Designing an eye-catching book cover is a strategic part of the book marketing process. If someone lingers over your cover for a millisecond longer, there’s a greater likelihood they’ll be inspired to crack open the book. What then, can can be done to set one book cover apart from another with the hundreds of thousands of books being published every year?
Lately, the trend of animating book covers has caught on as a sleek new way to add pizazz and let books stand out. An animated image is a great way for a book to be shared, posted, and reposted, on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, and other social media sites, thereby reaching a wider audience. Google’s expanded feature for Advanced Image Search is a good sign for authors and animators who want their work shared.
William Herr, author of From a Broken Land, described his decision to jump on the animation trend as a “shut up and take my money” moment
Who is using Animated Book Covers?
Graphic design artist Joshua Jadon has offered GIF book covers to his clients for more than three years. Joshua has designed book covers for authors of all genres, including New York Times Best Selling authors. Joshua says that one in five of his clients will request an animated book cover.
So far, several renowned authors, including Stephen King and J.A. Konrath, have adopted the animated design. Stephen King published Doctor Sleep, the sequel to The Shining, with a beautiful animation.
Interestingly enough, some of the best work shared online has not been by publishers or authors, but rather, fans and artists. The Atlantic released a video article featuring the work of German-born digital artist, Henning M. Lederer, in which he animated obscure book covers from the 1970s era. The work is not only hypnotic but has also given new life to the books, deemed “insignificant or uncollectable in their time of original publishing.
How Can Authors Get an Animated Book Cover?
William R. Herr, described his decision to animate the cover of his recent novel, From a Broken Land, as, “Not something you can do yourself, at least not if it is done right, and the artists understand this. Pay well for good work, and don’t accept the sub-par.”
Unfortunately, his publisher at the time wasn’t on board. Herr states, “Their position was that the retailers would never agree to include the covers, so why even pursue it?” After leaving his publisher for unrelated reasons, Herr turned to his friend Aaron Acevedo of Pinnacle Entertainment Group, a “bootstrap tabletop gaming company.” Acevedo, in turn, brought in colleague Martin de Diego Sadabo to do the artwork. The combination was simply perfect.
On the other side of the spectrum is book design artist, Joshua Jadon, who has been dazzling readers for more than three years with animated book covers. “My dad has always been into animation and suggested that I look into doing animated book cover designs. The idea that an eBook cover can be brought to life with a bit of custom animation in a GIF format is really amazing.”
Why Should an Author Get Animated?
According to Jadon, “Eye-catching book cover design is a real key to catching the attention of MORE readers and the best possible way to increase that rate of someone seeing your book is to have a cover that really stands out. GIF animations just crank things up a notch with real-time movement and effects.”
What is the Cost of an Animated Book Cover?
Less is more, according to Herr. “Too much movement, and the eye gets tired. Too little, and it does not ‘pop’. Overall cost for the animation was $100.00.” All animators have their own fees, and the DIY option is always there if one is inclined to take up the task.
“Honestly creating a GIF animation can take some time, depending on the difficulty of the animation and what exactly the client wants created,” states Jardon, who quoted his rate for an animated GIF cover at $200, although he offers discounts if authors want a regular book cover as well.
There is also the option of creating your own. All that is required is Photoshop and the help of a Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) creating site. There are several tutorials online such as this one that can give any book a creative edge to grab attention.
The Future of Animated Covers
While many authors and designers are catching on to this unique marketing tool, animating still appears to be in its early stages. At the moment, Amazon Kindle and most major online retailors do not support them, nor has Amazon released any plans to feature the new designs. However, the trend has gained some serious momentum and may become more commonplace as the book industry continues its competitive streak. As Herr put it, “Someone has to be first, and I’ll be darned if it’s going to be Steven King over me.”
While some mediums where this article is published allow animation, others do not. So to see the full effects of animated covers go to www.joshuajadon.com, www.aaronace.com and http://ebookfriendly.com/best-animated-book-covers/. Designer Charlotte Strick tells us how an animated book cover is made at: http://bit.ly/2bJzHe1
The Bottom Line: With the explosion in electronic everything, getting an animated book cover will be standard in the coming years. Might just as well jump on it and do it now.
About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz
Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few. Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at http://www.book-marketing-expert.com or contact Lorenz at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist Check his blog at: http://www.The-Book-Publicist.com
Chris Hayden been working at City Book Review since 2012, so that makes him the keeper of knowledge. He manages the office and book reviewers (all 200 of them!), which is no small feat. If you’re looking at the book reviews here, you’re seeing them because he sent the books out for review. Without him, this place would fall apart, because no one else in the office knows how to use the postage machine. Two words: job security.