Cover Design Part 2 – Online and eBook Sales

As a reminder, the poll to vote for the best cover design of my first novel will be open until midnight on Sunday, 6/17/2012.  However, it appears that the majority of my friends, family & acquaintances prefer to provide feedback through Facebook, LinkedIn, emails and text messages.  All feedback will be considered.  So please feel free to contact me in any format that makes you feel comfortable.

My blogging buddy and fellow SCBWI member, Sally Apokedak, posed a very valid question regarding the effect on cover design when the image is scaled much smaller.  Let me explain/expand a bit…

When a customer searches for books on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, IndieBound or other online booksellers/retailers, the results are displayed as a list of thumbnail images (approximately 84 x 118 pixels) along with the book titles, author names, prices and some indication of reader reviews.

Here’s my three cover design options at that smaller “search” size:


Does this tiny version of my book cover really need to entice consumers to “click in” to learn more about my book? I don’t have a good answer.  However, I will say this….Option B (middle) is sure looking much better than the other options right at this moment.

Moving forward with my online shopping scenario, a click on my book’s listing will take the consumer from the search/recommendations list to my book’s online retail page. The cover art jumps up to approximately on this page:

So…seriously.  How much does the cover design/art influence your final decision to buy a book online? I have no idea. Please tell me. Do you browse and buy books online? If so, how important is the cover art/design?  What makes you click in?  What makes you decide to purchase a book online?  Is it art?  Is it design?  Is it price point?  Is it reviews?


5 thoughts on “Cover Design Part 2 – Online and eBook Sales

  1. Okay, I just zipped over to vote on your cover. I have a scientific method: I squint to see which design pops more. (FYI, the one with white title). As for online shopping of books, I’d have to say that I don’t browse online until I get to the book I specifically went on line to purchase. Then, I’ll check for a used version or a paperback vs. digital vs. hardback. But online, I go to the book I’m hungering for. I browse in bookstores and libraries, FWIW, and though the cover may pull me in, it’s the inside blurb (or back of book blurb) that nails it. And now that I think of it, it’s probably more the title that draws me than the cover. And I really like your title!

    Good luck with your book!

    • TY! You make an excellent point…which is why my next post is all about generating those reviews. The whole thing feels like online dating…”Wily writer seeks many curious readers for brief yet passionate literary fling. Must love Star Wars.” (Heh.)

  2. I didn’t answer this right away because I was thinking about it. Like Cathy, I go looking for a specific book, usually, rather than browsing onlline. That said, I was going down the free list the other day and I found myself scrolling down and only stopping at covers that I liked. What made me like them was usually that they were light backgrounds with some recognizable picture even on the small cover. The ones I shot by were the dark ones I couldn’t see too well. I didn’t need to be able to read the titles on the cover, because I could read the title in the little space beside the book. But titles are more important to me on ebooks than covers, I guess. I love a nice cover, but when they are small, I just can’t tell enough about them for them to make much difference.

    And more important than titles is reviews, and friends’ recommendations.

    Your small cover, is actually pretty good, there. I can tell what the picture is, the contrast between the girl and the cover is good.

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