Cover Gallery–Which is your Favorite?

So, I was digging through files last night and found my “book covers” folder. They’re put together here in random order, but ROYAL STREET started it all in April 2012, followed in June 2012 by REDEMPTION. And on it goes. What will be next? The official release of a revised JACKSON SQUARE featuring our favorite pirate, perhaps? I can tell you that DOGTOWN is out of print but will be revised and re-released with a new cover in October.

So, what’s your favorite?

The Cover Clone Caper–Does That Guy Look Familiar?

We knew Jean Lafite was quite a ham, but as reader Suzanne Boyd noted yesterday (thanks for the tip!), he’s also apparently hiring himself out for other modeling jobs. Note the cover of PIRATESHIP DOWN.

Pirateship Down

Then these covers?

eloisa james cover lisa asiento cover lisa olech book cover st claire cover st. clair cover 2


Jean and his side businesses. Sheesh! I wonder if Rene got a cut? I thought it was funny that the Eloisa James cover is obviously the same shot but the art director PhotoShopped out the model’s moustache.

Okay, so really, how does this happen? Well, both large and small publishing houses–as well as self-publishing independent authors–have access to the same databases of stock photography. If you’re a big-enough publisher, you create custom images either taking your own photos with a private license (very expensive) or paying for exclusive use of stock photos (also very expensive). If you’re self-publishing, as I did with PIRATESHIP DOWN, or are a publishing who doesn’t care about exclusivity or doesn’t want to pay for it (as in some of these other examples), then you always run the risk of selecting the same image.

I did a lot of image research, and the number of stock images of pirates is VERY limited. As for this model, whose name I don’t know, he did a series of hot pirate shots for Dreamstime, a stock photo house with royalty-free images, which means you pay once for the image and don’t have to pay the model or house a royalty for each copy you sell.

I knew this was a risk, so it didn’t surprise or upset me. Plus, this happens ALL. THE. TIME. Here are a few I found on a quick search yesterday. It’s always fun to see what gets changed in Photoshop, especially different weapons and color filters and fake tattoos.

back boy2 backboy3 backboy4

What about you? Does it bother you to see the same image used a little differently on book covers? Or do you notice it?