Animated covers are becoming more and more popular in a world that is continuing to become more digital. With the inventions of electronics like the Kindle and the Nook, more readers are turning to electronic versions of their beloved novels. New generations are becoming more likely to read books on a screen rather than paper, and this means a new need for attention grabbing covers. The great thing about anything digital is the potential to really add life to something that a plain piece of paper could never do.
Movement is the key feature of new digital covers, adding a new, eye-catching element to the already intriguing illustration. This cover, without the animation, is already very eye-catching because of its fantastic use of bright, contrasting colors. The bright red of the background makes the metallic letters of the title greatly stand out so that it is impossible to miss them; there is also the fact that the letters of the title are greatly exaggerated and take up most of the cover itself. And then the animation comes in, taking an already attention grabbing illustration and really taking hold of the potential reader. The strange flying bus enters from nowhere on the left side of the cover, flies across while dodging the metallic letters, and then makes an exciting exit on the other side. Short, simple, fun, but most importantly, effective.
Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
Here is another great example of an intriguing still frame enhanced beautifully with a simple animation. Two people stand face to face, inches apart in an obvious stance of love. Their features are only barely illuminated by the golden light coming from the background, gently framing their faces in a frozen moment. The title, in white letters that easily stand out from everything else, pique interest even more when they remind readers of two other famous lovers who were also star-crossed. And then the other information that really seals the deal when it comes to grabbing the reader’s interest, is the smaller white letters, still standing out, but demanding more time to read the smaller print. The animation adds the final touch, showing the power of the gods that are keeping these two apart by splitting them with a powerful strike of lightning, right down the middle. This is one cover that is truly attention grabbing.
Daylight Saving by Edward Hogan
This is truly the example of new, innovative, and futuristic when it comes to digital covers. This design not only incorporates motion into the cover, with ripples appearing periodically to enhance the watery image that sits still beneath. There are other interesting and attention capturing parts of this cover, but by far the most captivating aspect is the interacting potential it carries. Just by crossing their mouse over it, potential readers are instantly amused by the ripples that are created and spread out, just as if they had touched real water. This is so incredibly effective in grabbing new readers, that this cover almost doesn’t need anything else. The girl swimming, the blue title slightly blending with the watery background, and especially the intriguing phrase at the top are all parts that add to the overall effectiveness of this amazing cover.
My Soul to Steal by Rachel Vincent
This cover is beauty in motion. There is just enough going on here to really capture the attention of the reader without overwhelming them with too many moving parts. There are really only two colors to see here, and that is the dull gray that seems to take over almost the entire cover, and the vibrant blue of the author’s name and the last word in the title, as well as the flapping butterfly sitting on the woman’s shoulder. These things are meant to be seen. The author wants her readers to know her name, but that it isn’t as important as the butterfly, or what is stolen. Just as the reader is hooked, one final part of the image comes into view to really finalize the hold. The small blurb telling readers that if they liked the Twilight series, they’ll love this, is the last piece of this artistic puzzle that will finally pull readers in completely. This is a truly beautiful and stunning piece of cover art, using the stark contrast of the vibrant blue against the gloomy gray to its full advantage.
Flee by J.A. Konrath and Ann Voss Peterson
This one is very interesting. There is no extreme animation, no bright colors or objects really flying across the cover. The image itself appears from a white blank, the bullet looking as if it is actually shooting its way through the whiteness before stopping in its wedge that is the still image of the full cover. Short, simple and to the point. It is nice and quick without losing any of the momentum it gains from being a moving cover. No, it is not super flashy or over the top with colors, but it does the job of capturing the reader’s attention. It’s almost an optical illusion the way the bullet seems to slice through the cover. And then readers are able to see the rest of the cover: a woman with a gun and a defeated look on her face, and the one-word title that adds even more interest: Flee. All of this has to be seen in a moment’s time before the entire image is erased, and the reader is left once again with a blank white screen, as if the cover itself has been made to flee. On paper books, simple covers, when done right, can be more effective than those with a hundred different images. This is the ebook digital equivalent to those successful cover arts.