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Book Cover Art

1548 Views 18 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  mickbose
What attracts you to a book when you're looking at covers on your eInk Kindle? What are you complaints?
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I've heard that market research shows that people are attracted to bright colors--yellow, red, and orange, and they like circles and ovals over squares, so if you can combine all of those on a cover, it might attract more attention. Of course then you have only about 30 seconds of reading time for someone to decide if they want to buy the book.
Mostly, I just want it to be professional looking. But I also look for covers that accurately convey the genres I am most interested in. That would mostly be history-related stuff so I look for covers like look historical in some way.
KRCox said:
What attracts you to a book when you're looking at covers on your eInk Kindle? What are you complaints?
I don't look at covers on the Kindle. Only the PW has this ability anyway, and I've set mine to use list view. The covers are cool and all, but the 'covers' for collections are just boring and most covers don't have enough light/dark definition to show up well in b/w. It's easier for me to remember things by title.

Now, on the Fire, where they're in color, that's a different thing. I like seeing the covers there.
Well, by the time I look at the covers on my Paperwhite, I already have bought the book, or have already vetted the sample. Meaning I don't need to be attracted anymore at that point. But I don't browse or shop for books from my e-ink kindles. I do that on the computer, or now my Fire 8.9.

And there same rules apply than they did when I went to the book store. The covers must at least look professional, give me an idea about the genre. Must be appropriate to its genre so to speak.

And my only complaint about covers on my e-ink kindle is if there is no cover. It drives me bonkers.
I look for something intresting. Something I've never seen before.
Atunah said:
And my only complaint about covers on my e-ink kindle is if there is no cover. It drives me bonkers.
Which doesn't bother me, since I use list view. . . . . .but, on the Fire. . .yeah, if there's no cover it just looks amateurish -- like someone's term paper. Now I probably didn't think that when I bought it, but the lack of an obvious cover is probably going to mean that I start it with a slightly negative impression. I may also subconsciously push it down the TBR list so it'll take me longer to get to it.

I have a couple of books, too, that have covers that are the wrong shape. . .they're square on the Fire. . .or, one actually is a horizontal rectangle and looks like what you'd see if you took the dust jacket off a hard back book and spread it out. Nice enough cover, but the lack of attention to detail -- it's not quite right to be the cover image for the kindle -- is, again, slightly off-putting.

I suppose, though, for some people, the odd shape makes 'em stand out and maybe draws attention positively to them. :-\
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That's interesting about the colors and shapes! But I guess that would be more of a factor when shopping on Amz rather than reading, yes? I know I use my Fire a lot more now because I love the covers on it, although I prefer reading on my e-ink Kindle... :)
I love 50's and 60's era pulp fiction covers - the Sci-fi/Fantasy ones along with all those groovy trashy druggie and sexy covers.  I love all the mysogynistic, uber-macho homophilic goodness of it all.  It makes me smile. 

Regarding ebook covers, I prefer ones that look like a professional book cover and will skip past books with covers that look handmade or trashy.  Phoenix Picks has started releasing a series of Jack Chalker books that I LOVED as a teen in the early 80s but they're putting these awful covers that look like the art work of the average 11yo which almost stopped me from buying them.  So I got them and used Calibre to change out with the original paperback artwork just to be able to stand looking at them.
I always look at the book cover on my Kindle Keyboard after I open an ebook to read.

I appreciate good grayscale contrast so details of the graphics and titling show up clearly on the eink device. Since so many people now read ebooks on tablets, including Kindle Fire, it's important that the cover colors look good on those devices too.
I rarely look at the covers on my paperwhite, I go by blurb and reviews, if any. In print, of course, it's much more important. Interesting about the bright colours and the circles - the very few people who've bothered to mention my cover in feedback have loved it. It's a snow scene. In black and white. :) Maybe if I'd used colours and shapes, I'd be selling more copies than I am?
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The problem with the 'warm cover' theory is that too many cover designers follow it. I actually really dislike orange and it's the one colour that puts me off book covers. Unfortunately a lot of people use it as they have heard it works in attracting readers. They then have a whole series of books using shades of orange, which looks even worse, to me anyway.
I ignore covers when I'm looking for books.  Most of the best stories I've read have been cursed with sucky-to-mediocre covers, and it's what's inside that matters to me.  A good cover and a good story are a rare combination.  
I love covers that appeal visually - but have never bought a book just for its cover. I look at cover, front flap copy, first page, and random page. One leads to the next. I enjoy seeing the covers even on my e-ink Kindle, but some definitely translate to that medium better than others. I generally shop for books on my desktop, though, and send them to the Kindle, so I see the full-color cover when shopping.
I like covers that are high-contrast, easy to read, clearly communicate genre, and give me a good idea of what kind of book experience I'm in for.
Just a reminder that this is an 'offer your general opinions' thread and NOT a critique thread.  Thanks.  (Authors who are looking for critique, may post in the Cafe and request it.)
I enjoy a cover with either a vivid photograph or professional drawing.  The plain two-toned covers that have no artwork at all don't draw the eye or intrigue.  But the title/genre/sample of a book is what will convince me to purchase it, not the cover.
I wonder why someone would go through the trouble of writing a good book, have it edited, then write the second or third draft, then have it copy edited and reviewed.......and then do a hasty, poorly designed cover.

Hence when I see a cheap or badly done cover ( and lets face it they are obvious), I wonder to myself.

But of course, a bad cover has nothing to do with the quality of the writing inside, which could be positively Proustian. If you like Proust, that is......

On Kindle anyway, I have never found a good book with poor cover art.
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