March 27, 2017

Book Covers: Stock Beware

I read this article on Indie Book Launcher about the dangers of using stock photos for your book cover. They have examples of covers using the same photo, but I feel like their conclusion (never use stock photos on a book cover) was a bit extreme.

I follow a bunch of writers on social media and saw someone share this beautifully designed cover.

Quarterback Sack


I'm not a big romance person, but this colorful cover caught my eye. It looks really professional. When I clicked the image to enlarge it, my Pinterest extension kicked in and did something weird. It popped up in a new window with a reverse image search on the cover. I didn't know it could even do a reverse search. The first item in the search results wasn't this book cover; it was another book with the same image. I was curious if I could find this photo elsewhere. Within a few minutes, I found five other covers with the same stock photo.



I don't know if reusing stock images is common in the romance genre, but I found it interesting. Only in the last cover, BLUE, does the designer alter the image in any way.

I've used a stock photo for my cover for The End of Refuge, but I was careful to pick out an image that was unique. In a fit of paranoia, I also did a reverse image search of my cover. No copycats yet. I still have nothing against using stock imagery in covers, but recommend doing something to make your covers a little unique.

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