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Tale behind the joke Weasel cover + PSA »
I don’t know if any of you have noticed but there are quite a few covers in YAland that look alike. Lately there have been so many covers with girl’s faces that I admit I’ve been a little concerned that the US cover of Liar will get lost. But people have been reassuring me that it’s different to the other girl face covers, that it will pop.
Then someone anonymously emailed me the image you see below. Apparently it’s the cover of a forthcoming Maureen Johnson book.
Am I being oversensitive in thinking it looks more than a bit like the US Liar?
You can be honest with me. Do you see any similarities between this:
What do you think?
Are they the same? Could it have been done on purpose? Or maybe the two designers just happened to use the same stock photo?
Update: Full story is here.
Posted by Justine at 12:02, 14 April 2009 under Frippery, Liar | 49 Comments »
Pope Lizbet Says:
Ooh. I don’t know enough about design to say, but I would be displeased with my book having a design that similar to another being released concomitantly.
I’m gonna send this blog post to one of my designer friends, I think.
April 14th, 2009 at 12:06 PM
Mike G. Says:
It’s interesting that the titles, colors, and fonts are somewhat similar as well…
Perhaps the “Maureen Johnson” version was just an early mockup of yours with a different author name and title?
Although in that case, you’d think they’d have picked a generic author name rather than another popular YA author…
April 14th, 2009 at 12:09 PM
Dave H Says:
If that’s a coincidence, it is a rather bizarre one – that picture doesn’t exactly scream “book cover” when you first look at it. Plus it isn’t the same photo, just the same pose.
So, yes, I think you and Maureen should both be concerned about this.
Holly Black Says:
Maureen’s expression is priceless.
Oh, don’t be silly! The A in Maureen is completely different from the As in Larbalestier!
April 14th, 2009 at 12:11 PM
Hmm..they are too similar if you ask me.
April 14th, 2009 at 12:15 PM
The Book Monkey Says:
I feel like I’ve been punk’d…
April 14th, 2009 at 12:27 PM
If it makes you feel any better the Johnson cover is way creepy, whereas yours is enticing. This doesn’t seem to be a very uncommon thing. My blogger friend Alea at Pop Culture Junkie has a series of posts that showcases books with similar cover treatments. They often have the same photo with different cropping or coloring. I would still say that this is TOO similar. The colors are the same, the fonts are both sans serif…its clearly a different picture, but the idea is the same.
Same source pic, all right.
April 14th, 2009 at 12:29 PM
Hahahaha! Very funny, Justine.
The synonymous relationship between the words “weasel” and “liar” is also interesting.
April 14th, 2009 at 12:33 PM
I don’t see the problem, it’s CLEARLY a different shade of green.
April 14th, 2009 at 12:34 PM
I have a hunch that you are the victim of a clever practical joke here. The photos are similar, as are the fonts, but there are some design clues on the anonymous pic that scream “LIAR” to me…
April 14th, 2009 at 12:36 PM
maureen johnson? like the character from RENT?
April 14th, 2009 at 12:45 PM
Ahaha, I love it, she got the eyes right and everything!
(She should, obviously, sue you for stealing her face to use for your cover.)
April 14th, 2009 at 12:46 PM
It looks like blatant theft to me. I’m all about creative license or even a derivative work/appropriation, but since they’re both for the exact item (a book), I can’t imagine this not causing problems, regardless of whether it’s exactly the same picture (read: copyright infringement). And the picture isn’t like a knock-off of “The Scream,” so you could argue fair/common use. If it were me, I would lawyer-up and get a cease and desist sent out, pronto.
April 14th, 2009 at 12:48 PM
Theft! Or a joke, one.
April 14th, 2009 at 12:54 PM
Jokes aside, I was a little confused by the following:
Luna by Julie Anne Peters: http://tinyurl.com/d2rg4n
Fate by Jennifer Lynn Barnes: http://tinyurl.com/dzzabf
Although I’m guessing it’s the publisher’s decision/stock photo use.
April 14th, 2009 at 1:07 PM
Yours does “pop” more, though this is too close to be comfortable with.
Agree with Holly Black, Maureen’s expression is priceless.
How does she have time to do mockup covers when she’s doing 1000 word blog posts every day in April?
April 14th, 2009 at 1:12 PM
I see that you are laying the groundwork for unreliable narrative.
April 14th, 2009 at 1:21 PM
Umm.. yeah I’d be breathing in a bag with one hand right now, dialing my agent with the other…
That’s WAY too close for comfort.
April 14th, 2009 at 1:22 PM
Brooke Taylor Says:
The difference is in the fringe–Heidi Klum or a soft side sweep. Totally differentin tone and direction and character–no one would confuse the two, your cover is safe (and awesome!!!)
April 14th, 2009 at 1:23 PM
I’d like to see Maureen steal the How to Ditch Your Fairy hammer cover…
April 14th, 2009 at 1:25 PM
ROTFLMAO!!!! That cover model looks AWFULLY FAMILIAR….
April 14th, 2009 at 1:32 PM
hmm… the fact that even the letters are in the same colours and place makes me a bit suspicious.
But if I published a book I woudl actually wanted it to be distinguishable from all the other YA books. Even if it was just a coincidence I would change it now that it;s still possible.
