Gallery of Clones

By Saul Bottcher of, last updated 11 February 2015

Have you ever seen two books with nearly identical covers?

How would you feel if somebody else's book cover was the same as yours?

As more designers opt to use stock photos when they create book covers, clone covers are becoming a frequent occurence and an embarassment to authors.

Nobody is safe from clone-itis: this gallery includes a National Book Award finalist, a New York Times best-selling author, a USA Today best-selling author, and a famous, successful indie author.

Every book shown in this gallery was being sold at the same time as its clone, in the same language and the same territory.

The risk of becoming a clone cover is only one of the problems with stock photos—read The Dangers of Stock Photos on Book Covers to learn more.

The Laughing Corpse
Laurell K. Hamilton
Dark to Mortal Eyes
Eric Wilson

One of the problems with stock photos is that some of them are very "finished", leaving the designer little room to customize them.

Sing Me to Sleep
Angela Morrison
For Pete's Sake
Linda Windsor

One (or both) of these designers has put in the effort to change the background and clothing colour, but after all that work, the clone is still obvious.

Hard, Hard City
Jim Fusilli
Between Two Rivers
Nicolas Rinaldi

The treatment of the two photos is nearly identical, including the unnatural colours.

Family Matters
Ira Berkowitz
Caroline Cox

Only a minor crop and colour correction separate these two.

The Single Girl's To-Do List
Lindsey Kelk
In the Bag
Kate Klise

Different patches on the suitcase and some colour correction aren't enough, especially with the two authors' names in a similar typeface.

J. Meyers
Stacey Wallace Benefiei

It would've been great if these were two books from the same series. Unfortunately, they're two books from completely different authors. The flip and recolouring doesn't hide the duplicate photo.

Belle Whittington
The Mind Readers
Lori Brighton

Another flip and recolour. The typesetting is similar as well, which makes matters worse.

Allusive Aftershock
Susan Griscom
Jennifer L. Armentrout

It's interesting that one of these designers took the time to completely change the forest background, but didn't retouch the models even slightly.

Kelly Libsack
A Temptation of Angels
Michelle Zink

The mood is different, but this is obviously the same photo of the same model.

Rule of Three
Kelly Jamieson
The Best Mistake
Kate Watterson

Not only is the photo re-used, the typesetting on these two covers is almost identical. It's natural for a designer to set the type to complement the photo, so a re-used photo can lead to similar type, making your clone problem even worse.

Mermaids of Venice
Silas Knight
Cole Gibsen

We actually found a total of five covers using this photo! The only difference on each of them was a slightly different crop.

Rules of Crime
L.J. Sellers
My Life as a Traitor
Zarah Ghahramani

The typesetting is vastly different, but with a photo this distinct, the clone is still obvious.

Various (edited by Paula Guran)
Morgan Rice

No less than 17 authors and 1 editor now have a cover with this photo on it. Notice how the composition of the photo suggests placing the text on the right in white—another example of a re-used photo leading to similar design choices.

Please Keep in Mind

Being included in this gallery implies absolutely nothing about the care and commitment the author has put into their writing.

Did their designer tell them the cover was based on a stock photo? Did their designer make the risks clear to them? We have no way of knowing. So, please don't judge an author by their clone cover!

If you're the author of one of these books and you want to know what you should do about your clone cover, or if you have any questions about stock photos, don't hesitate to contact us for advice.

The risk of becoming a clone cover is only one of the problems with stock photos—read The Dangers of Stock Photos on Book Covers to learn more.