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Old 09-12-2012, 07:11 PM   #46
Fidney
aka James Lauren
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Wow! Some of these aren''t too bad but others make me want to tear my eyes out.

I'm no graphic designer (MY covers can testify to that!) but many of these look like they've been added as an afterthough and taken about 5 minutes.
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Old 09-18-2012, 02:02 PM   #47
DarnellSaki
The Boy With 1000 Stories
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fidney View Post
Wow! Some of these aren''t too bad but others make me want to tear my eyes out.

I'm no graphic designer (MY covers can testify to that!) but many of these look like they've been added as an afterthough and taken about 5 minutes.
It makes me feel dirty to be called an Indie writer because I feel like it implies all our covers look this bad and it makes me feel like some of these writers just slapped a cover on it to hurry up and put it out there to make a quick buck. I seriously hope that's not the case but sometimes it seem that way to me.
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Old 09-18-2012, 05:29 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by DarnellSaki View Post
It makes me feel dirty to be called an Indie writer because I feel like it implies all our covers look this bad and it makes me feel like some of these writers just slapped a cover on it to hurry up and put it out there to make a quick buck. I seriously hope that's not the case but sometimes it seem that way to me.

Most of the covers come from Amazon's KDP. It just goes to prove that Amazon will accept anything regardless of how bad it is.
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:54 PM   #49
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Most of the covers come from Amazon's KDP. It just goes to prove that Amazon will accept anything regardless of how bad it is.
Yes, as will just about all the stores. Smash, B&N, Amazon, etc. They take the "win on volume" approach.
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Old 09-20-2012, 06:58 PM   #50
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Yes, as will just about all the stores. Smash, B&N, Amazon, etc. They take the "win on volume" approach.
But, because these are KDP eBooks, they are only available via Amazon. So it's write the book, make an awful cover and put it up at Amazon only. Give Amazon the reputation for an eBook junk heap.
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:17 PM   #51
John Carroll
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Who wouldn't put eyes on Lincoln's nose? Honestly, that one's just creepy
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Old 09-20-2012, 10:36 PM   #52
The Other Pilot
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7 Millionth on the Amazon sales list.

Cover art matters. Here's how.

Just for curiosity I picked one of the books on the awful covers list and went to the Amazon page to check out the reviews and the stats. The one I picked was published in 2008, had 2 reviews, and was #7,700,000 or something on the sales list. My first book, Bookman was published in 1990, was listed on Amazon in it's earliest small press effort and sold, like 5 copies through Amazon.

Bookman, out of print now for 20 years, is 6,000,000 books higher on the Amazon sales list than the book I checked!

The only explanation I can figure is that Bookman has remained on Amazon's sales list because used bookstores offer it. Most of those used copies (starting at 95 cents) are described as having been signed by the author. I sold about 1500 through Gordons and Ingram, of which I signed maybe a hundred. I gave away another couple hundred, most of which I signed. So, the signed ones are from friends and acquaintances I gave the book to over the years and they sold them at garage sales and because of the unique cover they have lived on as used books.

I paid an artist in Boulder, Colorado $200 to create a cover, which she did on poster paper with chalk. It seemed a simple picture at the time, but it made a compelling cover that a small steady trickle of people continue to buy today. It's a good story too.
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Old 09-21-2012, 12:58 AM   #53
DarnellSaki
The Boy With 1000 Stories
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
Most of the covers come from Amazon's KDP. It just goes to prove that Amazon will accept anything regardless of how bad it is.
I just assumed they were from smashwords
That's pretty scary. But at least on Amazon you'd have to actually search to find some of these gems. On smashwords it's there on page 1,2,3,4,5....
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:12 AM   #54
kennyc
The Dank Side of the Moon
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Just saw this in huff:

Amazon vs Vintage James Bond Covers:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...#slide=1533753
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Old 09-21-2012, 01:28 PM   #55
QuantumIguana
Philosopher
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It's hard to compare to books, look at the sales numbers and point to the cover as the difference.

I can imagine methods to test the impact of a cover. Take two groups of people, and show each group a list of books. All the books in the list would be identical, except for one: one book has a different cover. From there you can do different things. One thing you can try is to offer the subjects one free book, and see if the cover made any difference in people's book choices. Another would allow them to have one free book, but they could only click on a couple of them. This would test the effectiveness of the cover in getting people to take a closer look at the book.
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Old 09-25-2012, 06:19 PM   #56
M T McGuire
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Yeek! I'm waiting to find my dodgy free shorts in there... there are two with cover art by me, the rest are all stock photos, the covers on my two novels are designed properly by professionals but I don't have the budget to get them in for a bit of free flash fiction for Smashwords.
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Old 09-28-2012, 03:28 AM   #57
AncientGardener
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Why not post it here for comment (we'll be gentle. Promise...). Or start a new thread (others have done so). I think it would be a good opportunity for people, myself included, to get some constructive criticism.
It's too late for the first book as it's already out there, but when my second book is nearing completion I'll do that.
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Old 10-01-2012, 06:06 AM   #58
uebyn
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The website owner is right: Just because you CAN design your own book cover doesn't mean you SHOULD.

The book cover matters a lot.

I can still remember my first Murakami book, the Wind Up Bird Chronicle. I was browsing at the bookstore, and the cover caught my eye:



And so I flipped through it, read the first page, and immediately knew I had to buy it. But if the cover had been one below, then I probably wouldn't have noticed it:



It's not terrible, but it's not eye-catching. The ones with half-naked Asian women on the covers are the worst - I wonder who approved them as the book cover in the first place?

So yes, cover art is important.
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Old 10-01-2012, 08:24 AM   #59
DiapDealer
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So yes, cover art is important.
To you and obviously to many, but not everyone—me, for example.

But I'm crazy like that. I also don't care how well singers can dance (while they're singing); can form an opinion on a politician's professional qualifications that ignores how good a spouse they are; and can even appreciate the athletic prowess of popular sports figures who seem to take no interest in being good role models.

And I don't judge a painter's work by how pretty their signature looks on it.

"The painting is absolutely gorgeous, but did you see the font the museum curator chose for the descriptive plaque under it?? Hideous!! Ruined the whole experience for me."

I'm not saying I never see the artwork on books—or that I never notice that one book's artwork might be particularly stunning (or atrocious), even. It's just that good, bad, or "oh, you mean there was art on the cover?" doesn't factor into my purchase/reading decisions. They're just separate experiences for me. Always have been.

Last edited by DiapDealer; 10-01-2012 at 08:26 AM.
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Old 10-01-2012, 02:15 PM   #60
Arwym
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I see a lot of these over Amazon and Smashwords, but sometimes I'm surprised at how good the book itself can be. I almost always avoid judging a book by its cover. I really try, but I confess that sometimes a bad cover can make me doubt of the book's quality.
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