Monday, June 18, 2012

Musing Monday

MUSING MONDAYS… is a weekly event where MizB at Should be Reading will ask a book/reading-related question, and you answer with your own thoughts on the topic.

This week’s musing asks…
MizB read an article, this past week, about book covers, and the difference between print; digital covers; about how the digital covers have almost disappeared entirely, while publishers decide to just skip right to the content.

What do you think about this? Do you think the book cover is “dead”? Do you care whether the “covers” on digital books exist or not?

If you have the time, read the article and then share your thoughts!

If not, here are a few quotes from the article:
“…every time you set down a physical book, the cover is staring up at you. And every time you pick it back up, you have to go “through” the cover to get to the text. Do that five times and you’ll never forget the title or author.”

“There is a tremendous opportunity for book designers and software engineers to figure out what our digital book procession should be.”

“…with the present digital inflection, the role of the cover is changing radically; disappearing in some cases. It doesn’t need to shout anymore because it doesn’t serve the same purpose.”

“Covers meant to ease the reader into the story. To help establish a tone (but not have final say).”

“If so much of what book cover design has evolved into is largely a brick-and-mortar marketing tool, then what place does a ‘cover’ hold in digital books? Especially after you purchase it? But, more tellingly, even before you purchase it?”

“If the cover is no longer a visual marketing tool, why not leverage these digital distribution systems and make the cover a notification tool?”

“What do we now hunt when buying books? Data.”

“This user experience flow isn’t a product of any hardware limitation. It’s a set of decisions clearly designed around efficiency (and, possibly, data) — gets us into the text as quickly as possible. Of course, this efficiency comes at the expense of intimacy.”

“In iBooks and the iPad Kindle app, covers are reduced to thumbnails barely 200 pixels high. Most typography is rendered nearly illegible. And as certain books become applications, their covers become icons.”

“… the vast and artificial digital distance between authors and their audience on a platform like Kindle or iBooks. As an author you would think these platforms would do a better job at fostering community between writers and their audience. Or between fellow readers. Perhaps, someday.”
So, what do you think?

I think the cover is one of the most important things about a book because it's the very first thing you see.  Obviously if you are going to read an ebook you still need to purchase it, and when you purchase it what is the first thing you notice ... the cover, not the "data" although that is important after you look at the cover.  People are very fickle creatures.  We need stimulation to purchase something and although we enjoy reading this does not mean that all we want on a cover is a title and the author's name.  I need some visual stimulation as well.  I know there are some readers out there that are not color, just black and white and I agree with MixB that they need to make specific covers for them as well.  Just like there are different covers for different countries, why not have different covers for physical books and one for digital books.  Cater to the people please, thanks lol.  OMG I can't believe it's Monday I'm so ready for it to be Friday!


Lauren said...

I definitely agree. Thanks for sharing!


Kwizgiver said...

Your answer is spot on! I definitely agree. I'm an ereader but still choose a lot of my books based on the covers.

Unknown said...

Ooh, that's an interesting idea, to have different covers for real books and ebooks.

caite said...

our visual side must be pretty, clever, interesting covers.

Unknown said...

Here here.. nicely put, short and sweet where as I did mytypical diatribe! My Musing

Anonymous said...

Hi! Thanks for visiting my blog!

Great answer!

OMG I can't believe it's Monday I'm so ready for it to be Friday!

You've said it!