Do you ever see a book cover and think: "Hmm, there's something familiar about those covers. . . I can't quite put my finger on it. . . ." You have? Well, maybe that's because you've read a book that used the same cover as another book.
"Egads," you say, "it's not true, Steve. Covers are sacred. They're designed in such a way that they are not meant to be shared.They're an entirely unique graphic representations of what the reader will experience when they read it. The very notion of images being used in more than one book is . . . well . . . it's sacrilege!"
Uh huh, sure. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show (Yep, they're all real covers):
Now a lot of people look at these covers and think: “Oh, those poor authors. They must be devastated." I've heard people compare it to showing up at a party wearing the same dress as someone else (we all know how that feels, right ladies?). Only it's actually doubly worse since you can’t just run home and change a cover the way you can an outfit.
But my question is: is it really something to get upset about? Is it really troubling?
Sure, it could be confusing to readers if the two books are in the same genre and would normally be shelved together. But I don’t know if it’s a great deal more confusing than books with the same titles – of which there are piles. Just wander into Amazon and title search “Fallen” or “The Fallen” and see how many matches you get.
I kind of like seeing twin covers. I find it fascinating to see how each designer approached the same picture differently and made it somewhat unique. Maybe they added colors, or effects, or additional graphics. Or maybe it's just the typography that's different and it's very cool to see how text can change a tone of an image.
Now, we may stop and stare at these twin-covers, and point, and maybe giggle a bit, but let’s not forget that for every twin-cover you spot, there are a dozen sibling-covers. That's right, "Sibling Covers." I don't think I coined that term, though I can't recall hearing it before. But just in case I did, what I mean by “sibling-cover” is a book cover that might not be identical, but is incredibly similar.
Sibling covers would look like these:
They're not using exactly the same images, but they're pretty close.
So what do you guys think? Would you be horrified to find that someone out there has the same book cover as you? Or do you think it would be something you’d laugh off?