So let's take it one step further, publishers because, let's face it, reading an e-book is not nearly the experience that reading a physical book is. There's just too much about physical books that cannot be replicated. But...there are a couple of things you can do easily and cheaply to bring the two experiences a little bit closer to being the same:
- Emphasize the cover art by taking as much care with it as you do with your physical book covers - front AND back. Have the cover appear at logical break points in the e-book presentation, be it at the beginning of chapters or, at least, before already-designated section breaks. Those books that are written to be presented in multiple parts now generally use nothing to emphasize the section breaks other than two or three blank pages.
- Take advantage of chapter breaks, especially in books that don't have more than a dozen or so chapters. Show the cover between chapters or, at the very least, have a separate page between chapters that show the chapter number - and maybe put the cover there every three chapters, or so.
"When reading a book in print, we interact with the cover every time we open and close the book – we see it all the time, it reinforces our perception of the book in our minds," Pelican book designer Matt Young told Creative Review. "Whereas when reading an ebook, the cover often has a much smaller role to play – reduced to a thumbnail, and sometimes never seen again once the book has been purchased. With Pelican, the cover is echoed throughout the entire book: each chapter begins with a full-page/full-screen chapter opener, acting as an important visual signpost and echoing the cover, reinforcing the brand and the series style."
This is a great marketing tool that should create some brand consciousness for e-books, Pelican. And here's hoping that other publishers take your ideas and run with them.