COPYCAT JACKETS: You Can Judge a Book By Its Cover

For those wondering where I’ve been for the past year: Like many of you, this pandemic thing quashed my creative juices for book reporting, plus WordPress “improved” their format and I just didn’t have the energy to figure it out. The other issue is the app I used to make collages for my book covers wasn’t working right but it’s back along with my desire to write about books. I will follow with more posts over the next few weeks, including a continuation of my reading history series. Was it because I received my first dose of the Covid vaccination? Or could it be because Typing Maniac is kaput and I seem to have a bit more time? You make the call.]

How many of you have browsed the shelves at the library (pre-quarantine, natch) and picked up a book only to discard it thinking you had read it? Don’t be so quick to judge! Check out the inside flap before reshelving as it’s entirely possible the title has a “copycat” jacket with the publisher using a similar font and graphic similar to another popular book. It’s more common than you might think with some even using the same photograph, as seen in the article Why Do So Many Book Covers Look the Same? Blame Getty Images. Here’s a small sample of the image used for two very different books but check out the article for at least ten books that used the same graphic.

Another interesting article, 57 Books That Look Like Other Books, is worth reading in order to see the various cover trends from the past few years. Here’s a sample. Hmm, I wonder which book graphic was copied.

This trend has interested me for years but it wasn’t until I read Lucy Foley’s The Guest List that I started collecting graphics of books with similar covers. Here is my collage of recent thrillers. Can you name the book that started it all and the similarities?

Here’s another cover trend for books with the setting of a world war (usually) featuring characters on the cover (mostly with their backs to the viewer) and planes (or a plane) in the sky.

So don’t think your mind is going south if you can’t remember if you’ve read a particular book; it’s most likely you are picking up a book with a copycat cover!

Please let me know in the comments below how your reading year has been going. Also, you are welcome to email me at ilovelibraries at gmail dot com should you wish to send me a private message.