I'm now working with a digital publisher, which means I get to see a lot of ebook covers and overhear a lot of discussion about ebook covers. So I went looking for info (I'm the web-research person, because my Google-fu is good and my skim-and-read rate is phenomenal) and came up with a roundup of posts about ebook cover design, ranging from technical to artistic to commercially-focused.

What I concluded:
  • Every frickin ebook store on the web wants different shapes of ebook covers. Find a good compromise, and expect to make a few variants anyway.
  • Readability, or at least recognizeability, at thumbnail size (about 150 pixels high) is crucial.
  • Covers are not part of the story; they're part of the advertising.

Jan Marshal at iwritereadrate.com: Tips For Authors: eBook Cover Design Advice from @Jan_Marshall
"• Aim to create three covers, then choose the best. You don’t have to stick with these; you can wander off at a tangent as you work.
• Look at covers in your genre and analyze how they work. Sticking with genre conventions, make something about your cover better or more striking. (Easy to say!)"

9 (or 10, depending on how you count) more blog posts about ebook cover design )
Poking through various publishing/ebook blogs, these are the posts of interest to me recently. Some of them have multiple links to other blogs, and those are often worth reading too. The first one, especially, is worth some talk. I'm also annoyed at the growing number of self-pub authors who are releasing first drafts with intent to edit after the reviews start coming in and telling them what readers didn't like.

Dear Author: When I bought your book, I didn't sign up to be your beta reader (grumbling about major edits after release, like adding new chapters)

Carolyn Jewel: Why Ebook Formatting Matters (with screencaps!)

Guest post @ Publishing a Book is an Adventure: Amazon and Book Review Ownership (Amazon claims management rights for reviews on their site. Not quite claiming copyright, but they don't allow authors to use those quotes; authors would have to get permission from the reviewer.)

The Passive Voice: You Say Documents; I say Source Files (formatting manuscripts for ebook production; quote of another person's post + commentary by PG.)

Indie Author News: How to Avoid Bad Book Reviews (Importance of researching one's selected reviewers)
Last year, Steven Saus, who is a digital first publisher and has done the e-book conversions for Jim Hines, among others, wrote a book about writing ebooks, which he published first on his blog and is now selling for $9.99.

The version on his blog is not really collated, it's under his ebooks tag, which includes a lot of other entries about the business of ebooks. So, I am collating here, in approximate order, his So You Want to Make an Ebook entries to date. (Since the original publication, he's added some entries for version 2.)

So You Want To Make An Ebook )


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