Double Vision: Cover Recycling
Have you ever noticed you own two different books with the same cover? Recycling cover art is quite common in the book industry. Publishers often re-use artwork to save money or time.
There’s even a hashtag for it on Bookstagram: #covertwinning. Imagine double the clinches!
We found lots of instances where the same artwork is used for various romance novels. Here are a few examples of duplicates:
Swan Road & Joining by Elaine Duillo
The interior stepback of Rebecca Brandewyne‘s Swan Road features a blond, mustachioed Fabio and his raven-haired companion. Years later Elaine Duillo’s acrylic painting was repurposed to create a stepback for Johanna Lindsey‘s Joining.
A castle rests in the background with a winter scene replacing the seascape and Viking ship. The scenery isn’t as detailed as the previous version. A poorly painted cape drapes over Fab’s shoulders. His face looks altered as if digitally reimaged, and he appears more aged.
Joining was Fabio’s final cover for Johanna Lindsey. In fact, as far as I can tell, this was his last romance cover appearance overall. If anyone has any information contradicting this, please let us know!
The Hawk and the Dove & Gentle Rogue by Sharon Spiak
Here’s another Johanna Lindsey cover with art that was previously published for another book. This time, it’s the 2007 reissue of Gentle Rogue using Sharon Spiak‘s illustration for Virginia Henley’s The Hawk and the Dove.
It’s the same cover; notice the dress and the ship. In the revamped version, the protagonists’ hair colors are altered accordingly and there’s no castle in the back. Nor are birds and flowers in the foreground. The new cover is pretty enough. But the clothing and sword are about 150 years too early for the Regency-age Gentle Rogue.
The Trophy Husband and Rendezvous With Revenge
Ron Lesser was a productive artist for Harlequin, with his pieces appearing on the Super Romance, Temptation, and Presents series. He created dazzling photorealistic images by hand before digital art was commonplace. It’s not surprising that his paintings would be re-used by the publisher. But for the same line, just eighteen months apart, and unaltered? Someone on the staff really liked this cover.
It’s a shame that the hair colors don’t match up with the characters in either book. Little errors like that pester me. The hero from The Trophy Husband was neither dark-blond nor a light-brunet. His hair was black. The hues are flipped for Rendezvous With Revenge, as the heroine had the lighter color.
More Double Covers to Come
Cover twinning is a common occurrence in e-publishing with the availability of stock images. Still, we were surprised to find how much older cover art was re-used for books. Now we’ll be on the lookout for more duplicates to highlight.
What do you think of these copy-cat covers? Drop us a comment and let’s talk romance.