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Big Al's Books & Pals 2014 Readers' Choice Awards: Young Adult Nominee

A ruthless murder and a stolen shipment of gold.

At school, sixteen-year-old Nikaia Wales endures the taunts of bullies who call her a “half-breed.” At home, she worries about how her family will react if she reveals her growing feelings for the quiet boy next door.

Those are soon the least of her troubles. Nikaia discovers a hidden cache of gold, and when police find a corpse nearby, her father becomes a suspect. Worse, Elias Doyle is circling, hungry to avenge his brother’s death.

Nikaia desperately searches for clues to save her father. In her quest to find the killer, she learns about the power of family, friendship, and young love....

Author Topic: Animated Book Covers - Anyone's Trying Yet? Any Results?  (Read 1552 times)  

Offline RBC

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Animated Book Covers - Anyone's Trying Yet? Any Results?
« on: August 13, 2017, 12:21:23 PM »
Hello!

I've been thinking about animated book covers and if they actually help. They do look cool (If well done) and logically, should be getting more attention. I've seen a few but at the same time it hasn't become a hot trend.

Has anyone tried them? Any results to share?

RBC

Offline Paranormal Kitty

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Re: Animated Book Covers - Anyone's Trying Yet? Any Results?
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2017, 12:46:38 PM »
I found some examples (page might be slow to load): https://ebookfriendly.com/best-animated-book-covers/

Do you know if these show up as animated on the Amazon pages and if there are any technical bugs that crop up? They're just GIFs, right? I'm thinking about this now -- blood dripping down the cover would get people's attention.

Offline KathyWren

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Re: Animated Book Covers - Anyone's Trying Yet? Any Results?
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2017, 12:55:39 PM »
I found some examples (page might be slow to load): https://ebookfriendly.com/best-animated-book-covers/

Do you know if these show up as animated on the Amazon pages and if there are any technical bugs that crop up? They're just GIFs, right? I'm thinking about this now -- blood dripping down the cover would get people's attention.

Great page, thanks for linking it!   I looked up five or six of the books on there on Amazon and saw no animation - GIF isn't one of the file formats that's supported on Amazon to my knowledge. RBC, were any of the ones you saw on Amazon?  I'd have mixed feelings about that - the thought of a whole page of amateur ones blinking at me when I'm browsing is nightmare inducing. 

That said, I'd love to see people do these for book announcements and things! Would grab my attention in my inbox for sure.

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Re: Animated Book Covers - Anyone's Trying Yet? Any Results?
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2017, 02:39:21 PM »
I've seen few on Pinterest and know that Derek Murphy (cover designer from CreativeIndie) also tested animated cover for one of his books. Haven't talked to him about results tho yet. I'll hit him up. I think he did use it on Amazon.

And it's definitely interesting idea to use animated cover for promotion off Amazon and normal on Amazon. Too many animated covers could be hard on the eyes.

Offline KathyWren

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Re: Animated Book Covers - Anyone's Trying Yet? Any Results?
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2017, 03:02:02 PM »
I've seen few on Pinterest and know that Derek Murphy (cover designer from CreativeIndie) also tested animated cover for one of his books. Haven't talked to him about results tho yet. I'll hit him up. I think he did use it on Amazon.

And it's definitely interesting idea to use animated cover for promotion off Amazon and normal on Amazon. Too many animated covers could be hard on the eyes.

Maybe they could keep the thumbnails still?  That might be the best of both worlds.

I did find this:

https://www.amazon.com/Sky-Below-Summits-Kindle-Motion-ebook/dp/B01AB4A41O/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1502661507&sr=1-2

It's a 'kindle in motion' title with a cover that's animated on the book page but not in the thumbnail.  Apparently these kinds of titles also have animation on the pages, which sounds frankly horrifying. 

Offline Paranormal Kitty

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Re: Animated Book Covers - Anyone's Trying Yet? Any Results?
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2017, 03:11:37 PM »
I wonder if the delivery fees are much more for the "kindle in motion" books?

