It's no big secret that I'm *somewhat* of a cover snob. Even Indies (myself included) really need to have a bang up cover. So we authors go out, hire ourselves a kick-butt designer and then set about to find the perfect picture. Assuming you can't commission your own portrait, that means you start trolling for stock photography.
And therein lies the rub... when it comes to stock art, there just aren't that many choices for YA. Especially pictures that have a mystical aspect to them. Don't believe me? Check this out (these covers, by the way, are what started me on this tangent).
And if the big houses are having to use the same art as each other, you can bet the Indies are having to do it too. For example, I'd noticed that someone used the same photo as my friend G. P. Ching did on her cover of Soulkeepers. When I wrote her to ask the name of that "other" book, it turns out there was more than one. There were MANY.
And the same is true even for art. I couldn't believe it when I saw the cover from Brown Eyes. Now, in all fairness, I don't know that Jennifer's book came out first, but let's just say I saw it around WAY before I ever saw the other cover.
But then again... no one owns exclusive rights to stock art. That's why it's "stock." So why should art be any different than photography? Especially when the pickings are so slim?
Which gets back to the point of this post: if you're a photographer, know a photographer, or have a friend who posts on deviantart.com, etc., PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE for the love of all that's holy encourage them to make their art available as stock. The age of the Indie author is rising and we NEED more choices. If you photographers don't help us out, you'll be seeing lots more of this guy!