Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Is a stolen picture worth a thousand stolen words? UPDATED

I am VERY pleased to report that the following situation is in the process of being rectified.  As you'll see in the comments below, author Jillian Eaton is correcting the photo credit for the cover of her book.  I thought about taking this whole post down, but decided to leave it as a reminder to ALL AUTHORS that the people who create our covers are artists, too, and deserve full credit for their contributions.  I'm also leaving it as an example of how gracious someone can be in admitting a mistake.  We all make them; the first step to fixing them is to admit it.

Thank you, Jillian.

This breaks my heart.

Please note the watermark at the bottom of this photo.  If you go there, you'll find that the photo is copyrighted by Konradbak.  A little bit of research will tell you Konrad Bak is a Polish photographer.  His pictures are available at Dreamstime, at Shutterstock, at iStock, at 123rf, and a bunch of other royalty-free stock photo sites.

Now look at this:

That pretty much gives you the information as to where this is from.  I don't think I need to add the link.

And if you "look inside" that Kindle edition, you'll find this:

"Cover art photography courtesy of Helena Beumer.  All rights reserved."

Well, at least it didn't say (c) Helena Beumer. . . . .

Photography is covered by copyright protections, too.  I know most writers don't want their words stolen, but shouldn't they be a little more respectful of their fellow artists?


  1. I'm a former photographer, current cover artist, and guy who just plain cares a lot about respecting copyright, but I think this is more an error of the author forgetting to update her manuscript.

    The original photo the author chose for the cover was from a photographer named Helena Beumer who posts at At some point after that, the author switched to the Konrad Bak picture (which I'll assume she bought, since she mentions stock site shopping in other posts). I'm guessing she simply forgot to remove or change the earlier attribution. You might try dropping her a note to let her know, I'm sure she'd appreciate it.

    Unfortunately photo theft is all too common, and authors are among the worst offenders, which never ceases to surprise me. Even though this appears to be a case of misattribution rather than theft, I'm really glad to see you speaking out in defense of respecting the people who make beautiful book covers possible.

    1. Thank you, Michael, for letting me know about the earlier edition of the book. I will definitely post to Ms. Eaton's site and let her know. As someone who has absolutely no artistic talent whatsoever, I am in absolute awe of the magicians who create our cover art: the photographers, painters, graphic designers, and the folks who create the gorgeous fonts. They -- YOU -- deserve every bit of credit.

  2. Linda,

    This is Jillian, the author of A Brooding Beauty. This is not a case of theft, but rather of changing picture and completely forgetting (which I accept FULL responsibility for) to update the copyright on my manuscript. I will rectify this IMMEDIATELY with full apologies to everyone it offended. It was never my intention to give the wrong person credit. Helena Beumer gave me her permission to use the first cover photo I used for ABB, and when I purchased the beautiful photograph I am now using from I made the grave error of not changing the copyright page. I did purchase the photograph from Big Stock, and was told once doing so I would legally be able to use it as cover art for my book. THANK YOU for bringing this to my attention! I feel like an idiot, but am so glad you pointed it out. I will update the correct copyright tonight and it will take effect within 24 hours.