads has a nice list here.
And if you’re in the market for a new cover, check out this link for The Book Designer. Here you can find some tips for figuring out what you’re paying for when buying cover art.