The importance of ebook covers
Publishers and authors know how important cover design is to the success of a printed book, but ebook covers are often an afterthought. It wasn’t long ago that many ebooks, including titles from large publishers, had a simple text cover or no cover at all. Thankfully, most major ebook retailers would reject these ebooks now.
Like its print counterpart, an ebook’s cover is very important to its success. But some of the promotional work done by a printed book’s cover, such as endorsements, call-outs and subtitles, is now taken over by the ebook metadata. This is because:
- Most text is unreadable on cover images that are displayed in selling situations, such as ebookseller websites
- The text inside images is not searchable so the selling messages are lost when people are searching for ebooks
The ways and places that ebook covers are used differ from their bookshop counterparts but their impact on sales and quality ratings remains high.
An ideal ebook cover will frequently differ from its print counterpart designed to work well in-store because of these important differences in how and where they’re used. But many of the lessons from ebook covers can be applied to making better printed book covers that will improve their online sales.
Take a look at the email below. It was sent to members of the world’s largest social book site, Goodreads, which reaches more than 7 million book lovers making it a very important promotional opportunity. The thumbnail cover images had to do all of the promotional work (a common thing in the digital marketing world).
How many of these covers missed this great selling opportunity because you really couldn’t tell anything about them from their covers? The single biggest reason for their failure is that they were taken straight from their print book covers without any thought to how they would translate in the digital world.
So here are a few tips on ebook cover design, highlighting ways that it differs from printed book covers — and things that might help your print cover designs too.