Cover Cafe created the Doppelganger Award to highlight the problem of releasing “almost” identical book covers. Readers might skip over a new release because they assume they’ve seen the book previously or even purchased it. With the introduction of eReaders and the use of stock images on covers, Doppelgangers have become more of an issue.
It can happen to anyone…even Cover Cafe. I purchased the stock image used in Cover Cafe’s main logo in April, 2011 and I knew it might appear someday on a book or another logo. It was a gamble but I loved the lady reading at the table. I added the red coffee cup and Cover Cafe and waited to see if it appeared. It finally did in 2015 on Pinterest. I love the addition of the cat but prefer my red cup over the gray cup. I still love that lady!
My best advice is this – do not use a stock image exactly as it appears on Shutterstock or other image providers. Create a unique look that can’t be mistaken or accidentally reused by another publisher or author. Also, take a step back and look at your finished creation to see how it appears in both thumbnail and full size. If using Photoshop or another image software, make sure the finished cover looks professional. Don’t become a “Don’t” cover example on the internet. (Or become one of Cover Cafe’s Worst finalists in the annual contest.)
And now for the first 2015 Doppelganger Awards.
First Doppelganger Set ~
Second Doppelganger Set ~
Be careful when using stock images…make them unique or incorporate them with other images to create a unique look. What do you think – are they Doppelgangers?