We’ve noticed that there’s a lot of demand for designing e-book covers. And as with all books there is quite a range of quality among the books. Many, if not most, e-books are not very well written. But maybe that’s also true with printed books if one counts all the self-published titles in existence. (There are some very good self-published books, but I think everyone knows that there are also a lot of bad books, too). Some of the e-books we’ve seen are nothing more than Word document files of less than ten pages.

And some e-books are just outright scams. There seems to be a lot of that floating around on the net. And, yes, you can waste money on printed books, too, but at least with print you can see what you buying in the bookstore before purchasing the thing. Most Web sites selling e-books don’t provide previews of any inside pages or even tell you the number of pages.

This brings us to the trend in designing e-book covers where an image is created to make the e-book resemble a printed book, appearing three dimensional with a spine.

We’ve done this ourselves for clients when requested. Here’s an e-book cover and Web page that we’ve designed:

e-book cover design

This isn’t a post to promote that particular e-book, which is why we’re not linking to that particular Web site. We just wanted to address this trend in designing e-book covers. Since we believe in design, we believe all books deserve a good design. There’s an interesting philosophical question as to whether design should be used to promote certain activities but we’ll leave that discussion to the pundits.

But we would like to call for e-book authors not to request an e-book cover that resembles a printed book. You don’t need that. If you want that, then we’ll design it for you but think about why you feel the need for it. What you need, as with any cover, is a compelling design. Indeed, with an e-book you also need a very well designed Web page. Far too many e-books are promoted from poorly designed Web sites.

Also, we would like to see more e-book authors pay attention to the layout and formatting of their interior pages. There is a lot that can be done in PDF. And e-book authors should also provide a preview of a few pages to prospective buyers. With just a little more work, by making a quality product, a quality e-book, you surely can sell more than if you just go for the quick buck from the unsuspecting, naive consumer. Let’s see more quality from e-books.