Animated Book Covers – Friend or Foe?

fallenhearts_med If animated book covers was something I thought of before, I promise it’s not an idea I considered in depth until recently. Why? I’m gonna be frank; animating shit is hard. Even if you have some graphic prog that’s specifically designed to make animation easy, it’s still hard.

This doesn’t stop some people from having the most awesome looking covers, though! Even Fallen Hearts over there looks pretty spiff, though I may have gone overboard with the floating particles. Anywho, the point is that, despite the difficulty animating or how much a graphic designer might charge to animate your cover, this is a pretty unique marketing strategy. Not every book has a cover with “moving parts”, and this can definitely be eye catching regardless of whether the animation is done right or wrong.

And that right there might be the biggest problem–going overboard. If these types of covers became a huge trend, it would mean the more popular they got, the higher the bar would be set to actually grab someone’s attention from “all those other books”, and the more eye sores we’d get.

As a general principle, book cover animations should be subtle in most cases, basically so the user can see the title without straining their eyes. But “subtle” can sometimes be the enemy of “attention grabbing”, particularly if you have a lot of competition with those nifty moving parts.

Still, it doesn’t seem entirely likely that we’ll get many of these covers often, at least, not from a ton of indie authors who might lack resources. The reason is that the only books which could really benefit from an animated cover (unless you count holographic prints) are ebooks, and to my knowledge, the most popular ereaders don’t support these images. This might change in the future, but for now, these covers are best left to marketing and promo, so even if they were done in full force, we’d probably only see them on author websites and blogs yadda yadda.

I may just go ahead and animate the rest of my covers (I have this weird OCD thing where if I do one, I have to do them all lol) but I’m definitely not looking to make a huge case out of it. So what do you guys think? Animated books covers; great idea, or destined to become the most messy train wreck of all time?

Cheers! :D

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