Double Trouble with Marcy Rachel
How to try to prevent it
Finding the perfect picture for your book cover is relatively easy. Finding a stock photo that no one else has used, not so much. It seems like nowadays more and more people are encountering the problem of the ‘double trouble’ where they find a book cover similar to theirs, or even worse, exactly the same, just a different title and author.
I am no expert, but I can share a few tips with all of you about how to prevent this:
- Probably the most expensive way of trying to avoid ending up with a doubled cover is to hire your own model and photographer and have a photoshoot that will fit your book’s theme. The good thing about this is that you are in total creative control and less likely to have a duplicate cover.
- The next less expensive way is to buy stock photos. There’s a higher chance you can get a picture that has been previously used but you’re sure to get a professional picture.
One awesome tip that most people do not know about is “reverse image search” using the Google search engine. It’s easy and very useful if used correctly. There’s 4 ways of doing it.
a. The first one is the ‘drag and drop.’ It is as easy as it sounds. Drag and drop an image from the web or your computer into the Google search bar.
b. The second way is to upload an image. You have to go to images.google.com, click the camera icon, then select “Upload an image.” Select the image you want to use to start your search.
c. The third way is by copying the URL from the image and pasting it. You do so by right-clicking the image to copy the URL. On images.google.com, click the camera icon, and “Paste image URL”.
d. The fourth and last way is done using a browser extension. To search by image even faster, download the Chrome extension Search by Image by Google or the Firefox extension Search by Image by Google . With the extension installed, simply right-click an image on the web to search Google with that image.
To show you an example I did two different searches. I was just looking online; I think someone posted something about the first book. I immediately recognized the lady on the picture and I remembered the title of the second book. So I looked it up andI was right – it was the same lady. I tried the reverse image search, but nothing came up. I was confused. The reason why it didn’t work is because the reverse image search DOES NOT recognize the individual elements of your cover/picture, but it searches it as a whole.
So, when doing the search for the first cover, nothing came back and even when I tried searching the second book nothing came back.
And just if you’re wondering, I am guessing the first picture (the woman in red) is the original photo because her clothes look more natural and the Chinese chopstick in her hairdo. The second photo was mirrored, they changed her dress color to black, added the hand with the apple, and changed the Chinese hair chopstick for a pencil (which in my opinion, it is way too long to be a regular pencil, in proportion to her head).
Now, I decided to do a second search to try out the service in a better way. So, I went to Shutterstock, because I think it’s one of the places where people buy their stock the most. I typed “woman” in the search engine and selected the very first picture I thought it was pretty, at random, which was this one:
Now, according to what the reverse image search says, it should do a search based on the picture as a whole. This means that if someone used this picture as is on a cover, it should come up, and this is what I found:
So, by doing this, now I know that I shouldn’t use this picture as is because someone else has already and my cover (or any design) won’t be unique.
3. Another way to prevent having a duplicate cover is by either finding a completely free picture that is available for commercial use or have a photoshoot yourself with a friend or family member. The downside about this trying to find a completely free picture is that they are usually not the greatest quality, but you can still find some workable pictures. Just look at my work – most of my covers are done this way.
So, there you have it. The secret is out! Go and try it yourself a couple of times, it’s actually kind of fun how things pop up.
Teresa had asked to explain to the readers how it makes it easier for indies to get a design going through me. Well, after this post I think I have shown and proved how thorough I am when I select pictures (in case the client hasn’t picked their own pictures). I always like to have a unique design and make it as exclusive as possible. And I am also this way with fonts. I am not sure yet if there’s a reverse search for fonts, but I am looking into it. However, just like I recognized the lady in the first picture I showed you, I sometimes can recognize a font that has been used before.
I don’t want to close this post without thanking Teresa Gabelman for hosting stop #10 of my blog tour and for letting me write this post for you guys. It was really fun putting it together.
Now, I leave you with one more example of how good it is to do the reverse image search. Bye!