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How Important Are Cover Images for Ebooks?


In the world of digital books, is the cover as important as it once was? After all, most of the time the consumer isn’t going to see the cover any larger than an inch tall in the ebookstore and in her ebook reader’s library, so is it still worthwhile to spend the money on a professionally designed cover?

While some will say that a professional ebook cover isn’t necessary, it is indisputable that particularly for fiction, poorly designed ebook covers lose sales for authors.

Because the ebook marketplace is still in its infancy, there are a large number of poorly written and edited books listed on Amazon and other book marketplaces. An ebook reader who has been burned by a badly written ebook once before will begin to look for signs that the author has put some effort into their work… one of the best visual clues a consumer has to go on is the cover.

It’s true that in some ways creating a cover for an ebook is simpler than creating one for print. You won’t need to worry about the back cover design and text, nor design for or calculate the spine. You don’t need to concern yourself with color matching or bleeds, and other design issues that come with printed covers.

However, you do need to have a visually stimulating front cover that will appeal to your target market. The design and text should be easily discernable when the cover is sized as a thumbnail.

If you’re not sure what cover designs might appeal to your audience, do some research. Download the covers of the top 50 Amazon sellers in your category, and look for similarities. Make some notes about the content. Are photos used or illustrations? What are the most common colors on the covers? Are the titles most often in serif or sans-serif fonts? Is the cover image or the title more dominant?

When your own cover is designed, use your own ideas and inspiration, but try to keep your cover within the norms in your category for best results.

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