The Problem With Ebooks

A major problem with ebooks occurred to me the other day – not being able to see what other people are reading.

That’s because, as an author, I’ve always dreamt of walking into a cafe, getting on a train, going to an airport etc and seeing a stranger engrossed in reading one of my novels.

But ebooks are so anonymous compared with old fashioned paper and hardbacks. Unless you lean right over the person’s shoulder you’ve no idea if they’re reading War And Peace or 50 Shades Of Whatever. (They could even be reading this blog or doing their shopping.)

The VaultAnyway – partly in a bid to one day realise my dream – I’m in the process of putting together the first print edition of The Vault. Today was a bit of a red letter day – I sent off an application to buy 10 ISBN numbers. (For some reason you can only buy a minimum of 10 in the UK.)

When I first published this book (on Kindle) I decided that 50% of any royalties would go to the charity ShelterBox. The ebook version has now been on sale for about a year and sold enough copies that I was able to hand over a donation of £85 the other week. Not a huge sum but it’s a start!

Anyway, I’m hoping that once I’ve got a print version available I might be able to sell a few more copies. Sadly the royalties on print versions are much lower but at least I might spot someone reading the book!

But before I hit ‘print’ I’ve got a few more things to finalise apart from the ISBN numbers. One important thing is the cover. The image above is the cover for the Kindle version but I’m thinking of a new design for the print edition.

Below are three versions of one possible cover. I’d love to get any feedback. How does the new cover compare with the old one? Do you like either of them? Which version of the new one is best?

Please be honest! Any comments welcome.

NB. The image on the ebook cover shows part of the locking mechanism of a vault (so an obvious link), whereas the forest scene is because much of the story is set in an ancient English woodland that’s crucial to the four strands of the story.

Vault option 1

Option 1 with natural colours and a colour publisher’s logo.

Vault option 2

Option 2 with pale colours and a black-and-white logo.

Vault option 3

Option 3 with a red tint and B&W logo.

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7 responses to “The Problem With Ebooks”

  1. Maddie Cochere says :

    Hi, Huw! I’m not one who should be giving advice about covers. You’ve seen how many times I’ve changed mine. However, never one to be shy, I’ll give you my opinion.

    I slipped over to Amazon to read your blurb for the book. Very intriguing. I think the first cover is too “lovely.” I had more of happy, sunny feeling when I first saw it.

    The second one takes some of that away, but the third one conveys more of the feel of the blurb. The forest doesn’t have to be spooky, just that slightly uncomfortable eerie. So, I vote number three.

    Have you considered a subtitle? When I saw this in your blurb, I thought it would make a great subtitle: Two boys stumble across an eerie secret… I think it would definitely cause someone to pick the book up and read the back.

  2. Juliette says :

    Your opening made me laugh! I know more than one person who has put a different cover on a romance novel to cover up the bare chested man and swooning girl on the cover!

    I like the middle cover. Nice font choice. Try some gray tones (replace the brown). It might give more of a mysterious mood.

  3. Jessica says :

    I like the first one! I think you’re right to go with a new cover that’s a little more colorful. I think photo covers are very popular right now, so it should draw some attention. I also like the new font! It looks very classy.
    Hope it does well! Good luck 🙂

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