I don’t think so.
We’re used to print covers, the standard 2 to 3 ratio, and for the cover to stand alone, hopefully facing out in a book store (although that only happens for the big-name authors—or after an author visits a book store and turns their own books out—come on, you do it; you know you do).
I’ve been going through my covers and updating them. The vast majority of my sales are eBook. My print sales are also via an electronic platforms, so the covers are viewed the same way, on screen, in thumbnail.
Besides the thumbnail aspect, here is something else that is different:
A print cover for hardcover has information inside, on the cover flap and some on the back.
A trade or mass market paperback has information on the back.
An eBook cover has information next to it on the screen. So the two are connected.
The bottom line is that a cover must invite the reader to want to know more. For a physical book, that means picking it up, looking at the flap or back copy. Reading the first few pages (some sick individuals read the last few).
For an eBook the goal is to get them to stay on the page and shift over and read the information that is there. Or to read inside the book, and only the first pages, which requires them to click on the cover—which also enlarges it.
I’ve been researching and there are a lot of good ideas out there.
For series, have some similarity. So I’ve done that.
Have a central image that grabs.
The cover should give the reader an idea what genre the book is. The cover should also give the reader an idea what the book is about. This one is hard, especially when you have a book that isn’t easily defined. My Atlantis books were hard for Berkley books and they’ve been hard for me in terms of cover.
They say don’t use a white background, but I like the way the Shadow Warriors book pop.
I’ve added blurbs to some of my books from legitimate reviews. While hard to read, they become clear if the cover is expanded. One goal in this day of hundreds of thousands of eBooks being uploaded yearly, is to get readers to know that your book is professional. This means using my Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Library Journal, etc review blurbs. Of course, do readers care?
I use the classic NY Times Bestseller, but also, in some cases sales numbers, especially if they’ve gone into 7 figures such as the Area 51 and Atlantis series. In some other cases I’ve added my overall sales, saying Over 4 Million Sold, although I think I’m over 5 now—just haven’t crunched the numbers. Essentially an attempt to distinguish the books.
I’ve used some effects from Affinity Designer. In particular, I’ve used ‘emboss’ to give a 3D effect on some of the covers. In some ways it makes the cover look more like a button on the screen than a flat cover. I don’t know if that attracts or is a turn off to the reader.
Do contrasts. Things that don’t belong together. How does a crystal skull connect to Custer’s Last Stand? How does an Osprey over Pickett’s charge go together? The answer is in the stories, but I also have the concern on these two that in thumbnail there are too crowded. Thinking about it.
All of this will take time to tell if it has any effect. I’ll give it a couple of months and compare sales figures.
As important, my next phase is a complete do-over of Key Words and Categories. I need to research this area and then go through all 71 (or more) books.