Who Wore it Better?

Who Wore it Better?

Or, My Literary Idol Used the Same Cover Art…

A Re-Share for Julie Valerie’s Hump Day Blog Hop!

A funny thing happened to me while I was searching for “Margaret Atwood” on Kobo:

Image.ashxAnyone who has known me for the past thirty or so years knows I’m obsessed with Margaret Atwood. That Surfacing still surfaces in me sometimes to unhinge me. That The Handmaid’s Tale blew my mind, and is always a handy reference for when people don’t treat women so nicely. That Cat’s Eye still creeps into my consciousness years after I’ve read it.

I’m a FAN.

And anyone who knows me, or knows of me, essentially anyone I’ve begged, cajoled, harassed, annoyed to buy my first novel over the past three years (when I initially self-published it and then again when it got picked up by Diversion Books), probably sees this when they close their eyes and someone says my name:

Rita Hayworth's ShoesWell, I suppose it was bound to happen someday, huh? With stock art being so accessible to everyone. I’m actually shocked it hasn’t happened yet!

But Margaret Atwood!

Such big shoes to fill… An author in whose footsteps I’ve always wanted to follow…

Okay, you get it. So what now?

What’s an indie author of quirky women’s fiction to do when the indelible imagery of her first wacky book will now no longer be fully hers? Now that a superstar, a goddess of letters, will also be using it? What’s a girl to do?

Here’s what her story’s about (Byliner; May 2013):

Image.ashxThe internationally bestselling diva of dystopias is back with a new installment of “Positron,” her darkly comic Byliner Serial about life in a Big Brother America of the near future.

In the seemingly well-adjusted world of Consilience, it’s dawning on the residents that they’ve thrown away the keys to more than their ragged former lives outside the high walls of their gated community. When they volunteered for this new social experiment, they also gave away the keys to their destinies, even their hearts.

Ask Charmaine and she’ll tell you her husband is a dead man. Sure, marriage can be murder, but when Charmaine plunged a deadly hypodermic needle into Stan, because it was part of her job–dispatching undesirables in Positron Prison–Stan survived. His former jailer, a libidinous security chief named Jocelyn, had switched out the death drugs for knockout drugs and drafted him into a plot to undo the increasingly sinister social scheme. In so doing, she promoted him from her sexual plaything to full-blown subversive. The underground is housed in a manufacturing plant of one of Consilience’s most successful products: sexbots, made to order.

Love, however, is not made to order, and despite a Darwinian labyrinth of betrayal after betrayal, including wild extramarital encounters and, yes, murder, Stan can’t stop thinking about Charmaine. Not only because someone has requested a sexbot replica of her but because, well, she’s home in a world without homes. In “The Heart Goes Last,” one of Atwood’s darkest and most deviously entertaining inventions yet, the human heart proves more resilient and true than any mail-order machine.

And here’s what mine’s about (Diversion Books; May 2012):

Rita Hayworth's ShoesAmy Miller gets dumped on her wedding day and everyone knows it’s for the best her relationship with David had eaten away at her for years. Except for Amy… When her best friend, Jane Austen-Rabinowitz, and Jane’s sagacious six-year-old daughter, Zoe, convince Amy to treat herself to an extravagantly priced, super-cute pair of shoes, which purportedly once belonged to a siren of the silver screen, she balks at first, but their allure soon wears her down. Once they are hers, her life turns around. She gets refocused on her career and meets a true kindred spirit, the also-jilted English professor, Decklin Thomas. She’s not attracted to Deck at first. But when circumstances lead to them spending more time together, they bond, and Amy starts to believe she may have found her soul mate. But when Deck’s former wife goes missing, again, the perfect romance may not be what it seems…

Sparkly and witty as a 1940s screwball comedy, and filled with quirky characters and lots of delightful surprises, Rita Hayworth’s Shoes is a story of bouncing back, a heartwarming and potentially heartbreaking romance, and even a mystery rolled into one fun, hilarious page-turner.


So I gotta ask… Just like the magazines do…

Who wore it better?

Please leave me a comment and let me know what you think. I promise, I won’t be too devastated if you like hers better. I mean, come on… She’s freaking Margaret Atwood!  My favorite Canadian writer just after Samantha Stroh Bailey. 🙂 (Whose cover looks nothing like ours. But who gets to be in this article because in all honesty, she’s the one who found the Atwood cover.)

FLNov22Bigpaperback But Ms. Atwood, if you’re reading, I’m sure Sam wouldn’t mind sharing jacket art with you, too. I, for one, am honored to finally  have something of mine that compares to yours!


Like to party? Hop along the Hump Day Blog Hop on Julie Valerie’s Book Blog. Click here to return to the Hump Day Blog Hop.


