If you’re struggling with cover art for your book, you should read this article. Things have changed since Amazon and other online bookstores began selling. Now, with the majority of books are sold based on a tiny thumbnail image, it’s all about how to attract the reader’s attention from 100 feet.
Hugh Howey, author of Wool, talks about his own covers and the problems he’s faced as an indie author. He’s also got some interesting tips on how to break out of the pack with cover art innovation.
It used to be said that great cover art becomes iconic over time. I can think of a dozen or so covers that I can still pick out from a thousand paces. When I first saw the red cover for WOOL that Random House came up with, I had that sort of feeling about it. There had never been a cover quite like that. It would stand out. Be instantly recognizable. I loved it.
It’s the grabbiness at a distance that works. But more importantly these days, it’s the grabbiness at a tiny size. More than half of print books are now purchased online, which means what you put on the back of the jacket, or the inside flap, or how detailed your artwork is, has all become less relevant. These days, cover art needs to be not so much iconic as icon. We need to think about them as little clickable buttons. For design ideas, it’s time to start looking at our desktops rather than bookstore shelves.