Thursday, August 19, 2010

Do ebook covers really matter? Hell, yeah!

So I’m browsing the books over at Smashwords recently and decide to check out the Site Updates page.  In the August 14, 2010 post, Mark Coker, Founder and CEO of Smashwords, poses the following question (I assume it is Mark as his contact info is at the bottom of the page).  

“Still wondering if ebook covers really matter?”  

Um, o-kay.  As I pick my jaw up off the floor my initial reaction to that question is a big, fat, resounding…. DUH!  Of course they matter!   I was completely floored that the Founder and CEO of Smashwords would pose such a question.  I think ebook covers are essential and here are some reasons why:

Cover art is probably the first thing to attract a reader’s attention whether on a real or virtual shelf.  This may be even truer for the virtual shelf because you can’t pick the book up and look at it.  When I browse the new additions to Smashwords, my eye scans through the cover images first looking for one that pops out at me and screams “Look at me! You read this stuff!”  Even in a bookstore, the cover is the first thing that attracts my attention and makes me look more closely at the book.  Could you imagine walking into a bookstore and just seeing a bunch of blue covers with a title?  Yikes!

Cover art can give a reader some insight into the book.  Most fiction genres have a certain look and feel to the cover art.  If a cover is well done, a reader will know instantly if it’s a book in the genre/subject they read.

Readers often judge a book by its cover.  As an indie reader, it is an important piece of criteria for me to use when deciding if a book is worth a try.  The only criteria? No. An absolute indicator? No.  But it’s an important part of the decision.

It’s purty!  Yeah, simple as that.  I like well done covers because I like to look at them.  And if you’re browsing through your ereader of choice do you want to see just a plain cover with a title?  I don’t.
    So yeah, Mr. Coker, this reader thinks covers do matter… a lot.

    What about you?  Do ebook covers matter to you?  Are they important to your ebook browsing experience?  Are there other reasons why they matter or even why they don’t?  (Don't miss the poll on the sidebar for this topic.)


    1. Covers for ebooks absolutely matter. As a reader, I can tell you that if I don't like the way the cover looks, I'll probably not even read the description.
      And as an author, here's my experience: when I started selling my books on Kindle, I had some okay covers, but nothing really great. Then I learned Photoshop and made better covers (sexy, hunky ones!). The result? Within a month my sales tripled. So, yes, covers on ebooks matter. A lot.


    2. And your readers greatly appreciate those sexy, hunky covers! ;)

    3. I totally agree with you, Michelle. I can't tell you how many people have told me that they tried my books merely because of the cover art (yay, photoshop! LOL).
      So, yes, I think the cover is probably the most crucial thing about a book aside from the story and the writing.


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