Monday, March 10, 2008

Double Take: Copy Kat Book Cover Designs

I discovered a strange coincedence, book covers that are similar or using the same artwork. Is it that there are just so many books and not enough unique ideas? Like the old school music remixed with the new music today. Is it better to have one attention getting cover idea recycled continuously than have a hideous cover? I tend to think that similar book covers will lead me to believe that i've already read or brought the book. In my quest for answers to these questions, I discovered that recycled covers may not be an author's issue, but a publishers issue. The art is stock and publishers have no idea that another publishing company may have used the same artwork. Is it innocent coincedence or great minds thinking alike? Simon & Schuster seems to be the biggest abuser according to these few books.

Omar Tyree's What They Want (Simon & Schuster, 2006). Loving his life of carefree travel and insecure women, male model Terrance Mitchell experiences profound guilt when his insensitivity induces a young woman's instability, an event that prompts him to rethink his priorities. Tyree is a 2001 NAACP Image Award-winning author of Boss Lady.

The Apostles (One World/Strivers Row, 2004) run Chicago’s streets. Their leader, “Solemn Shawn” Terson, is the most revered–and feared–man in town. Because of his past exploits, the Apostles have a loyalty among its members that has reached mythic proportions. Y. Blak Moore is a poet, social worker, and former gang member who grew up in the Chicago housing projects. He is also the author of Triple Take. Moore has three children and lives in Chicago.

This is the cover to a blues album (2001). "The Love Doctor" is former radio personality Lewis Clark moved to Illinois and became involved in the music industry through radio as a disc jockey in Illinois. With his DJ name being the Blues Doctor for some two decades, Lewis would often perform at various gospel events, playing tunes but also occasionally performing them as well. In 1997, the Blues Doctor changed his name to the Love Doctor. Surprising hit album reached #47 on Billboard's R & B Albums chart on the strength of his runaway smash "Slow Roll It", which immortalized another way to do the horizontal bop.

Chocolate Sangria by Tracy Price-Thompson (Villard, 2003) is a fast-paced, suspenseful, and unpredictable, it explores the hearts of two lovers who get caught in a great cultural divide, and the trials they face when black love and Hispanic love spill across racial boundaries. A Brooklyn, New York native and retired Army Engineer Officer, Tracy is an Alpha Delta Mu honor society graduate from Rutgers University, as well as a Ralph Bunche graduate fellow who holds degrees in Business Administration and Social Work. Tracy lives in Hawaii with her husband and several of their six children.

In The Other Man (Blue Note Press, 2006) worlds collide when Freedom must choose between her conservative lifestyle with Vance, and her dangerously illicit, bad-girl sexcapades with Boney—before someone chooses for her—all set in the backdrop of Memphis, Tennessee, a southern city rich with Blues, Black History, and relevance to African-Americans. The Other Man was inspired by The Jennifer Wilbanks Story, the runaway bride who duped authorities into thinking she was kidnapped in order to escape the pressures of a wedding only two days away. Aside from writing novels and the start-up of Blue Note Press, Marlon is currently studying screenwriting and independent filmmaking. He resides as a bachelor in his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

Satisfied With Nothin' (Simon & Schuster, 1996) the novel is about a young African American male, Jamie Ray Griffin's experience is set in rural 1970s Louisiana who excels at football in high school and college and dreams of playing the sport professionally. His dreams are cut short, however, after he suffers a knee injury. Ernest Hill is a native of Oak Grove, Louisiana. He wrote Satisfied with Nothin’ in 1992, while studying history at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

Twisted (K Mass Paper, 2006) is a chilling collection of stories certain to send them spiraling into a dark realm of imagination where the once-familiar becomes menacingly twisted: A man driving home from a Halloween costume party suddenly comes face to face with an evil that's all too real. An elderly woman, obsessed with obituaries, finds herself intimately connected with the dead in the most unlikely of ways. A lifelong racist is plunged into his ultimate nightmare. An unfaithful husband discovers to his horror that his attractive new neighbor has the wickedest kind od seduction in mind for him. From a Gold Pen Award-winner and a master storyteller. Massey was born in Waukegan, Illinois, but grew up in Zion, a suburb north of Chicago. He currently resides with his wife near Atlanta, GA and is working on new novels and other projects.

In Crabs in a Barrel (Agate, 2006) author Byron Harmon uses this Gilligan's Island meets Survivor set-up to create a story that airs out the truth about how black people feel about themselves, each other, and most everyone else in this breakout novel sure to bring him even greater commercial and critical success. Byron Harmon is the author of two earlier novels, All The Women I've Loved (Pocket, 2002) and Mistakes Men Make (Pocket, 2005). He is the executive producer for the WCBS TV Early Morning News in New York City.

Tastes Like Chicken (Simon & Schuster, 2004) is Lolita Files's much anticipated continuing story of the lives of Misty Fine and Reesy Snowden, the dynamic heroines of the bestselling novels Scenes from a Sistah and Getting to the Good Part. With steamy thrills and disastrous infidelities, Lolita's latest is a tale of two women who find themselves poised at life's crossroads with everything to lose but their friendship. Misty and Reesy share outrageous misadventures in Hollywood and Los Angeles when Reesy elects to pursue her dreams of stardom, a quest that is complicated by her would-be devoted boyfriend, Dandre. Files is the former National Communications Director for KinderCare Learning Centers. She lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and is the author of five bestselling novels.

In Unburnable (Amistad, 2006) a riveting narrative of family, betrayal, vengeance, and murder, Lillian Baptiste is willed back to her island home of Dominica to finally settle her past. Haunted by scandal and secrets, and with the help of Teddy, the man she refused to love, she will find a way to heal. Marie-Elena John is a former Africa development specialist. She and her husband and two children divide their time between Washington, D.C., and Antigua. This is her first novel.

The suspense novel Fatal Justice (Kensington, 2005) by Faye Snowden is a sequel to The Savior (Kensington, 2004) and more Richard T. Marvel mysteries will follow. After Dr. Kendra Hamilton watches her mother's murder go without a conviction, Kendra takes the law into her own hands and returns to the mean streets of Dunhill County to bring the killer to justice. Faye Snowden lives in Modesto, California with her family. Fatal Justice is her third novel.

Subtle Secrets by Wanda Thomas (Genesis Press, 2007)

A Love Story by Denene Millner and Nick Chiles (E P Dutton, 2004)
Topaz by Beverly Jenkins (Avon Books, Reprint 2007)

Soulmates: An Illustrated Guide to Black Love, Sex, and Romance by Eric V. Copage (Plume, 2001)