E-book Cover Design Tips For the Online Shelves

E-book Cover Design Tips For the Online Shelves

With the advent of eBooks, book cover design still holds its place as the crucial piece to the crafting puzzle of a quality book product. Like print covers, book covers for eBooks are still a work of art and require careful consideration to the tone it conveys, colour and readability. It’s why there are great book cover design professionals working today.

Unfortunately some authors who have put so much hard work into their manuscript don’t create the product they need to for word of mouth generation, because they fall short at creating a compelling and eye-catching ebook cover design.

I’ve said it before, aside from editing your book cover is the best investment you can make as it represents everything on the inside of the book, so your cover needs to draw people in so they can see your ‘masterpiece’ on the inside. All the marketing to follow is to help get your book’s cover in the front of potential buyers and THAT’s where your book cover needs to CLOSE THE DEAL!

‘If the cover is professional, clear and compelling then consumers assume this is a reflection of the quality on the inside!’

So as eBook sales continue to steadily increase every year, it’s important for the savvy Independent authors out there having both the print and eBook versions of their book available, that you’re aware of the additional considerations necessary to have your book cover work as best it can in the confines of online retail shelves and eReader devices.

One main theme and don’t clutter

Actually this goes for book cover design in general, but more so now with online retailing and covers being represented more and more as small website images. Keep to one theme idea and don’t over complicate the cover image with clutter by adding all the main characters, their pets and a sunset. Tiny details like a dove sitting on the back fence, or butterflies in the background in front of wire mesh will get lost when viewed as a thumbnail. This will consequently make your cover appear noisy and confusing. What you need to do is consider who the story is focused around or what is the driving message of the book. This is what your online book cover design should focus on and encapsulate.

Thumbnail’s and resolutions

Unlike the print book cover which of course will have the back cover and spine designed, the eBook version only uses the front cover. It’s important that you keep in mind what I mentioned earlier about to much clutter with regards to elements included in your design and a reason being is that online shelves display eBook covers as small thumbnails at a size of about 80 x 115 pixels.

The Amazon Kindle 3 display is only about 800 x 600 pixels so it’s best to check the cover design passes the ‘squint’ test at different sizes. Your ebook cover designer will be well versed in making sure your cover works for the varying resolutions, but it’s something to be mindful of. Something else to keep in mind is the online shelves are often the only time the cover is seen, as eReaders for the most part start the eBook from the contents page or first chapter.

Contrast and clarity

This means that your title must be clearly readable in thumbnail size, yet not look to bold and overpowering as an A3 poster. Strong contrasting colours for impact to grab the eye when viewed at such a small size is vital in grabbing attention. Don’t have browns and navy blues on top of a black background because it’s going to get lost. Yes I’ve seen this! The Amazon Kindle 3 has a black and white e-ink screen, so contrasting colours like white text on a black background is of course going to clearly stand out better.

Two for the price of one

Those who are publishing print and digital eBooks will find any respectable book cover designer starts with the print cover layout and includes the eBook version that is converted from this as part of the service, as we do here at Book Cover Café, so check this is the case when enquiring. This also helps keep costs down as your getting your cover ready for two products, not just one.


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