162762_2662032389151_5076510_nLet’s connect! Find me on Twitter and Facebook, and email me: francine@francinelasala.com.

27 thoughts on “Who Wore it Better?

  1. Honestly (and I’m not just saying this because we’re glasses soul-mates), I like yours better. Your font fits with the image so much better. It’s like someone pieced her cover together like one would choose foods from a mix-n-match menu… “Choose a font from list A, an image from list B, and a complimentary review quote from list C.” Ick. Yours has flow.


    1. I totally agree with Brea, yours looks professionally designed and hers looks like a pic dumped on a pro forma cover, which considering who she is, is slightly dicouraging. I’d buy yours (and will when I’ve got money) but I’d not be tempted by hers! Xx


  2. OMG – how unbelievable! Margaret-freaking-Atwood?! (Have you read Alias Grace? One of my all-time fave books. Haven’t read Surfacing but also enjoyed THT, and LOVED The Blind Assassin, wasn’t crazy about Oryx & Crake.) Anyway… much as I love both you and M.A., I gotta say YOU wore it better. I like how yours has a better color scheme and font that enhance the photo rather than kinda clash with it. I hate to say it… but hers looks a bit …. dare I say it… amateurish… (Gasp. I can’t believe i just wrote that…)


      1. I just said to Tracie, I do hope they change it for her. I’m having a little fun with this post, I have no issue with us both using the same stock photo. That’s the price you pay! I just don’t think this is the best image for her book. (Where in my case, it’s so appropriate it’s teetering on being too “on the nose.”) 🙂


    1. Her books have haunted my brain for years. There are so many that just grabbed me and never let me go. She is at the top of my list of fave authors, which is why I couldn’t be more amused by this. But I do think her publisher owes her a better cover. They should call my awesome designer, Tricia McGoey!


  3. My question – Why the heck is Margaret Atwood using stock art on her books? She has a publisher, right? So, why doesn’t an author of her caliber rate having original cover art? Furthermore, I don’t really understand the tie-in between the woman in the red shoes to the blurb for The Heart Goes Last. There’s nothing dystopian or menacing about that image. I’m just baffled. And ditto what Brea said about the color scheme and fonts matching the artwork better on your cover Francine. That image of the woman in the red heels will ALWAYS mean Rita Hayworth’s Shoes to me. You used it first, babe!


  4. I agree with the comments above. With me it’s not so much the font in Atwood’s, (although I would prefer something else), but the colors chosen in the bottom portion of the cover don’t really gel with the image as Jackie mentioned. Maybe it was intentional, to contrast the cold, menacing mood of the social experiment vs. the world the characters lost, but Francine, yours is way more aesthetically pleasing.


  5. I just can’t imagine that art suiting the mood for anything she has written, unless she is totally reinventing herself. It is perfect for your cover, and too stylized/light-hearted for hers. You win, hands down, and leg up.


  6. It´s always a pleasure getting that feeling of being connected with someone you admire, even if it´s only using the same cover art – maybe you and Atwood just think alike?


  7. OMG! What a coincidence! I think your cover matches the title perfectly, but I haven’t read either (yet) so can’t really comment on the actual books.


  8. This is so crazy – And I think this story is going to go viral and get coverage in the press. You might consider getting yourself prepped for the attention that will soon come your way. I read your blog post to my husband and his jaw dropped. We both agreed that after reading both book blurbs – yours absolutely matched the cover art.


  9. So, my two favorite authors of all time used the same cover art? Just goes to show you are both geniuses…. and I have good taste in authors.


  10. WOW! How wild and wacky. I mean, Margaret Atwood?! It does seem incredibly odd that she’s getting a stock image. Apart from the yellow box in the upper right corner, I don’t mind her cover. I could see it fitting with the story and I think it’s very cool how you both used the same image and then either darkened or lightened it to fit the tone or the feel of the book. I agree with Julie – better get ready for the attention. How exciting! 🙂


  11. I didn’t even realize you used stock art so, had I discovered this on my own, I would have been screaming “copyright infringement! copyright infringement!” (I’m an Intellectual Property Specialist/author after all…). I like yours better -both the cover itself and the book blurb 🙂


  12. Yours, yours, yours, totally yours. The colors of the other bits you added go perfectly with the image; the whole thing is cohesive and looks professionally designed. Hers (forgive me, Ms. A) is a mishmash with no common theme. I don’t understand why a publisher would do that to a famous author – with all the resources at their disposal, I can’t imagine how this got approved.


  13. I have loved this jaw-dropping blog post since I first read it in May 2013. Amazing.

    Thank you so much for the re-share and for joining the Hump Day Blog Hop.

    I have told and retold this story so many times. Crazy that this happened to you. But so cool at the same time.

    This is an odd, odd world, eh?


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