PDA

View Full Version : Robin Romm's Book Cover Look-a-Likes Discoveries



jamiehall
06-15-2011, 09:02 PM
I've just been reading this:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/blogs/browbeat/archive/2011/06/14/this-j-crew-ad-looks-a-lot-like-my-book-cover.aspx

And I wanted to know how many authors do this after their books come out. Do you look around for anything similar to your book cover?

Chris P
06-15-2011, 09:11 PM
I don't have a book published yet, but I do get nervous when a story line starts to sound like mine. Not that anyone ripped me off, but if I've been beaten to an idea I don't want to be a "just like."

As to the blog post, I agree with most of the commenters (that's a first!) that convergence in the arts is all over the place. It's easy to see what someone wants to see. I doubt the Esquire graphic was thought up after seeing the book cover. It's easy to see how it developed on its own.

veinglory
06-15-2011, 09:11 PM
I think the author is being egotistical to think his cover is causing the number of Popsicle themed graphics out there during the American early summer. Maybe his next book cover with 'invent' a picture of flip flops on a beach?

MJNL
06-15-2011, 09:48 PM
Yeah, I think that's a bit of a stretch on the author's part. What, now any picture with a popsicle and an appealing shade of blue must first get her (his?) approval?

I think pictures of disintegrating popsicles are perfectly suiting representations of oral-sex enjoyment. They are also perfectly suiting for her book, which has nothing to do with oral sex. Being used in one circumstance doesn't equal copying in a nother.

I think the more simplistic an image is the easier it will be to find similar pictures. And let's face it, you don't get much more simplistic then a couple of popsicle sticks and sky-blue.

If the cover was uber complex and they found something startlingly similar--same curly-Q here and fluer-de-lis there--or say, had the popsicles in the survey been the same as the ones on the book cover, then people could cry foul.

Jamesaritchie
06-16-2011, 03:46 AM
Un-huh. This author has a serious problem.

Alessandra Kelley
06-16-2011, 04:20 AM
While I sympathize with the poster's deep personal meaning of her cover art, I doubt very much the images she found were directly inspired by her book. A red popsicle is just too iconic. And the Esquire image didn't resemble it that much.

I couldn't get to the comments on her post.

Cover art follows fashions, and simple cover art is very likely to have similarities to other books. At the moment photography seriously dominates book cover illustration. To avoid too much similarity, why not buck the fashion (she said, self-servingly)? Use stark modernist graphics, or a custom painting, or something like this wonderful ink drawing. (http://celinekiernan.wordpress.com/2011/05/20/moorehawke-covers-win-aussie-book-design-awards/) Nobody will have anything like it.

Linds
06-16-2011, 04:35 AM
I find it interesting how books out around the same time share a lot of similarities in their covers- both in their subject matter and in their designs (ie all the iterations off of the Twilight covers - which are genius, design wise). It's not always something that strikes you until you look for it. Personally, I'd be more worried or curious about a similar book cover over similar images in advertising and design.

I don't understand where that author extrapolated the idea that anything bearing similar content to their book cover must be inspired by it. What a very odd idea. That's like saying:
'oh look, my cover has a pretty orb...that magazine ad has a pretty orb too with the same color scheme...they must have seen my my book.'

CAWriter
06-16-2011, 05:00 AM
I find it interesting how books out around the same time share a lot of similarities in their covers- both in their subject matter and in their designs

This has always been true. When the catalog announcing my first book was released, we got a nastygram from another publisher using words like "Trade dress issue" claiming that my forthcoming book was a knockoff of their famous author's soon-to-be in the stores book (her book was to hit the shelves about 6 months before mine). The thing was, her cover was nearly identical (right down to the font) of the book proposal I'd submitted to the editor who acquired my book. My proposal was submitted several months before her book was in their catalog and there was no way in the world that I could have had any idea that 1) she even had a book on the same topic coming out and 2) what the cover of that book would look like.

Recently, Anne Voscamp's book "A Thousand Gifts" has been on the NY Times bestseller list. (It was released in Feb or March.) There's a novel coming out this summer that has a nearly identical cover (hands holding a nest with eggs in it). Personally, if I were the author of the novel, I'd be wanting a different cover. But I'm sure they were both in development at the same time and the one had nothing to do with the other. It happens. Always has, always will.

frimble3
06-16-2011, 05:01 AM
Something like this wonderful ink drawing. (http://celinekiernan.wordpress.com/2011/05/20/moorehawke-covers-win-aussie-book-design-awards/) Nobody will have anything like it.
I love the covers with those drawings. I'm glad they won an award, maybe it will encourage others. I like covers that do more than make a series look like a series, that add together to make something greater. Also those spine covers that, when put together on a shelf, make a connected image.
If nothing else, people who might not buy every book in a series, might, to complete the image.

jamiehall
06-16-2011, 07:28 PM
To avoid too much similarity, why not buck the fashion (she said, self-servingly)? Use stark modernist graphics, or a custom painting, or something like this wonderful ink drawing. (http://celinekiernan.wordpress.com/2011/05/20/moorehawke-covers-win-aussie-book-design-awards/) Nobody will have anything like it.

That is just gorgeous!

Anninyn
06-16-2011, 07:46 PM
Private Eye occasionally does a 'cover lookalikes' feature which shows two covers side by side. Usually it's just similar composition or theme, which I think is normal for two books about similar subjects, but occasionally it's been the exact same piece of stock art, just angled/coloured in a different way.

So, as a problem, it can exist.

AlwaysJuly
06-17-2011, 02:33 AM
Wow. I don't think popsicles on a blue background are unique enough to claim as look-alikes.