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do covers matter for an ebook?

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Mythica
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Post by Mythica » Fri September 9th, 2011, 7:09 pm

[quote=""MLE""]Wow, Faith, the cover for Selene is eye-catching! I read all their comments and took notes. I'm from the 'cover-tells-a-story' school of thought, which is sadly outdated and does not work for thumbnails.

Time to re-think.

What about having several images prepared to market the book online? When everything is digital, you don't have to have just one cover--you can have several, one for each search demographic. Rather like they do different covers for different countries, according to the cultural messages each country reads into cover art.[/quote]

That might work for major publishers (after all, lots of republished books get new, updated cover art - Jean Plaidy for example, I think most of her books have had several different covers over the years) but for indie/self published authors, good cover art can get expensive and I doubt most people would have the budget for more than one cover.

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Post by LoobyG » Sat September 10th, 2011, 4:44 pm

[quote=""Mythica""]That might work for major publishers (after all, lots of republished books get new, updated cover art - Jean Plaidy for example, I think most of her books have had several different covers over the years) but for indie/self published authors, good cover art can get expensive and I doubt most people would have the budget for more than one cover.[/quote]

I haven't got an e-reader, but I'd say that they matter a lot less, because you're not looking at them all the time, like with a paperback. Cover art matters less to me now though, I'm more likely to buy a book with a good review/synopsis even if it does have an ugly cover. I've got a collection of HB Jean Plaidy titles and first eds with some absolutely gorgeous cover art :)

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Post by fljustice » Sat September 10th, 2011, 5:51 pm

[quote=""MLE""]Wow, Faith, the cover for Selene is eye-catching! I read all their comments and took notes. I'm from the 'cover-tells-a-story' school of thought, which is sadly outdated and does not work for thumbnails.

Time to re-think.

What about having several images prepared to market the book online? When everything is digital, you don't have to have just one cover--you can have several, one for each search demographic. Rather like they do different covers for different countries, according to the cultural messages each country reads into cover art.[/quote]

Thanks, MLE! I picked out the image, but the designer did all the hard work.

I like the idea of the different covers particularly to get around the boys/battles and girls/romance issue discussed in another thread. However, it probably wouldn't be practical. Expense, as Mythica pointed out; plus you'd have to submit different "editions" to the distributor which would mean different ISBNs, increased paperwork, dilution of reviews/ratings, etc. Maybe someday!
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LGWalker
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I think a cover does make a difference

Post by LGWalker » Sun September 11th, 2011, 1:53 am

Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I think the "book and the cover" does make a difference ... even when I have a recommendation from a trusted source, the cover speaks to me (or it doesn't). I suppose no cover is better than a "weird" cover when it comes to e-books, but I still think a cover that speaks is nothing but a positive ... am I a dinosaur?

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Post by lauragill » Sun September 11th, 2011, 2:12 am

[quote=""Mythica""]That might work for major publishers (after all, lots of republished books get new, updated cover art - Jean Plaidy for example, I think most of her books have had several different covers over the years) but for indie/self published authors, good cover art can get expensive and I doubt most people would have the budget for more than one cover.[/quote]

I did my own covers very inexpensively. You can make it work, if you're resourceful and thoughtful about it.

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Post by LoveHistory » Sun September 11th, 2011, 3:16 am

I seem late to this discussion but I actually read an article a month or so ago about the difference in designing for print and for eBooks. The cover image for an eBook has to impress with a much smaller surface area. It basically needs to be an icon for your book. Some companies/publishers are investing in two covers for each new book--one for the printed book and one for the eBook.

I thought that article made an interesting point. Not only does it matter in terms of standing out from the crowd of other eBooks in the market, but it also needs to stand out in the little library on the screen so that the reader's eye finds it easily.

So yes, I think covers do still matter for eBooks.

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Post by Mythica » Sun September 11th, 2011, 8:21 am

[quote=""lauragill""]I did my own covers very inexpensively. You can make it work, if you're resourceful and thoughtful about it.[/quote]

Some people can but not everyone has the technical know-how or a good eye for design.

[quote=""LoobyG""]I haven't got an e-reader, but I'd say that they matter a lot less, because you're not looking at them all the time, like with a paperback. Cover art matters less to me now though, I'm more likely to buy a book with a good review/synopsis even if it does have an ugly cover. I've got a collection of HB Jean Plaidy titles and first eds with some absolutely gorgeous cover art :) [/quote]

You may not look at the cover as often while reading it (though personally, I am an active user of Goodreads so I see the covers all the time) but like I say, it's still the first thing which catches my eye when I'm browsing in the Kindle store and therefore as a reader it's still vitally important to me that an ebook has a good cover.

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Post by lauragill » Sun September 11th, 2011, 6:56 pm

[quote=""Mythica""]Some people can but not everyone has the technical know-how or a good eye for design.



[/quote]

That was my very first attempt at doing a book cover in Photoshop. I don't have much technical know-how, either.

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Post by Mythica » Sun September 11th, 2011, 9:28 pm

[quote=""lauragill""]That was my very first attempt at doing a book cover in Photoshop. I don't have much technical know-how, either.[/quote]

It sounds like you're fairly intuitive with the software but not everyone is - my mom, for example - I love her but she doesn't have a clue with computers, lol. And some people have a good eye for design - yours looks good but I've seen some self published cover art which is pretty cringe-worthy and I think they really should have invested in a designer.

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Post by annis » Tue September 13th, 2011, 12:31 am

I love good cover art, but though I really enjoyed CD and back in the day LP cover art, I obtain all my music digitally now and the cover is irrelevant. Haven't gone the digital way for books yet, though I imagine the same will be true for me there. Though if people are just browsing at an online store, I can still see the point of having an eye-catching image.

We have a Kindle at work, but I hate it- it's so clunky and I'm a very fast reader so I seem to be endlessly scrolling, which is an irritation. Still saving for an iPad which I think will suit me better.
Last edited by annis on Tue September 13th, 2011, 12:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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