Topic Tuesday: How Important is Your eBook’s Cover?

From time to time, in lieu of a Debut Author Q&A, I’ll be featuring what I’m calling (at least for now) Topic Tuesday posts where I ask three authors, many of them already profiled here, to weigh in on a specific issue with regard to publishing.

For our first installment, we’re discussing book covers. I know, when I browse the stacks at Barnes & Noble, a book cover plays very heavily into whether or not I purchase a book (yes, I know… apparently, I judge a book by its cover). But what about ebooks? How important is a book cover to an ebook? Just as? More so? And are there different considerations for an ebook cover, since readers don’t browse ebooks in the way they do physical books? And can you ever really KNOW how influential a book cover has been in the sale of that book? Hmmm… For some answers, I asked authors:

In terms of getting noticed and garnering sales, how important would you say your book cover art was for your ebook?

Here’s what they had to say. And please feel free to offer your insights in the comments below. I’d love to hear them!

“Oh, yeah – cover art is important, especially for ebooks (for any book, really). The adage is true: people do judge books by their covers, and with so many books out there for people to choose from, poor cover design is one easy way for folks to quickly dismiss a book without further consideration. So it’s possible someone could be missing out on a great book because a cover is crap. Of course, now we have to discuss the definition of “crap.” It’s entirely subjective, although cover designers…

will certainly point to some best practices for design. The biggest mistake I see authors make (or their representatives) is designing covers for physical bookstore shelves as opposed to virtual ones. In other words, the cover has to still look good and be readable in thumbnail size since people will be browsing on their phones, their e-readers, online etc. I do think my covers have influenced sales (although I don’t have any scientific proof to back this up). I’ve had readers comment on some of my covers (like the one for my short story, “A Touch of Charlotte,” with the possessed looking baby).”
Robin Bradley, author of What Happened in Granite Creek

“A compelling cover design that captures your story and genre while still standing out and being special is a must! The cover and blurb power combo will get readers to pick you your book; your writing should get them to see it through to the end. I know this especially well since I decided to redo my original cover for Farsighted about three months after publication. People noticed in a good way!”
Emlyn Chand, author of Farsighted and president of Novel Publicity

“In my opinion, cover art is one of the most effective marketing tools an author can use.  You brand yourself with that image and it will be seen over and over again in conjunction with whatever promotion you do for your work.  When you release your first book (as I just did), your name means nothing to readers, so you have to do something to grab people’s attention and let them know exactly what you’re trying to sell.  I was fortunate to have found a reasonably-priced stock image that nicely conveyed the setting and premise of my novel and I’ve received many comments from readers who’ve said that the cover art was what made them stop and take a closer look at Blame It on the Fame.”
Tracie Banister, author of Blame It on the Fame

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6 thoughts on “Topic Tuesday: How Important is Your eBook’s Cover?

  1. Had I known I could have been quoted, I would have been more eloquent in my email- For the cover art – its super important. Not where you want to skimp. It sells your book

  2. Agreed 100%. Cover art is the first thing that people see, one way or the other. It takes a lot to undo a first impression, and a cover is a quintessential part of the entire package of “first impression” that a newly released book presents.

    I have varied covers within my series, and my artist for the first two books had approached me about redesigning the covers. While I like these just fine, and the readers enjoy them too, if she feels that there’s room for change, then I’m more than willing to see what she’s got.

  3. Thanks for the article. While scrolling through the catalog of virtual covers I took notice that some were dynamic and the titles were readable. Then there were those with pictures too detailed, which became muddied when made thumbsize, and titles too small to be read. When enlarged, some of these covers looked great and might have been successful on the shelf. But eBooks are in a virtual thumbnail size world. Like Tom Thumb and Thumbalina. What works for us in the big size world doesn’t work when very tiny.

    • Agreed! It’s a tall order too. Your cover has to be dynamic enough to get someone to notice and click on it, and then attractive and compelling when it’s larger-size. Thanks for the comment!

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