It ain’t plagiarism if you crop it


March 27, 2008 by Tracey S. Rosenberg

My mom used to read lots of mysteries when I was growing up (which is, I think, why I started reading Ngaio Marsh – though it was years before I knew how to pronounce it[1]), and I remember her bemoaning the fact that she’d be reading a series, and then the publisher would change all the covers and she’d pick up one she’d already read because she didn’t recognize that she’d already read it.

Well, these days, her problem might be more that she misses out on a book because she assumes she recognizes it, but doesn’t. In other words: cover art gets used and reused.

Two links I have shamelessly borrowed from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books: Reusable Cover Art (largely historical novels) and two pages of copycat mystery covers from The Rap Sheet, here and here.

Oooh, and I’ve seen that Emma Hamilton picture on the cover of another book! (Unsurprisingly, another biography of Emma Hamilton.)


[1] Pronounced ‘marsh’. Oh, you mean Ngaio: NYE-oh.


2 thoughts on “It ain’t plagiarism if you crop it

  1. kicking_k says:

    I’m less surprised with the historical novels/biography. I suppose if you want to write about Emma Hamilton, there are only so many pictures of her. I wonder if this will get better now that everyone is so constantly photographed, or will there be a few iconic shots of a person that are used over and over?

    I suspect the latter, somehow.

    Have you seen this?

    There’s a link to the staircase of books, so I suppose you have.

  2. Karie says:

    I’ve heard Kiwis going “Ny-ree”. It’s possibly a bit like the street where we live: there are about three or four different ways of pronouncing it.

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Tiny bio

I live, work, and write in Edinburgh. I travel to other places as much as I can. To contact me, email writingmostly at gmail dot com.


CURRENTLY READING: The Ginseng Hunter by Jeff Talarigo.

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