As I've mentioned I wander through Amazon and look through other top sales and high stars while reading reviews. It's a great way to spend a Friday night. Any way I'm clicking around and I see this:
But his gorgeous face had been cropped out and someone was using the rest as a cover for their self-published title. Now I know I've said repeatedly a good cover is important but STEALING is just plain fucking wrong.
For those of you who sadly do not know the man in the picture, his name is David Gandy and he's a pretty damn famous model. When I first saw the cover, (author will not be named) I wondered what the hell to do. From the look of the cover and others, she had many that looked the same, no face, hot body and it was clear it was a home made cover. Either that or a really shitty cover artist. Someone made the suggestion it could have been a stock photo but here's the thing-I've been on about six different stock photo websites and never once have I seen a David Gandy picture nor have there been other covers with a picture of him. Although the guy could make nice bucket of money doing the beefcake shots for branding or merchandising he hasn't. So taking a photo from a shoot he's done and using it as a cover or in other promotion for your book, website, blog, or anything else is stealing, Period. My thoughts were confirmed when I sent the cover to an email address for him. I got a response back in less than 24 hours thanking me and letting me know his assistant would forward it on to his legal team. Less than two weeks later the cover disappeared and the ebook as well, unless she retitled it and did a completely different cover.
Using any celebrity picture, model, or other picture you haven't paid for is stealing. If you're lucky you get a cease and desist letter from a lawyer, keep going down that road and you could be sued. Is it really worth taking a chance like that? Seriously? Stock photos are NOT that expensive. I know because of I've bought them, if my terminally broke ass can afford them the author could too, you can too.
It's not fair but it's true, self-published authors need to do it better, cleaner and without doing shit that is in the least bit shady or unethical or could get your ass sued. I get it, hot pictures of men get posted all over the place and I've tweeted more than my fair share of them and of David Gandy but sharing a picture is different than taking it and using it to promote your work.