Saturday, September 17, 2016

Books Are Judged By Their Covers or Are They Judged By Their Thumbnail Images?

My first attempt at a novel is nearly half finished. With over 20 non-fiction books under my belt, I've decided to venture into fiction and I'm slowly working my way through my check list of tasks that have to be finished in order to meet my target publication date.

Having a cover designed is my most important, and probably expensive, task to complete. It doesn't matter how well written my novel is nor does the book's interior design matter if nobody buys the book. No buyers equals no readers and no income for me as an author of fiction.

I have invested quite a bit of time examining covers of books in genre's similar to mine. What I have found coincides with what the experts say. A great cover generates interest to investigate the book further to see if you might be interested. Even more important, the cover must look great as a thumbnail image on the retailer's website, be it the all-important Amazon or other popular ebook retail platforms.

Going through my collection of over 700 ebooks on my iPad, I discovered I liked almost every cover design of very book I have purchased. In the rare instance of a book with a cover I didn't like, I found there was a specific reason I obtained the book, namely it was non-fiction and I wanted the content provided in the book. 

In the case of fiction books, I liked every single cover.

I'd never taken the time to examine all of the covers of the fiction books I've collected before. Going through the covers a second time, I looked for novels I'd started by not finished. A quick read of the first few pages again invariably reminded me why I didn't finish the book.

The fact remained though, the cover had enticed me enough to eventually download a book that did not hold my interest.

I spent nearly an hour on several occasions examining covers on Amazon. I picked a genre and went down the page, examining every cover of each book. Sadly, what I discovered was a lot of covers that looked terrible, or uninteresting, as a thumbnail image. When clicking through to the product details of each book, I was able to see a much larger version of the cover. Sometimes a cover that held no attraction for me as a thumbnail attracted my attention when I was able to see a larger version.

Now that I am in the process of searching for cover designers, one of the things I am going to insist on is that the cover design look just as good, if not better, as a thumbnail image as it does as a full size cover.

It would be a shame if I write a fantastic novel with a great cover design and it never sells because the cover lacks enough appeal as a thumbnail image to draw readers to the product page.