The indie advantage in book cover design for ebook readers and web sales

If you’ve looked at my covers you may notice that I love special effects, texture, 3D letters, gloss, shine and sparkle. Normally, all that stuff is bad – because even stuff like drop shadow rarely prints well. To keep things reliable in print, most designers stay all from special effects on go with plain, clean and simple. And that’s fine – if print is your primary market.

However, most indies focus on ebook sales and will sell most of their books through kindle, smashwords, ibooks, nook and other ebook channels. This gives indies a huge advantage: if you’re not focused so much on print, you can play more with your book covers because the special effects do look good on the screen. Especially with most ebook readers turning to color, and getting only a tiny, tiny thumbnail image of your cover to grab attention, you need to use whatever you can to stand out.

This doesn’t necessarily mean your book cover won’t print well, either; printing technique is constantly improving, and I doubt you’ll really notice the slight loss in quality when your cover is printed.