Q&A: Covers

#books, #ebooks, #covers, #coverstock, #authors

Logo_400From time to time, we share answers to questions submitted by visitors and clients. If you have a question, then do not be bashful. Some of the answers (where needed) will be added to sectional FAQs on the site.

All is still in process at NDAS with much more to come. When something is submitted related to current features, we will share the answer. If related to something planned but not yet implemented, we might answer only privately, but we will answer, and so…

The previews in the premade “stock” covers gallery are adequate, but could we also see them a bit larger as an option?

Yes, and this feature is in the works already. From time to time, stop in and pass your mouse cursor over some of the covers in the gallery. We will be rigging it so that you will see an “enlarge” message when this option is available. You can then click that cover and an enlarged overlay will appear.

Please be patient, as this new feature might take a week or so. We are already busy with a few custom projects, some of which are related to products and services not yet listed on the site. Serving current clients must always come first.

Why do you use faked titles, bylines, etc., on premade covers instead of the more common “your title” and “your name” seen on other similar sites?

A good question, and the answer is related to design, much as that may not make sense at first. There are limits where text is concerned, but textual content for your cover is not just information. Its presentation serves more where customer (reader) first impression is concerned.

Font Face/Family/Size/Pitch

NGN0320_1024Authors seldom have a say in this when working with a professional publisher. When you work with NDAS, you have the final say, though we will advise you. Many thoughts and claims on this topic (by authors and cover designers) are false in the age of the ebook.

There is an obsession with text being readable even when presented as a very very small image in an online store. That would be optimal if there were no other way to identify the presented product. This false and blanket assumption has led to very poor textual design choices and thereby text is the only aspect of a cover notable in a small image. And that text is redundant.

In almost all cases, the image is accompanied with textual information presented outside of the cover. The cover as whole, particularly imagery, is what grabs readers when title/author are plainly listed otherwise. Cover text must fit the whole cover and not leave imagery as an afterthought.

Of course text should be readable when on a print cover or presented inside an ereader/tablet. Additionally, the font/face should be suitable not just to the book or even genre of premise. The works content—tone, mood, ambiance, etc.—should also matter. The font and textual content should be interesting as part of the cover, at least in some small way, and not as singular purpose of the cover.

Positioning

NFZ1407_512Most will think this has to do with top and/or bottom placement of title and/or byline. That is the default choice with most covers, though individual imagery may offer or require a different approach. Along with accommodating clarity of imagery, text positioning itself should attempt to work with the whole layout and not against it or purely for the sake of conformity. Think about this: so long as text is readable at an adequate size, on which covers have you stopped to look again at the arrangement of text?

Perhaps this may have happened for the wrong reasons or because of poor design. The result is the same (somewhat); you paused to look at one cover among others a second time. Text can sometimes be used as part of positioning of all visual elements, for it is visual as well as informational. To ignore this is to simply fade in on the shelf… or in an online shop’s catalog listing.

Arrangement

NDE0349_512No, this is not the same as positioning, nor is it about linear alignment and/or the alteration of font face/size/weight/etc. All of these and more are part of arrangement but again defined and refined by the cover’s imagery.

It can even influence the eye in how text is inflected and emphasized in the mind’s voice when read. Perhaps a lesser consideration than font and positioning, it can still be used to an effect if used judiciously… and with purpose.

Conclusion

These considerations (and more) should be taken into account on all covers. So how does this relate to our way with example cover text? Simply put, you will not see full textual design in the singular use of “your title / your name” throughout a cover gallery.

The number of letters / words is minimal, thereby the same for design possibilities presented, even as a secondary consideration. The human mind eventually ignores repetition because its monotony offers nothing worthy of notice The same applies to authors shopping for a premade cover, though it should not, or their prospective readers will treat their cover that way, too.

“Your Title / Your Name” has never adequately presented the least of the possibilities and never will. When shopping our premade “stock” cover gallery, first look for an “image” which suits your finished work. Along the way, take note of how text (not just font) is used on other covers. Perhaps there is a “textual design” that you think better fits your work. In most cases, there is no extra fee involved for adapting that for use on your chosen cover.

N.D. Author Services [NDAS]

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