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Re: Animated Book Covers - Anyone's Trying Yet? Any Results?
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2017, 03:40:27 PM »
A friend made one for me but I'm not sure what to do with it.

https://www.facebook.com/MoniqueMartinAuthor/videos/1550486588336354/

eta: we're working on something for a FB ad. I'll post how it goes.

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Offline KathyWren

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Re: Animated Book Covers - Anyone's Trying Yet? Any Results?
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2017, 04:59:38 PM »
I wonder if the delivery fees are much more for the "kindle in motion" books?

I imagine!  Here's a snippet I found about one of them, probably one extensive animation:

File Size: 296860 KB
Print Length: 160 pages

Yikes.

A friend made one for me but I'm not sure what to do with it.
https://www.facebook.com/MoniqueMartinAuthor/videos/1550486588336354/

I love that cover!   Very cool without being headache-inducing. I'd click on it.  :)

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Re: Animated Book Covers - Anyone's Trying Yet? Any Results?
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2017, 05:12:05 PM »
Maybe they could keep the thumbnails still?  That might be the best of both worlds.

I did find this:

https://www.amazon.com/Sky-Below-Summits-Kindle-Motion-ebook/dp/B01AB4A41O/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1502661507&sr=1-2

It's a 'kindle in motion' title with a cover that's animated on the book page but not in the thumbnail.  Apparently these kinds of titles also have animation on the pages, which sounds frankly horrifying. 

Kindle in Motion sounds a lot more than just cover animation. Would be very expensive to make and is different experience entirely. I don't mind animation inside tho, could be cool.

And that book is 200+ in Overall shop, doing awesome...

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Re: Animated Book Covers - Anyone's Trying Yet? Any Results?
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2017, 05:14:08 PM »
A friend made one for me but I'm not sure what to do with it.

https://www.facebook.com/MoniqueMartinAuthor/videos/1550486588336354/

eta: we're working on something for a FB ad. I'll post how it goes.


I like it, great that animation is subtle. I think that's how animated covers should go, not some huge exploding animation but subtle effect.

FB Ad could work. I'd still love to see it on Amazon.. animation would stand out in the 'Also Boughts' line.

Offline KathyWren

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Re: Animated Book Covers - Anyone's Trying Yet? Any Results?
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2017, 06:06:53 PM »
Kindle in Motion sounds a lot more than just cover animation. Would be very expensive to make and is different experience entirely. I don't mind animation inside tho, could be cool.

And that book is 200+ in Overall shop, doing awesome...

Yeah, those ones are definitely the fancy version-I suspect most people would probably end up doing just the cover, but at least it proves that Amazon could roll it out as a service if they so chose. My fear of animation inside comes from looking at some of the samples, where the movement on the page made it difficult to concentrate on the actual text.  But for children's books, fantasy series with illustrated maps, small typographic accents, or climactic scene depictions?  Sign me right up.   :D

...sadly, I can find no information so far how to get into this service.  I suspect the answer, as in o many other situations, is to already be successful.

Offline Melody Simmons

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Re: Animated Book Covers - Anyone's Trying Yet? Any Results?
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2017, 09:26:56 PM »
A few years ago some authors were invited to try the Kindle-in-Motion project thing and I actually saw one or two animated covers in the Amazon store but since then the project has quietly disappeared so maybe it was not that popular?  But yeah one cannot upload a GIF or any animation file as a book cover in Amazon.

It is great fun to have animated book covers on your website though - check this awesome website:

http://sesmithfl.com/dust-series/

Click on any of the Book Series to see more animated covers:  http://sesmithfl.com/book-series/

I offer book cover animation services - samples here:

https://ebookindiecovers.com/2016/07/09/animated-book-covers/

But there isn't a big market for it because it can only basically be used on your website or Facebook.

I think if all the covers in Amazon looked like that it would be terribly annoying and dizzying to look at anyway!  And if all websites looked like that it would get boring too.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2017, 09:34:52 PM by Melody Simmons »

Offline Bards and Sages (Julie)

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Re: Animated Book Covers - Anyone's Trying Yet? Any Results?
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2017, 06:49:21 AM »
Not a fan.

