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Duck and cover

I confess! This post had nothing to do with ducks. It's actually about book covers. But I had no generic user pic of books that fit the topic, and I always liked this picture I took of some ducks by a willow tree, so there you go. The only place the two things come together is in the subject line.

Now let's talk covers. You might think that digital publishing makes covers less important, and that might be true, but it doesn't make them not important. A book needs a cover even if it's an ebook. But an ebook does have different requirements, in that it has less room to have an impact. I've been thinking about this lately, because I plan to put some of my novels on the Kindle platform, and thus I need to get covers for them.

Ergo, today's post is actually a poll, to sample how folks feel about book covers in general and ebook covers in particular. Anyone with an LJ account can answer; if you don't have an account, feel free to comment anyway! Or do both! Just like a lot of ebooks, it's free.
Poll #1645010 What about the cover draws you to a book?

In a spec fic book, what is your favorite kind of cover?

Something clearly painted (not from a photo)
5(50.0%)
Photographic, but it's OK if it's altered
1(10.0%)
Some mix of the two above, including a montage
0(0.0%)
Clever use of typography/graphic design
0(0.0%)
Something else I will mention in a comment
0(0.0%)
I don't have a favorite; I just know when I see a good cover
4(40.0%)
I don't read spec fic of any kind
0(0.0%)

What design element do you find makes the most compelling cover?

The protagonist(s) and possibly secondary characters
4(40.0%)
The setting (landscape, castle, etc.)
2(20.0%)
A single object (crown, starship, dragon, etc)
1(10.0%)
It's not the objects, it's the use of color and the design itself
2(20.0%)
Anything radically different from other covers
1(10.0%)

What's most important to you, as a reader, about the cover?

It should tell me the genre or even the subgenre
2(20.0%)
It should give me a clue as to what's most important in the story
2(20.0%)
It should accurately reflect the story (i.e., if there's a blonde woman in a fur bikini on the cover, she had better be a main character in the story)
2(20.0%)
It should be interesting
3(30.0%)
It should be attractive
1(10.0%)

What genres/categories do you read? (please click all that apply)

Science fiction
9(19.6%)
Fantasy
9(19.6%)
Mystery
4(8.7%)
Romance
1(2.2%)
Historical fiction
7(15.2%)
Thrillers
3(6.5%)
Horror
2(4.3%)
Nonfiction
4(8.7%)
Mainstream
7(15.2%)

Do you ever read/buy ebooks?

Yes, a lot
3(30.0%)
I have bought a few, but not many
4(40.0%)
I only "buy" them if they're free
0(0.0%)
Nope, don't have any ebooks
3(30.0%)

If you have bought ebooks, or downloaded them for free, how much are you influenced by the cover?

Cover? There was a cover?
1(12.5%)
A little. It's hard to see detail, but I still check the cover
2(25.0%)
I don't care that much, but the cover has to look professional
3(37.5%)
The cover matters just as much as for print?
2(25.0%)






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