April 14th, 2009 at 1:54 PM
and btw, the maureen johnson cover looks an awefull lot like maureen johnson herself
April 14th, 2009 at 1:57 PM
Kaleb Nation Says:
HA! For some reason, the cover model for Maureen’s book looks really familiar
April 14th, 2009 at 2:11 PM
Regina Doublemint Says:
I wasn’t going to say anything, but the cover of the catalog? Also Maureen’s book.
April 14th, 2009 at 2:18 PM
That. Is. Hilarious. I add my vote to Brooke Taylor’s. Looking forward to seeing the cover of Maureen Johnson’s soon-to-be-released How to Splat Your Maureen, showing Maureen Johnson splatted under a hammer. (Um, not _actually_ splatted under a hammer. That would be awful. Just comically pretend-splatted. Obviously).
April 14th, 2009 at 2:41 PM
The models are definitely two different people (the eyes look different; of course they could have tweaked that in photoshop or something). The hair is the same as far as placement toward the bottom.
I will know the difference since I know your Liar book is coming out and what to look for, but if I didn’t know, and was someone randomly coming to look at YA books (which I do often), I would most likely think they are the same book, unless I saw them side by side (because I am visual, and I generally remember cover photos before and more than I do the title). So I would be concerned, mainly for those who don’t closely follow your blog and know what your cover looks like.
April 14th, 2009 at 2:50 PM
Those photos are SO not the same one. The bangs are different.
April 14th, 2009 at 3:04 PM
maureen is such a rascal!
That is priceless, you guys crack me up! Now this is the kind of lookalike i’d love to see more often! Thanks for the laugh!
April 14th, 2009 at 3:42 PM
I am slightly suspicious that those of us who do not know Maureen by sight have been had.
Just slightly, mind you.
April 14th, 2009 at 3:57 PM
This supposed copycat cover doesn’t seem to be of professional quality. It looks like it was made using a pic taken by a cameraphone and made in Microsoft Paint. The text is not centered and there is no accentuation of light or use of shadows like your professionally created cover. The size of it also seems a bit off. I think you’ve been pranked.
I wonder who created this… Well, if it had been me, I would have found a better quality photo and I would have added shadow to the text.
April 14th, 2009 at 4:03 PM
I never understand how this could happen and why nobody complains.
April 14th, 2009 at 4:38 PM
The girl on the top is hiding behind her hair, using it as a mask/scarf. The girl on the bottom is smelling her hair. Clearly you have nothing to worry about. They’re totally different!
PS – love the title Weasel. Brilliant.
April 14th, 2009 at 4:52 PM
Clearly they’re different- with the copycat’s hair, the left side is on top and in the real one, the right side is on top. A real copycat would do better than that.
April 14th, 2009 at 5:26 PM
Book Chic Says:
Jaclyn- I see no reason to complain. These things happen and unless they are like the exact same cover, there’s no need to complain really. It’s different publishing houses, different artists- these things happen randomly and coincidentally a lot of the time.
Anyway, one of the things that makes me giggle is how seriously a lot of people commenting are taking this. They obviously don’t know that the Maureen cover is a fake- she does not have a book called Weasel coming out (to my knowledge) and that’s Maureen herself on the cover, hence the blurriness. It seems like something she did on her cell phone, lol. But the two covers made me giggle- Maureen is hilarious. And I agree that she should do her own version of your Fairy paperback, lol.
April 14th, 2009 at 6:32 PM
Julia Rios Says:
Hee! I’m a bit surprised at how many people seem to be taking this very seriously.
April 14th, 2009 at 6:34 PM
Charles Tan Says:
It’s possible they were using the same peg or had the same concept in mind. What IS disconcerting however is that fact combined with the typography used in the layout (which also happens to be the same shade of green).
April 14th, 2009 at 8:28 PM
I LOVE Maureen’s expression! Clearly these two covers are complete opposites!!!
April 14th, 2009 at 9:37 PM
Yeah, the fonts are TOTALLY different. The pictures are maybe a little similar, but, you know, that is probably just coincidence.
April 14th, 2009 at 11:37 PM
Mary Elizabeth S. Says:
@ Julia and Book Chic
Of course it’s being taken seriously! It’s a very serious matter. Maureen has obviously been kidnapped by rouge photographers and used to make a copy-cat cover of Liar. Then, adding insult to flash-shock, they have put her name on the cover so that she will be blamed! Not only could this cripple both authors’ readerships as they struggle to make sense of two identical books, but now Maureen can’t eat without getting food in her hair! This is a disaster!
I’m going to try and find help. I urge you all to do the same!
April 15th, 2009 at 12:22 AM
Tina in College Station Says:
The bad news is someone is totally plagiarizing your cover design! The good news is yours is better designed and way more attractive, in all respects.
April 16th, 2009 at 4:17 PM
The girl on Maureen’s cover is much prettier in my opinion. xD
April 17th, 2009 at 7:48 PM
Brett Carter Says:
I don’t know if it’s just me, but I don’t see the similarity between the covers. It’s clear to me that the designs were done with completely different intended focus. The mood of the first cover is so different than the second, it’s hard to imagine how anyone thinks they are similar in any way. I would avoid a lengthy, legal lawsuit on this one. A judge will see the differences right away, and the court case will be thrown out.
April 20th, 2009 at 12:25 PM
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