Thursday, 3 November 2011

If She Could Just Meet the Man by the Fence...

Another case of an image proliferating across all the book covers in the world, much like the man by the fence. This time it's a photo by Lorraine Molina of a woman holding a birdcage (though sometimes her birdcage has been Photoshopped away). Thanks to the sharp-eyed emailer who drew my attention to several of these instances, inspired by my talking about John Crowley.












And this is the original photo...

11 comments:

Dastardly Depictions by Catherine Davis said...

Ooh sad. I loved Little, Big, and that is the paperback version that I have always been quite fond of.

JRSM said...

The thing is, it works really well as the cover for L,B, too!

sEAN bENTLEY said...

Amazing. What I want to know is, how do you discover which books use the same art?

Heidi said...

Unbelievable. I just found out that my latest release from Feb. 2011 had the same stock photo for the cover as a release in 2009--I guess I should just be glad that it was only one other rather than a dozen!

JRSM said...

Heidi: Ouch! It's sad how few authors get to have much input into their cover designs. I suspect many more are unhappy rather than happy with the way their books end up looking.

Sean: A mix of luck, informants, reverse image search engines, Amazon and ABE searches on the names of photographers, and access to a number of stock image libraries. And magic.

Alessandra Kelley said...

Aw, man, I loved Little, Big too. That's not my edition, but it's a great cover for it.

This is the problem with using stock photography instead of creating original artwork for each book. One hopes that that lovely, evocative image is appropriate for each of those titles. But geez ... couldn't they have done something original?

Stroppy Author said...

Ooh, painful. My lovely current publisher has given me a lot of say in cover design and I did reject a few photos that I'd seen used elsewhere. But you can't check everything....

JRSM said...

That's true--since stock agencies don't keep a register of who has bought their pictures, it's probably pretty easy to accidently reuse something without knowing that you're doing so. I guess it's a good argument for designers to regularly haunt bookshops, just so that they have a good idea of what imagery is already out there. Not that you can see every cover!

Melwyk said...

Thanks for posting so many examples of the reuse of this particular image. It is one that has been driving me crazy every time I see another use of it, yet again! I first noticed it in 2008, thanks to Little, Big & Madame Zee...

Alessandra Kelley said...

I found a new one for you (so new it's not going to be published until next month, July 2012):

The Painted Bridge: A Novel
by Wendy Wallace
hardcover, from Scribner
expected publication 17th July 2012

You can see the cover on Goodreads here:
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13233587-the-painted-bridge

JRSM said...

Well spotted, Allesandra: I'll add do a new post with that one. Thank you!