I can’t bite my tongue any longer. It really bothers me when cover images are used again and again. I have heard the reasoning: there’re limited number of available images, everybody does it, excuses related to expenses, it’s no big deal, and it is unintentional.
I’m not necessarily convinced that reusing images is always such an innocent act. I’m sure I’m not the only one that notices the same images being used over and over again. I think that there is a marketing strategy that makes it effective to the re-use images. The more a consumer sees an image the more likely they’ll actually purchase a product. That’s what mass advertising is all about.
This time I’m appalled. Check out the image below.
Notice the image on the cover of Wallbanger, published November 2012. The same image is on the cover of Bastard Boss, published September 2016.
Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t be up in arms over this issue, but let’s now look take a look at the titles.
In February 2013 Beautiful Bastard was published followed by Beautiful Boss in February 2016. Then Bastard Boss is published in September 2016. I’m not accusing the author or publisher of purposely stealing the title from the Beautiful Series. But again, notice even the font is remarkably similar.
Let’s look back on the images again. The cover of Beautiful Bastard is of a man (black and white) on a white background with the title boldly imprinted on top. The cover on Bastard Boss is of a man (black and white) on a pale background with the title boldly imprinted on top.
Were all these similarities intentional or not?
I don’t know.
I’M NOT ACCUSING ANYONE OF COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT.
But, let’s look at this from a slightly different perspective.
In cases of trademark infringement, the key element that is considered is the LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION. In those cases, similarity is tested on: strength of trademark (Wallbanger and Beautiful Series were best sellers); proximity of goods (all are romance books); similarity of mark (cover and title discussed above); intent to benefit (don’t know); and others.
THIS IS NOT A TRADEMARK CASE! I just wanted to point out the similarities.
I DON’T MEAN TO INSINUATE THAT BASTARD BOSS is like the stories in Beautiful Bastard or Beautiful Boss. Nor am I insinuating the story in Bastard Boss is anything short of excellent (I have not read it yet). In fact, I have read reviews that state that Bastard Boss is excellent, which is how I first saw and heard of the book.
As a book consumer, I am extremely irritated.
I feel like the publisher is trying to manipulate me through use of similarity. I take great issue with this approach.
I should admit that I’m a huge fan of the Beautiful Series and truly enjoyed Wallbanger. This fact certainly has influenced my outrage. See my posts for these books: