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Monday, 20 December 2010

Never judge a book by its eCover

An interesting article on The book designer website which was brought to my attention by Charles Whipple has got me thinking about how important a cover is to an eBook. I'm a huge fan of eBooks and at the moment read more books on my eReader than I do physical books, but face facts I am in the minority - though that may not be so for too much longer.

At the moment most eBook covers are merely reproductions from the physical book and that works fine but as colour becomes more and more common with eBooks maybe we will start to see covers created specifically for the digital medium. Take the cover for my own novel, A Policeman's Lot (left). I think this does the job - the photograph I took myself and the splattered blood was done by Solstice publishing inhouse and effectively sums up the kind of story contained within the eCovers. It's set at the turn of the last century in South Wales, a world famous coal mining area, and revisits the Jack the Ripper myth. The cover does the job, I think. And the book offers up a new and as far as I am aware unique answer to the Whitechapel killings of 1888 which remain unsolved to this day.

When we brought the cult western series Edge back into print via the medium of eBook we went for an all new cover by the great Tony Masero, a man who also drew many of the covers for the original paperbacks - in my opinion the new cover is a vast improvement on the original. Not that there was anything wrong with the original but this was published during another age when digital books were far far in the future. Both covers are reproduced here and I think you'll agree the new digital cover is a much more striking image.

So how important is the cover in the new digital world? Does it really matter if the book has a cover image or not? I mean you can't browse the book on the shelves of the local bookshop and are readers attracted by the cover image when they browse the digital stores?

A Policeman's Lot can be bought HERE

The all new cover with bells and whistles.
Edge is available in eBook HERE


David Cranmer said...

Many new books I buy on the Kindle begin with chapter one or the table of contents. I always scroll back and look at the cover image. I'm old school I guess. I'm surprised how many eBooks decide not to include them.

But I agree the image (cover) that represents the book is most important.

ChuckTyrell said...

Good summary, Gary. And I think covers are as important to eBooks as they are to print. The only difference is eBooks have no spines.

Next we'll have to get into how to promote your eBooks. Any ideas?


Gary Dobbs/Jack Martin said...

Chuck - I have a piece planned on promoting eBooks but like everyone else I'm floundering about.