First, my apologies for missing two weeks in a row. The first time, I was just off by an day. Last week, I just entirely forgot. Things have been crazy busy. I sent Book two of the Sinclair Sisters series — A Notorious Ruin — out for a first round read. Then I started writing a My Immortals novella, currently titled Dead Drop. It’s for a paranormal anthology and I have to write really really fast. I am on track so far. But I have to keep to a very aggressive word count. Whew!
I’ve been thinking about covers lately. Looking at lots of images and covers and I’ve been thinking. In the traditional publishing world, if you were selling well enough, you might get a step-back cover. Where the front cover might be a little short width-wise but underneath is more cover and the two make a cohesive image. When you open the top cover, you see a bigger image. I liked step backs. Most of the time, they are very pretty and fun and the artwork is nice.
I’ve not seen anyone doing the equivalent in eBooks. There are a bunch of ways to deal with expanding out an images that’s probably more complicated than it’s worth — except, maybe not. In the hands of the right artist it could be neat. Plus, there’s always the simple thing of just adding another image. A super duper sexy one (if appropriate) or maybe just a beautiful illustration. I’m talking just about some extra bling in the book, not turning into an graphic novel or something.
So, I ask you, assuming you are not making an author-based decision, what kind of covers do you like? What are the things that appeal to you? Colors? Details? Couples? Just the guy? Just the girl? Potted plants?
Assuming an additional image(s) in an eBook didn’t pose a technical annoyance to you (slowing down the device or what have you), how might you feel about a second image inside the book — step-backish in that it’s kind of a cover enhanced? What if there were an illustration?
Let me know in the comments.
Oh! Hey! Also this!
If you are reading this on April 30, it’s my birthday! I’ll send a commenter a surprise thing. Not worth more than forty bucks US, because that’s my budget. It’s a surprise because I just realized tomorrow is my birthday and so I’m not prepared. International is OK.
No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Must be 18 to enter. My relatives are not eligible to enter. If I had employees they wouldn’t be eligible either. Winner chosen at random from among the commenters who comment BEFORE midnight April 30th, 2014 Pacific Time. This blog is in the Eastern Time zone, so technically you have until the blog says 2:59:59 AM May 1, 2014.
For me personally, I like couples on a cover. Even if they aren’t all over each other. Silhouettes are great too, they speak so much. firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ve been reflecting on covers for ebooks lately, because it is so difficult to actually get to the cover on my new Kindle Paperwhite. The default page on opening an ebook for the first time is the first page of the book (termed “Beginning”) in the “Go to” index). If I try to use that index to go back to the cover, more often than not it does not appear as an option. So I have to page back one by one through the pages of copyright, other books, etc. to get to the cover. Of course, it only shows in greyscale on the Paperwhite, anyway.
I’ve been concluding that ebook covers are only really relevant for those who read on computers or tablets with colour (and then I suspect they have a similar difficulty in getting back to the cover on e.g. the Kindle Fire) and, of course, for marketing. That last can’t be underestimated, and I think it is vital that the author’s name is large and clear (as it is for your books) so that it is visible and legible in thumbnail size e.g. on Goodreads.
But given all this, I suspect that a second cover, the equivalent of a step-back, would be wasted. It would be seen rarely, and certainly not every time someone opened the ebook (as it is on paperbacks).
On a side-note, I wish that the Beginning on which the ebook opens was the dedication, where there is one. I always like to read them!
Oh, and Happy Birthday!!
First, happy birthday!
Second, I agree with HJ about cover art, or lack thereof, on Kindles. Given how important covers are to me, I gave up reading on my Kindle because of it.
As for what I like to see on a cover, some of my favorite models would be nice. 😉
In the wild west of self pub, you could set your eBook to open to the “step back”, so that might be a nice Easter Egg kinda thing for readers (but I’m not sure it’s worth the trouble and expense). I think step backs in print were mostly to get the reader to crack the physical book open. They lured you in. Not sure they’d work that way in eBooks.
For Ebooks it might be nice to have an illustration or two, rather than a cover. It could be a delicious surprise!
I like shiny, colorful step backs that show the couple, perhaps partly dressed, and a colorful bit of cloth that they are reclining upon. It can be a picnic blanket, a couch, or something else– but not a bed because that’s just too much of a cliché.
The location and colors of clothing should hint at their personalities.
First, Happy and joyous Birthday 😉
Now about covers, I can go many ways and usually am happy with them, but I do have a pet peeve and that’s cutting off of heads and leaving me to stare at clothes. Another peeve of mine is bad direction that the model’s are given while posing. I hate it when hero/heroine stares at me. I would rather they look at each other. Jon Paul Ferrara is one of the best out there and his covers are truly amazing. His direction is impeccable and the models all have the ‘look’ of the period they are portraying. They don’t look like ‘actors posing’ but the characters I can imagine in the book. I recently saw a cover that was laughable [famous author] and I showed it to my husband asking him what he thought of it and he just shot it out the first thing it came to his mind, saying it looks like Ron Jeremy [the porn star] posing. The picture was very poorly edited with visible hair lines, I mean seriously bad work.
Other than that, I’m pretty cool about them 🙂
I like covers with a clinch on them, this shows clearly that it’s a romance. I also like both people to have their whole heads, I’m not sure why it’s become popular to cut people’s heads off, it’s just wrong. I wouldn’t mind step backs and illustrations, it’s all good fun. Oh, hey! Also, Happy Birthday! 😀
Happy birthday! I’m pretty picky about covers. I think it’s the bad taste left over from all the Fabios I used to see in the grocery store as a kid, but I really prefer everyone to be fully clothed on the cover of a book. You wouldn’t have your manly ducal portrait painted half naked in the time period, so why appear that way on a book? Other peeve: covers that look nothing like what happens in the book. But you’re right, the flaps are cool.
As a reader–I was so glad when I got my kindle & didn’t have to look at covers anymore. The less attention I pay to covers, the happier I am.
On the other hand, now that I’m thinking about what I want my own covers to look like, I’m pretty obsessed & this comment thread is deeply fascinating to me.
Also: happy birthday!
Thanks for all the birthday wishes!! I love the answers so far. Very interesting.