Judge a Book by Its Cover

Excited bibliophiles in search of their next downloadable read should keep in mind George Eliot’s infamous metaphor, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”  The problem is:  eBook sites are highly visual.  And everybody’s judging!

Sure, some of those readers still click through that brief sample to see if they’ve found something worthy of taking up some kilobytes on their beloved ereader.  But, mostly, they’re just going to scroll right on by those titles with pixelated, distorted covers.

Retailers have standards.  And as crazy as some of those requirements might seem, they’re all about keeping up with the fast-paced World of Technology.  HD tablets, iPads, Androids, Kindles… Consumers want the clearest, quickest, and best way to browse online.

We’re looking out for you here at INscribe. You know those extra jpgs we ask for whenever you send an eBook? They’re not just for backgrounds on our computer screens!  We actually send those along for marketing on retailers’ sites.  Keep these specs in mind so you can get the most out of your thumbnail placement on Jane Bookseller’s ultra-HD-mega-awesome-brand-new TabletMachine.

  1. 1400 pixels on the smallest side (2400 pixels look even better on HD screens!)
  2. 300 dpi (Easy to do and well worth it!)
  3. RGB Color Mode (Why?  Those are the rules.)

We’re talking about images, so let’s look at some.  Below is an example of a bad external cover (separate jpg image) – and what happens when it appears on Jane Bookseller’s HD device.  Original dimensions are much smaller than 1400 pixels on the shortest side, and dpi isn’t even close to 300.

Tiny External Marketing Cover (not the cover inside the epub!):

Tiny External Marketing Cover

The Same Tiny External Marketing Cover on an HD device:

The Same Tiny External Marketing Cover on an HD Device

So the next time you find yourself asking, “Why do I need to send a larger, hi-res cover image to INscribe?” take a moment to consider the benefits of good marketing.  In that nanosecond it takes to scroll through options on a tablet, how do you grab a booklover’s attention?  It’s simple:  Make it hi-res.  Make it beautiful.  And make her click!

Check this out!  INscribe Recommended Reads & Downloads:
Gimp Image Resizer – Free tool!
Michael Kozlowski’s “How Important Is eBook Cover Art in 2013?”
Kirsten Eckstein’s “The Five Secrets to a Killer eBook Cover” 
Goodreads Discussion Board, “Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover”