Author Topic: Maybe bookcovers that echo many others in the same genre aren't a bad idea  (Read 5593 times)

Munley

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This article got me thinking about that, at least in terms of selling a book:

http://www.creativindie.com/book-cover-cliches-why-using-them-will-actually-help-you-sell-more-books/

I tend to like originality on the inside and outside of a book, but this author/artist makes a case for the cover nailing down, just by the looks, where it fits among other books genre-wise. I'd still want my own book to be more original.

He shows some interesting examples of different covers using the same stock photo, which apparently happens quite a bit in publishing these days.

Not sure what to think. Maybe it's all about personal taste.

Here's a blog with some of the same images, but with less favorable comments on them:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/lukelewis/19-book-cover-cliches#.qoMGBoq0g

I think the 19-images blog appeared first.



Offline Curious Author

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Interesting. I agree with you, though, about wanting my own books to stand out.

That Buzzfeed article... some stock photos need to be retired. :rolf:

Offline Sarah Ahiers (Falen)

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I think he's more or less spot on.

Like, obviously you don't want something that's identical to something else, but you do want something that attracts the specific readers you're looking for and that usually entails catering to genre conventions in covers.

Just like if you're writing a romance novel, you include an HEA because that's what's expected. You could have a sad ending I suppose, but then you're breaking genre conventions and risking upsetting your target demographic which does nothing but hurt your sales.

Covers are the same, just on a visual level.
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Offline Tabris

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Kind of off-topic, but I've been surprising myself lately by how many times I recognize particular stock cover photos when they're used and re-used.

Munley

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Yes, I agree it's probably practical to be able to pinpoint the genre right off, and I can also see why re-uses of the same stock photo could be easily spotted by someone with a discerning eye.

I designed my own cover for this novel. Click below for picture (author name erased).

It's supposed to be a mid-1960's coal town in Pennsylvania, but the building is actually my local post office in Nova Scotia.  The outline of the hair and clothing trailing down into the white space is the exact outline of the Mississippi River, which I got from a survey map done by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The creep in the car trying to pick up the teenage girl has a fondness for that river, and the only time he's decent to anyone is when he's overtaken by his feelings for that river and he almost can't help being thoughtful and respectful.

Funny thing about putting this cover together:
     The post office had some features that did not fit the times -- an air conditioner in one window and a wheelchair ramp zig-zagging across the front of the building. It wasn't hard to photoshop the ramp out, but when I tried to get rid of the air conditioner, three more air conditioners appeared in other windows!

The people in the photo are me and my true love (who is not a creep, but he is a good sport).

Offline Tabris

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I've seen this woman on a few covers: https://unsplash.com/photos/vf29T22259I