The Curse of the Copy-Cat Covers

The curse of being a self-published author using the free cover templates on offer is that someone else is going to have the same book cover you have.  As far as I could, I’ve tried to put together my own covers but without Photoshop or Publisher, I’m really limited to what I can do and feel my results are hugely amateurish.  For CreateSpace, the green book cover I used for Ultra wasn’t BIG enough (not enough pixels) to produce a printed cover that wasn’t distorted.  I ended up going for one of CreateSpace’s free covers, fearing that some day I would see the same thing on someone else’s book – although, since I’m thoroughly unread, this probably doesn’t matter much.

You have to wonder, though, how the following managed to fuck up on such a gargantuan scale.

Check this out:


There are no less than SIX covers here with the same bloke walking next to a fence.

But what is far worse is that many of these books are NOT self-published which shows a phenomenal lack of imagination in the book cover world.

Remind me to rethink my red/white/black theme for the Fleet Quintet!


About susannahjbell

I am a writer of science fiction and other strange and surreal works. I mostly write novels and the occasional novelette. My published works include A Doorway into Ultra, the Fleet Quintet and the Exodus Sequence. I live in London in an attic flat but really want to live in a tree. I wanted to be an astrophysicist but would settle for an alien abduction. I write because I don’t know what to read.
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5 Responses to The Curse of the Copy-Cat Covers

  1. mgm75 says:

    It’s interesting the immediate image of a book that the cover art will immediately inspire. In that respect, they are at least effective. I can’t get over the repeated images of the “woman in white dress” and “man walking by fence”. That’s why I chose to design my own cover art for my novelette. As amateurish as it looks, most people have said that they are intrigued by it and want to know more. I hope you don’t mind me posting a link here

  2. tobycauson says:

    I also had the same thoughts, for someone who is new and self publishing it really is too expensive to have a cover designed for you, so I took it upon myself to create my own one. I have a few different ones but have created a draft that I am fairly happy with.
    Generally I am quite picky with cover, I don’t actually like covers which have actual photos on for a fantasy book, which also presented more challenges for designing one. (My results are on my most recent blog post).
    Eventually I went for a golden title text with against a leather background, then I look a picture of myself, made it into a silhouette and then added all the extras that I wanted. It turned out fairly well, although I am yet to get peoples opinion on it.

    Thanks for the post 🙂

    • Your cover looks really fantastic – very professional. How did you get that leather background? It looks amazing.

      • tobycauson says:

        It was a combination of a lot of internet help and just playing around for a very long time. I have it down somewhere but if I remember correctly it was a lot to do with having the text as an overlay on a clouded background, and then importing that into a leather background.
        Thanks for the feedback!

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