Are Book Covers Still Important in the Digital Age?

There was a time when readers would venture to a bookstore or library and browse the shelves for a book that grabbed their attention. Despite the old cliché “never judge a book by its cover,” most people are drawn to books with interesting cover art. While there are still people who purchase print books and who enjoy an afternoon stroll through a bookstore, more and more people are purchasing books online and using e-readers. This shift has authors, and artists, wondering if cover art is still important in the digital age.

While e-book formats require less emphasis on physical appearance (interior formatting is simpler and a full cover design is not necessary), they still need “cover” artwork. Since the reader will be viewing the cover on a screen, it is very important that the design is appealing and captures the essence of the book.

As a self-publishing author, it is important to consider the current trends when making decisions about your book. If you are only publishing an electronic version of your book at first, make sure the cover is appealing on a screen and grabs the attention of a potential reader.  The cover design of your e-book format is just as important as the full cover design of any hardcopy format.

I’d love to know, does the cover design make a difference in the e-books you choose to buy?

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press.  In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at

3 thoughts on “Are Book Covers Still Important in the Digital Age?

  1. I’ve never bought an e-book before but it sucks knowing i’m gonna have to hire an illustrator to do my cover art and pictures throughout my book. More money :/

  2. Maybe I’m just shallow, but when I look for books, the first thing I notice is the title, quickly followed by the book cover. If neither of those looks interesting, I won’t even bother to read the book summary. So I’d definitely say the cover is important 🙂

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