Cover Art, Redux

But wait, there’s more. It’s not just stock images, I’m sad to say. And it’s not just Monster Thumb Girl either. Jill the awesome forwarded me some more examples of reused cover art.

This one kinda surprised me, too, because the minute I saw the first cover, I knew exactly where I’d seen it before.

image

Christine Merrill’s January 2008 M&B release A Wicked Liaison.

image

Nora Roberts’ Rebellion, December 2006

Note to Mills & Boon: Copying Nora Roberts cover art = Bad Idea Jeans.

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  1. 1

    The novel by Nora’s published by Silhouette, which is part of Harlequin, as is Mills & Boon, so there’s no problem with the copyright of the image. Different bits of Harlequin quite often share cover art.

    As for the readers recognising the cover, (a) Nora isn’t anywhere near as well-known in the UK as she is in the US and (b) has that cover been used for Nora’s book in the UK? I’m just asking because it has “#1 New York Times Bestselling Author” on the cover, and I’m not sure if a Mills & Boon edition would come out with that on its cover. I also can’t find any sign of this edition on the M&B website, though they have other novels by Nora (going back to 2001 publication dates) on their site.

  2. 2
    Aimee says:

    isn’t that “rebellion” a reprint?  so maybe it’s the other way around?

    i think my cover of rebellion is old because it’s not as interesting as the one posted here.

  3. 3
    SB Sarah says:

    It’s absolutely not a copyright issue; I totally recognize that. My thought was reprinting an NR novel, then using the same art on a different novel, might be a bad idea simply because of NR’s name recognition.

  4. 4
    Phyllis says:

    Christine Merrill commented on this herself. If I remember correctly, it was sort of a minor rolling eyes – headdesk sort of comment ;)

    Ah yes, here it is: http://doublecheese.livejournal.com/36852.html

    And yes, Rebellion is a reprint, but a recent one and A Wicked Liaison is brand spankin’ new. Well 2 or 3 months or so, anyway.

  5. 5
    oakling says:

    I have totally used that same trick – “Oh! If I change the size/amount of the picture I’m using, and flip it horizontally, it’s a TOTALLY DIFFERENT PICTURE!” I think I’m wrong :)

  6. 6
    Karmyn says:

    So we’ve moved from monster thumb woman to no thumb woman. Are they related to three armed woman from Christina Dodd?
    Is it too much to ask for there to be no more genetic freaks on the cover?

    spam word: rest16 as in ‘where is the rest of her hand?’

  7. 7
    Nora Roberts says:

    Note he has no thumb either.

    They breed with their own kind.

  8. 8
    Estara says:

    “(a) Nora isn’t anywhere near as well-known in the UK as she is in the US”

    Wow, is that true? I’m asking because she’s very well known indeed in Germany in translation of course. We get all her books just like the US does (also the J.D.Robb ones).

    Occasionally I’ve even seen one of the tv movies based on her books.

    I didn’t realize the UK (not having to translate) wasn’t that much into NR…

  9. 9
    HelenB says:

    Go into any W H Smith (big UK bbokseller) Waterstones etc and you will find acres of Nora Roberts, so I would say she is well known here.

  10. 10

    I’m not saying her books aren’t published here, because they are, but I don’t think Nora has quite the same level of name recognition in the UK that she does in the US. She’s moving up the rankings, though.

    For example, the Literacy Trust’s figures for 2002-2003, for books borrowed from libraries were:

    Most borrowed authors (all over 1 million loans)
    1. Jacqueline Wilson*
    2. Danielle Steel
    3. Josephine Cox
    4. Catherine Cookson
    5. Mick Inkpen*
    6. RL Stine*
    7. Janet & Allan Ahlberg*
    8. Agatha Christie

    The ones with * beside the names are children’s authors.

    In 2005-2006, Nora was number 10 on the list with

    1. Jacqueline Wilson*
    2. James Patterson
    3. Josephine Cox
    4. Danielle Steel
    5. Ian Rankin
    6. Janet & Allan Ahlberg*
    7. Mick Inkpen*
    8. Roald Dahl*
    9. John Grisham
    10. Nora Roberts
    11. Agatha Christie

    The 2006-2007 figures are:

    1. James Patterson
    2. Jacqueline Wilson*
    3. Daisy Meadows*
    4. Josephine Cox
    5. Nora Roberts
    6. Danielle Steel
    7. Ian Rankin
    8. Mick Inkpen*
    9. Janet & Allan Ahlberg*
    10. Francesca Simon*

    Nora doesn’t appear at all on the Guardian‘s list of 100 bestselling books in the UK for 2006 (link to a pdf here with some explanation of how the figure are arrived at) or 2007 (link directly to the pdf). Josephine Cox and Danielle Steel appear on both those lists.

  11. 11

    In contrast, Nora appeared twice on the USA Today list of top 100 books for 2007 (one at number 48, and the other at 78).

  12. 12
    joanne says:

    Color me dumb—- oh, put that flippin’ black crayon down—- but I just won’t notice the over-use of the same covers if someone doesn’t point them out to me, which is fun to see. That’s why you guys are the Smart Bitches and I’m… not.

    The cover is a problem for me only if the model is blond and the author says she’s brunette. That’s stupid Publishing. That’s lazy. That has nothing to do with publishing costs.

    And yea! to Christine Merrill for taking it as the what & ever it is.

  13. 13
    Tina C. says:

    Color me dumb—- oh, put that flippin’ black crayon down—- but I just won’t notice the over-use of the same covers if someone doesn’t point them out to me, which is fun to see. That’s why you guys are the Smart Bitches and I’m… not.

    I’m with you on that.  I have to see the same cover more than a couple of times over the span of some months before I’ll notice it’s the same unless someone points it out.  Someone raised a good point on Rap Sheet (I think it was Rap Sheet), though, that once Borders starts putting all of their books facing outwards, it will probably be a lot more obvious.

    The cover is a problem for me only if the model is blond and the author says she’s brunette. That’s stupid Publishing. That’s lazy. That has nothing to do with publishing costs.

    I completely agree!  Getting the hair color wrong irritates me, as does pretty-ing up the hero and/or heroine.  The covers for Simon Green’s Hawk and Fisher series were egregious for that and it drove me crazy!  I realize that people who do cover art for a living probably don’t have time to read all of the books they provide covers for, but is it too much to ask that they at least read a description of the characters they might include and/or a synopsis of the story?

  14. 14
    Dan says:

    I think Nora does pretty well here in Canada, my friend who works as a cashier in a department store has told me they sell a lot of Nora books and that’s all I know.

    I’ll never read ‘em, though~

  15. 15
    HelenB says:

    Forget about hair colour. C E Murphys latest books with an African/American heroine have a white woman on the covers. Now that bugs me.

  16. 16
    Dan says:

    Wow, HelenB. That is pretty bad.

  17. 17
    Karmyn says:

    If the thumbless people have a baby they’re going to spend a fortune on binkies because the poor child won’t have a thumb to suck. Poor thumbless child.

  18. 18

    And yea! to Christine Merrill for taking it as the what & ever it is.

    My heroine wore a red dress in my book, so it was at least vaguely appropriate to the story.  And it’s not butt ugly, which is another plus.

    But now, I can claim I’m kind of like Nora Roberts, only backwards.

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