Monday, August 20, 2012

Covers of the future

I'm waiting at the moment with some anxiety to see the proposal for the cover of my new hardback.  Covers are a topic I've mentioned before but at the moment the question of effective design is much on my mind.

But perhaps the days of the persuasive cover are almost over.  Amazon UK recently announced that sales of e-books had overtaken sales of print books for the first time. The little oblong picture, barely bigger than your thumbnail, which represents your book is the most that half of all readers will see when they click on the Amazon page.  The sort of 'Oh, that cover looks interesting, I must check out the book' reaction that drives book purchase by browsing isn't going to happen in the same way any more.

It could, of course, be quite a relief for an anxious author (to take a random example like, say, me) who is almost always sure that the idea the artist and the marketing department have come up with isn't going to persuade anyone to take my book off the shelf.

So, has Kindle killed the book jacket?  Particularly nowadays when so many sales happen by way of recommendation or review on the Internet, a very high percentage of books are likely to be bought by people who already know what they're looking for and the little oblong won't matter.  It's only a portal, after all.

But technology never stands still.  Exciting, new-style covers are appearing now, interactive ones, with colours that ripple as you drag your cursor down them, or featuring numbers that give a countdown to the launch date, or with a surface that produces a splash when you put a finger-tip to a touch-sensitive screen.  Something that moves always attracts more attention than something that's static, so there's no doubt that having something like that attached to a book will be a distinct advantage - at least until everyone else has one too and the stakes are raised again.

I'm sure it's all terribly clever, but being a self-admitted neurotic author, it has occurred to me to wonder, will the person who clicks on the image want to read the book - or just play with the cover?

1 comment:

Charlotte Hinger said...

So far I've been very happy with my covers. Poisoned Pen Press does an outstanding job. But this is the first I've heard about interactive covers.

Wow! Whatever it takes.