Question: Cover Déjà-Vu?

Posted December 5, 2013 by Carmel in Question / 18 Comments


It doesn’t really bother me so long as I’m not coming across the same stock image a ridiculous number of times in a row. I understand that there are only so many naked torsos on the internet for romance authors to choose. However, if every second book I read has a near identical cover then I might start avoiding novels that feature said graphic, especially if the stories are similar because I don’t want all of the characters blending together.


I understand that artwork is expensive and I don’t expect every author to have a to-die-for cover but when choosing a design it’s also important to remember that it’s a reader’s first impression of your book. I’m not saying go for broke but for me, part of the fun of picking a new read is admiring the artwork and having a beautiful cover is definitely an extra hook. Maybe you wrote the most amazing book ever but if no one ever buys it because of the butt ugly image on the front well then, what’s the point?


Does It Bother You When You Get A Sense Of Déjà-vu?

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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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18 responses to “Question: Cover Déjà-Vu?

  1. It does – but I understand that authors have very little, if any, say in any of the cover art. It also seems to me sometimes that when perhaps a book with a stock image gets really popular, then other books pick up the image as well.

  2. It bugs me a little bit, but it is understandable that some people use the same stock photos. But at the same time so many people, including myself, really do base a book on if the cover attracts us or not. If I’ve seen it before and especially if it’s badly photoshopped I’m gonna leave it on the shelf.

      • I am right there with the bad covers.
        There are def trends in the covers throughout seasons and years, I was getting frustrated with all the prom dresses, even if they were beautiful.
        And like mentioned above, I have to remember that unless self pubbed, then the author doesn’t always have much input

  3. It bothers me a little bit…not too much since I read most of my books on my ereader I only see the cover for a second. But if I loved the book that I first saw the cover image on, and then the second one comes out I get a little miffed on the first books behalf because I feel like “that doesn’t belong to you…it belongs to xyz”.

  4. It doesn’t really bother me, but that’s not to say that I don’t immediately notice the cover regurgitation. But like some other people have already mentioned, I’d be more upset over a really bad photoshop job. And better to have a deja-vu cover than one of those covers with computer drawn 3D models on them O_o

  5. THIS!! Yes, it bothers me so, so much. Especially since a certain image is known to “belong” to a certain book. I think that since they’re going to pay for a stock image, why not get one that is new or that no one has used or that has been rarely used? Then again, maybe editors or cover artists decide to reuse an image and spend less.

  6. This happens a lot. I have seen the couple featured on the cover of On Dublin Street several times. I think I read a long time back that the artwork on Stephenie Meyer’s book The Host has been used for several books. If a big time publisher can’t afford to organise a photoshoot for one of the most successful authors of recent years so they can have an original cover, well, that makes me go hmmm.

    Traditionally published authors often do not get to choose their covers – it’s up to the publisher most of the time. Indie authors, on the other hand, have complete freedom.

  7. It only bothers me when they don’t bother to edit the photo. Like it’s the exact same thing, color, texture, focus, etc. Just the text changed. They have to exercise a certain level of creativity especially when they’re using a previously used stock photo.

  8. If I see the couple from Jennifer L Armintrout’s Obsidian series on one more cover I’m going to rip my hair out lol

    I would think authors would realize how often those two are used and opt for something different. It’s even the same poses all the time.

    In general I can’t say it would dissuade me from reading a book, as long as it’s not TOO often, but more often it makes me pass the books over thinking I’ve already read or passed on them.

  9. That doesn’t bother me as much, but have you seen some the audiobook covers? LOL Some of them are sooo bad; as much I love Kate Daniels, I hate the covers, oh! and don’t get me started with the Night Guild Hunter series..LOL

  10. It doesn’t really bother me if I see the same image reused, as long as it’s a good one. What I can’t understand is why the same horrible image gets reused over and over! It was bad the first time. I also feel kind of bad if I read a book that I didn’t like with a certain image and then I see that image reused, I can’t help but associate it with the book I didn’t like.