The importance of ebook covers

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ublishing Perspectives has an article discussing the importance of ebook covers.

And in today’s online world, a book’s packaging -– binding, paper stock, etc. –- is thrown out the window. Online, the only distinguishing feature is the cover. With online book sales growing, and e-books taking off, cover design has become more important.

“If an e-book cover appeals to someone and speaks well on the book’s behalf,” said Chris O’Byrne who heads up The E-book Editor, “I think it could have a huge impact on whether a reader buys it or not.

This meshes with another article they have today on Who Are the Best Service Providers for Self-Publishing?


6 Comments on The importance of ebook covers

  1. I have to agree. Now that I have more ebooks than I can possible read in my lifetime, I’m much more discriminating that I used to be.

    I look at how professional the cover is, read the reviews (if any), and read the description. If the cover is amateurish and the description poorly written, I won’t get the book, no matter how interesting the premise.

    I’ve discovered many great indie authors who do a professional job of presenting their ebooks. I’ve also read a number that are quite poorly done. If you’re going to take the time to write a book, take the time to finish it in a professional manner.

  2. As Common Sense pointed out–quite well I might add–the average consumer looks at the cover as not only an indication of the content but also as a reflection of the quality of that content. It is sad that books are (and will likely always be) largely judged by their appearance, like almost everything else for sale is currently judged. And if I may make a heartfelt request to cover makers, please for goodness sake leave off using the Papyrus font. Please.

  3. On the device I use to read books, the cover image is approximately 1/4″ by 3/16″.

    I don’t really care what the cover image looks like. I do not buy books because I like the cover art. (Heck, any good piece of cover art will be available on its own, for free, as a screenshot somewhere.)

  4. I think “huge impact ” is overstating it… but I believe covers will always matter. Not in a psychologically intentional way – but subliminally.

  5. Naomi Theodore // October 11, 2011 at 11:36 am //

    I definitely agree; covers are the first thing you see—the first thing that draws you in. When you look at someone, the first thing you see is appearance. You may no nothing about them, other than what they are wearing or how they look. This can speak volumes. Someone wearing old, tattered clothes with unkempt hair and dirt under the fingernails speaks to you that this is someone who may not be very well-off, or maybe they’re doing yardwork 😉 On the other hand, you see someone wearing a long white coat with scrubs underneath, you assume they’re probably in the medical business. Someone wearing a rock-band t-shirt with jeans, a business suit, it doesn’t matter. What you see on the outside is the first step of finding out about a person. The same goes for cover design. When you see the cover, it can tell you what the book may be like, or how much effort was put into it.

  6. Naomi – I don’t believe it is anything like that rational. It’s more like the cover of a cereal box, of a chocolate snack bar, a CD album when we are browsing the shelves.

    There is some rational thinking going on on the conscious level but most of it is unconscious and emotional. depending on our ‘taste’ in reading, how we feel about ourselves and the kind of reading we do … etc etc.

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