I recently received a message from a concerned reader that I was plagiarising another author’s book cover. This isn’t the first time I have received this kind of message or a comment on an ad, and I just want to clear something up. Many images that are used on book covers are what are called ‘stock’ photos. This means they have either been bought or are free to use for multiple people. So as in the examples I have given here, they look very similar because they are. This doesn’t mean either one of us has plagiarised the other, it just means that we both used the same stock photo for our books/ads.
I think it is admirable that readers will take the time to ensure they are protecting another author. I am all for it, but this might help explain why you will possibly see an image used multiple times. This is okay. It is not a breach of copyright. That said, if you have concerns it is always best to check. That way we can all double-check all is well.
If you have any questions about this, as always drop me a comment to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take care x