When done really well, I am sure these are nice. But the reality of life on the internet is that the bulk of them will look like Myspace pages from 2005, all obnoxious glitter and bad contrast and moving text that is unreadable.

Several recent studies have shown that unnecessary animation (as opposed to things like product demonstrations, testimonials, etc) on a sell page can lead to reduced consumer interaction and shorter visit time. While it may draw the eye, it actually becomes a distraction from the marketing message. Like a commercial that is too cute for its own good: everyone remembers the commercial but not the product being sold.

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Re: Animated Book Covers - Anyone's Trying Yet? Any Results?
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2017, 10:11:00 AM »
Thanks, guys. I think she did a great job of making it fun but not annoying.

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Offline RBC

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Re: Animated Book Covers - Anyone's Trying Yet? Any Results?
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2017, 10:47:14 AM »
A few years ago some authors were invited to try the Kindle-in-Motion project thing and I actually saw one or two animated covers in the Amazon store but since then the project has quietly disappeared so maybe it was not that popular?  But yeah one cannot upload a GIF or any animation file as a book cover in Amazon.

It is great fun to have animated book covers on your website though - check this awesome website:

http://sesmithfl.com/dust-series/

Click on any of the Book Series to see more animated covers:  http://sesmithfl.com/book-series/

I offer book cover animation services - samples here:

https://ebookindiecovers.com/2016/07/09/animated-book-covers/

But there isn't a big market for it because it can only basically be used on your website or Facebook.

I think if all the covers in Amazon looked like that it would be terribly annoying and dizzying to look at anyway!  And if all websites looked like that it would get boring too.

Wonder how much testing Amazon did for them...

And nice work with covers! Looking good and not too busy.

Offline Mercedes Vox

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Re: Animated Book Covers - Anyone's Trying Yet? Any Results?
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2017, 11:45:49 AM »
This one by Jodi Picoult is being pushed heavily on my Kindle Fire's opening page when I turn it on, and it makes me jump every single time.

https://www.amazon.com/Mermaid-Kindle-Motion-Single-ebook/dp/B073ZL356L/

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Offline Rick Gualtieri

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Re: Animated Book Covers - Anyone's Trying Yet? Any Results?
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2017, 11:48:17 AM »
This one by Jodi Picoult is being pushed heavily on my Kindle Fire's opening page when I turn it on, and it makes me jump every single time.

https://www.amazon.com/Mermaid-Kindle-Motion-Single-ebook/dp/B073ZL356L/

Gotta say, it looks nice, but the novelty wears off quickly. 


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Re: Animated Book Covers - Anyone's Trying Yet? Any Results?
« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2017, 11:53:16 AM »
I love Monique's cover ♥

Kindle-in-Motion so far has been available only for AP titles. Neither it nor the Enhanced file versions (sound, video, etc) are available for KDP, although the Enhanced (but not K-i-M) is available to small and large presses who don't use KDP. The downside for both of those is file size, both in delivery costs on the KDP authors' side, even if they were available there (so 35% would be the only way to go on those), and in bandwidth needs on the readers' side. Just an animated cover wouldn't be too large, but policing those would take more time since they'd need to be looked at frame by frame.

I seem to recall a flurry of authors (Konrath may have been one) trying animated covers out a few years ago. They didn't stick then as a marketing technique, but that was before FB started supporting animated gifs and videos, iirc.

Offline RBC

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Re: Animated Book Covers - Anyone's Trying Yet? Any Results?
« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2017, 12:45:56 PM »
[quote author=PhoenixS link=topic=254216.msg3543122#msg3543122 date=1502736796

I seem to recall a flurry of authors (Konrath may have been one) trying animated covers out a few years ago. They didn't stick then as a marketing technique, but that was before FB started supporting animated gifs and videos, iirc.
[/quote]

With FB loving videos now, that's a good time to test probably. Much better than than years ago.

