With the rising popularity of ebooks, traditional cover designers must face a new challenge: how to design a cover for a digital book? Unlike traditional paper print books, the digital ebook is a completely new product that comes with its own particularities. Let’s start by analyzing the main difference between the classic paper book and the ebook.
A digital book is quite different from a regular paper printed classic book. It has no form, no shape and for all purposes it is only a simple fancy text file that we can download and read on our computers. Now anyone may ask themselves, why do they need a book cover if it is not a real book? In the end, why do we keep making those covers and what purpose they serve in the new digital environment?
The answer to all these questions is quite simple. We have a cover on a digital book just because we need something to separate this text file from any other files that we can find on our computer. By starting the ebook with a cover illustration similar to a real paper book cover, we announce to the reader that this is not your average computer text file, this file is actually a digital book.
The ebook cover is just a convention that lets the readers know that they are about to read a book that happens to be in a digital format. Whether it uses a classic rectangular design or any other style, an ebook cover serves both a practical and a marketing purpose, just like a regular paper print book cover.
Steps to get the best eBook cover for your hard Work
Keep it clear
Unlike traditional paper covers, a digital cover must be simpler to read and understand. Regular book covers have plenty of printing space that allows their designers to place many elements. Starting with the title, tag line, quotes, and finishing with the cover image and other editorial details, each paper book cover contains a lot of information that helps the reader decide if the book is worth the time and money.
Unlike paper covers, digital book covers are rarely seen at full resolution, especially when on display on websites and online stores. With reduced size and minimal visibility, a digital cover has to keep all the design elements to a minimum.
This minimalistic approach brings the first real challenge to any ebook cover designer: how to design and create a cover that helps the book sell without using too many design elements and traditional book cover items. The best answer is to keep only what matters, meaning the book title and the author’s name followed by a great illustration that helps the future reader to form a good impression about the contents of the book.
Make it smaller
While all regular paper book covers have the luxury to have the same size all the time, a virtual book cover must be as versatile as possible. This is especially important when the book is on display on various publishing websites such as Amazon or iBook store. Another important factor to consider is that in most cases the search engines display an even smaller image of the book cover whenever a potential buyer searches for it.
Designing the cover as small as possible brings a lot of extra benefits, especially when considering that most publishing websites use their own search engines that usually display only a tiny thumbnail of the actual cover. Without a good, minimal design, your cover will be extremely hard to read and understand and it will not attract any customers to your ebook.
Another aspect to remember is that some search engines used on older websites cannot even display large image covers. Whenever they find a cover that is difficult to scale down, those search engines skip the book altogether or display only the title and a placeholder image. This is surely not what you want for your ebook.
To make your cover design as compatible as possible with the current search engines, take your time and scale down the image to the size shown by similar titles on Amazon book search results. A good ebook cover design must be capable of sending out a good image, even when scaled down to thumbnail size.
Part two, will be published on the 22nd of December, you’ll find it here