Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Book By Its Cover

Yes, people judge books by their covers.

And titles.

And blurbs.

And the first 300 words.

Words mean things. In most cases words mean many things (silly old bear). And how they're displayed, interact with their environment, as well as the sentences they make all work together to create a first impression upon a potential buyer that is hard to shake.

Because of the e-revolution in publishing, thumb sized covers are becoming critical for gaining readers' interest as they browse online bookstores.

A few points I've picked up to create a better ebook cover include:
  • simple image or composite that is clear
  • readable typography, large enough font
  • title and byline, and very little other text
  • branding images/fonts for books in series
Updates (suggested in comments):
  • genre appropriate (image and font match style of book)
  • continuity with the print edition, but necessarily different
Anything I'm forgetting? What works for you?

Also, check out this month's submissions to Joel Friedlander's e-Book Cover Design Competition. Some pretty good ones there and some, when judged in light of the above points, are, um, not so good.

The one to the left didn't win, but in my opinion, was the best of the bunch. It was designed by Damonza, who has this to say about what makes a quality fiction cover. (BTW, there's a cover two above Arson at Friedlander's that had me saying wow. I'll leave it at that.)

Next time I'll talk about titles, blubs, and the first 300 words. In the mean time, talk to me about your take on all this. I'm interested.


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