Friday, May 08, 2009

Cover to Cover

Yesterday at work we were pulling books for a book club----their choice for the upcoming month is the wonderful short novel by Thomas Mann entitled Death in Venice. Something about the cover was bothering us for some reason. It looked familiar but we couldn't figure out why.


Later in the day, one of my co-workers said, "Here it is!" He was holding a completeley different book, Cross by James Patterson. Cover that looks startlingly similar.


Now we are used to seeing books with similar covers, but they are usually part of the same series or at least by the same author. But we've never seen anything quite like this.

My first thought was that they are by the same publisher and that publisher owns the rights to the photograph used on both covers. But the Patterson novel is from Little, Brown while Mann's is by Harper Perennial. So I have no idea, unless this image is in the public domain. Today I'm going to try to find out more info on the photo and where it comes from. It's supposed to be nice today, so I'm expecting it to be a bit slow at work. Having a harmless mystery like this will help the time go by.



Sandra said...

Many book designers use third-party vendors that have images like this: Getty, Corbis, and Veer all come to mind. There's no exclusivity aspect to purchasing the image. It is bad form to echo a design, though. Galley Cat has captured some similar crazy coincidences, but I had not seen this one before. Thanks!

Lady M said...

It's not only bad form, it's bad judgement. What a horrid picture to put on Mann's work--it fits so much better with the cheesiness of Patterson. Ugh.

Hebdomeros said...

I found it particularly odd since both books are so different, but still in print. If you loved one book and picked up the other based on the cover similarities----and I know people do this----you might not be happy at what you find.