About Derek Murphy

Hey there! I'm a philosophy dropout and book cover designer with a PhD in Literature. After spending a decade as a starving artist, I vowed to create the life of freedom my restless spirit demands. I covet a cabin full of cats, where I can write young adult fantasy novels and do a few editorial critiques to pay for my cake addiction. Sometimes I live in castles. FREE GUIDE: Book Marketing is Dead.


  1. I would not have called the E.M. Knight cover a copy of the Bella Forrest one. They have some similar elements, but they are different graphics, moods, type, and layout. And as you say, the E.M. Knight one is better… Can’t speak for the book itself, as I haven’t read either one.

    I often use other covers for inspirations for my own. I keep a clip file and note the elements that I like. My covers are not straight copies, but I do look at other covers, published, pre-made, and templates for ideas.

    Would you PM me about the template packages you are talking about? I bought a template package this week and I hope it wasn’t one of the knock-offs… I would never knowingly support copying someone else’s work.

  2. I have a similar premade cover and believe a lot of it has to do with the cover designer.
    I purchased my cover from a lady that creates very similar covers (hundreds) and styles to the ones above (years ago.) and I am about to enter into a copyright infringe suit against an author that completely wrecked my book and story in the name of “fair use transformation” (We all know there is no “fair use” for movie producers when they upload their pirated version and compete against the original for sales wrecking it in the process)

  3. “…That was really stupid. Eventually, inevitably, the authors saw I was using their covers without permission and were rightfully pissed off…”

    They may have been pissed off, but your use of their covers was probably legal. US copyright law allows the use of copyrighted material for purposes of critique and commentary–which sounds like what you were doing–without permission from the creators and with no compensation required.

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