23.6.15

Book Sins: The first deadly sin, Copycats and Doubles

book sins             the inferno


Midway on the journey of its life, Sarcasm & Lemons found itself within a bookshelf dark, for the literary path had been lost... 

Therefore, I think and judge it for thy best thou follow me, C.J., and I will be thy guide and lead thee hence through the underworld where thou shalt hear the desperate lamentations, shalt see the ancient pages disconsolate, who cry out each one for second printing.  

I take you now through the circles of the underworld to observe the greatest sins committed against books and book-kind.  Today, we arrive at the first circle, wherein lie the scoundrels who have perpetrated the deadly sin of... 


copycat-ing

Today, we observe those books that have appropriated too much from their forebears.  While their sins hath not merited the reproach of the law, their crimes of duplication here remain.  


title-cats

 vs. 

Sometimes, two people come up with the same idea.  Sometimes, one of them comes up with it in 2003 and has a wildly successful novel plus adorable-despite-being-cheesy movie starring Anne Hathaway.  Sometimes, one of them "comes up with it" 10 years later.  (This isn't the only culprit, either!  Apparently the devil also wears kilts, plaid, pinstripes, and spurs.) 

 vs. 

Copying a chick-lit phenom is one thing.  Copying one of the greatest stories ever written by anyone ever?  Shame!  Not to mention, you're shooting yourself in the foot if you're inviting an instant comparison with Edgar Allen Poe. 

 vs. 

I'm being lied to!  This is no Dickens!  Seriously, though, don't you realize that your book has the same title as a freaking classic?  Why would that ever be a good idea!?  I guess you can do anything when you're postmodern.    


cover-cats

 vs. 

One came out June 2nd.  The other comes out September 3rd.  One's about witches, the other about a boy who can't die.  But they both have eerily similar symbols, even fonts.  Coincidence?  The book-gods shall decide.  


 vs. 

It's not technically wrong to use the same cover model as someone else, in the same pose, but it doesn't help your case when someone clicks on your book mistakenly because they think it's another, more popular book.  And then they feel cheated and run away.  


 vs. 

I've posted this before, but it's so ludicrous that I have to share it again.  I know they're not exactly the same, but...are you kidding me?  If you squint a little, you might buy the wrong one. 


a sin of their own

 vs. 

I mean, Fifty Shades probably fits under a whole trove of sins.  But it's also the ultimate copycat.  It started as Twilight fan fiction, effectively stealing its characters and setting.  It even has a weirdly similar cover, just in case you forgot that it's secretly about Edward and Bella.  


Have you found any cover-cats lately?  Share the worst offenders here!  For more cover copycats, check out this extensive list of cover copycat sins.



10 comments:

  1. Ugh... 50 Shades. I think it's disgusted that she managed to make millions off of terrible fan fiction. We all could do that, but we don't because that's tacky. It could also be argued that Cassandra Clare's books were Harry Potter fan fiction or something. I've seen a few different places where it compares her published work and fan fiction. I remember seeing that she had a Ron/Ginny incest fan fiction named "The Mortal Instruments." I don't know, guess it's up to each person to decide.
    I've seen the two models on the Obsidian cover on SOOOO many covers. It's crazy.
    Love this post!

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    Replies
    1. It really irks me, particularly since the relationship is so abusive. I know that Cassandra wrote a lot of fanfiction, but I'd never heard that it made it into her published work. I guess if she drew elements, I don't mind. 50 Shades was literally the same story with vampiric details edited out.

      I know! Aren't there other cover models?

      Thanks! :D

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  2. The 50 Shades thing is pretty blasphemous as well as the multitude of other Twilight fan fiction that has now been published and has sold staggering quantities! Unreal!

    The other one I can come up with here is the couple on the cover of Easy by Tammara Webber (well that's where I saw them originally) -- I think they are on about 5 different book series including by Devoured by Emily Snow

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    Replies
    1. There's more of it!?

      Ooh, yeah, they're everywhere too. I wonder who had them first. I saw them on Easy first too, but they could predate it. It's kind of disappointing when that happens. Especially by bigger pubs.

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    2. Unfortunately. Some of the more "popular" ones are Beautiful Disaster, Gabriel's Inferno, all those Beautiful Bastard books, Poughkeepsie, The Submissive, The Unidentified Redhead, Wallbanger, etc., etc.

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    3. Those are ALL Twilight fanfictions!?

      Delete
    4. Oh god. It all makes sense now, why I felt such an instant loathing towards them... o_o

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  3. First of all, hi CJ! *waves* I am a new reader and follower of your blog!:)

    Ah, the couple from Obsidian. It's a good thing that they have a thriving career as book cover models, but it's a bit confusing, when they are on too many covers than acceptable. And sometimes, they don't even change the pose. *sighs*

    Wait a minute! Fifty Shades was a Twilight fanfic? How come I never heard of this before? And does that mean that Christian and Ana was supposed to be Edward and Bella all this time? OMG, that's creepy. *shudders*

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    Replies
    1. Hello! YAY happy dance thank you!

      Haha, I guess cover models are hard to come by. I suppose there are a limited number of cheap stock photos. It just seems a bit lazy.

      Yep, it was a crazy issue because of copyright stuff. That's why they're in Seattle. ;) Let it sink in.

      Delete

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