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