Offline Bill Hiatt

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Re: Animated Book Covers - Anyone's Trying Yet? Any Results?
« Reply #19 on: August 14, 2017, 01:45:50 PM »
Much as I love the idea, it seems as if it has a very limited application right now. FB ads for sure, but what else? I think it will be a long time, if ever, before KDP rolls out that feature for everyone. The experiments with Amazon imprints didn't disappear--I've seen some just a short time ago--but they didn't expand much since the issue first came up. This suggests Amazon's data was at best mixed in terms of impact on the product page.  As for author websites, everything I think is visually appealing slows page loading and causes Google to spit on me, so I imagine this could be the same issue. At minimum, you'd have to be able to set the animated cover to lazy load.

As a reader, I'd be loathe to discover that the Kindle that supposedly holds 6,000 books now only hold 60 because of the enormous file size. That would make me reluctant to go that way as an author (even if I had the choice and the money).

On the other hand, something is drawing readers to "Mermaid," which is #1 in Kindle Single right now. This is despite a 2.8 review average (a lot of her fans say this is nothing like her other books) and a quality issues marker! Evidently, a lot more of her fans like it than don't, or the animation is really, really doing some good.


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Offline RBC

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Re: Animated Book Covers - Anyone's Trying Yet? Any Results?
« Reply #20 on: August 14, 2017, 03:01:49 PM »
Much as I love the idea, it seems as if it has a very limited application right now. FB ads for sure, but what else? I think it will be a long time, if ever, before KDP rolls out that feature for everyone. The experiments with Amazon imprints didn't disappear--I've seen some just a short time ago--but they didn't expand much since the issue first came up. This suggests Amazon's data was at best mixed in terms of impact on the product page.  As for author websites, everything I think is visually appealing slows page loading and causes Google to spit on me, so I imagine this could be the same issue. At minimum, you'd have to be able to set the animated cover to lazy load.

As a reader, I'd be loathe to discover that the Kindle that supposedly holds 6,000 books now only hold 60 because of the enormous file size. That would make me reluctant to go that way as an author (even if I had the choice and the money).

On the other hand, something is drawing readers to "Mermaid," which is #1 in Kindle Single right now. This is despite a 2.8 review average (a lot of her fans say this is nothing like her other books) and a quality issues marker! Evidently, a lot more of her fans like it than don't, or the animation is really, really doing some good.

Maybe GoodReads and Wattpad also are options.. animated covers could get attention there.

Offline Decon

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Re: Animated Book Covers - Anyone's Trying Yet? Any Results?
« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2017, 04:03:54 PM »
Giff Animation is okay for covers as part of an ad for your blog, or Wattpad story, facebook, twitter etc to create interest, but impractical delivery cost wise in a published book. As far as I know some of the stock  sites have such as snowing rain etc to overlay on your cover. I was thinking of adding snow to my new book as that's the scene. A few designers are offering to add animation to a limited extent.

Here are quite a few examples of animation
.
https://ebookfriendly.com/best-animated-book-covers/

Here are some simple examples of how to make them

https://www.creativindiecovers.com/how-to-make-an-animated-book-cover-that-blows-peoples-minds/


This animation creator costs $37.77 but it can be downloaded as a trial. Lots of examples of what it can do.

http://www.animationsoftware7.com/
« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 04:21:22 PM by Decon »


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Re: Animated Book Covers - Anyone's Trying Yet? Any Results?
« Reply #22 on: August 15, 2017, 01:00:23 AM »
Nice share. Derek's post about making it is good.

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Re: Animated Book Covers - Anyone's Trying Yet? Any Results?
« Reply #23 on: August 17, 2017, 07:48:04 PM »
Just been messing with the free software download for DP animation. Looks as though you have to pay for the full version ($37.50) to be able to save as a gif without it having"demo" stamped on it. It's quite a learning curve. Once done and saved as a gif, all you have to do is to load it to wordpress, then use the url for posting between the image brackets.

                   


                   

« Last Edit: August 17, 2017, 08:53:41 PM by Decon »


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Re: Animated Book Covers - Anyone's Trying Yet? Any Results?
« Reply #24 on: August 18, 2017, 12:53:19 AM »
Covers look nice. Esp. first two. Love the police car there.

Interesting to see how this works out!