I’m an eBook hoarder.

With so many authors offering books to promote a series, I find myself hanging out on Pixel of Ink, World Literary Cafe, Kindle Author, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords, snatching up books while they’re free.

I’ll click on a free eBook link regardless of the genre and download it to my iPad. I don’t even read the book description in my haste to download it. I’m generally working while cruising the free book sites and don’t have time. Even if I did read it, chances are I won’t remember it.

In the past few months, I have downloaded hundreds of eBooks in the following genres: romance, paranormal, fantasy, horror, thriller, suspense, mystery, science fiction, action, chick lit, history, and even cookbooks.

I tell myself, “the more the merrier” and “if it’s free, it’s for me.” I’m not worried. Eventually, I’ll work my way through my virtual library.

It’s only after I’ve downloaded the book that I become discriminating. I call it the “perfect seashell syndrome.”

You know what I mean. When you first walk a tropical beach, you pick up all the seashells you find. Then, you start noticing the flaws, toss them aside and only keep the pretty, perfect shells.

I’m not tossing books aside – I’m ignoring the ones with mediocre covers when deciding which one to read. I’m also ignoring ones that aren’t my favorite genre – historical romance.

This is why the book cover is incredibly important.

If a book has a plain, unremarkable, or poorly designed cover, I move along. If it’s got a traditional historical romance cover – the arrogant bare-chested duke embracing a woman – then I’ll open it and start reading.

If I don’t have historical romances on my iPad, I look for my next favorite genre – contemporary romance. Now, I’m looking for a cover with a happy couple embracing. If I’m out of romances, I move on to my next favorite genre – science fiction, with covers featuring planets and stars and humans in spacesuits.

As an author, I’ve been concerned about the plethora of free books, asking myself how I can make my titles stand out in the crowd.

I shouldn’t worry. I think most readers are like me and implement the same filtering system.

Despite all the freebies flooding the Internet, my intended audience will find me because I have what they want.

I just have to make sure the packaging is good enough to catch their eye as they scroll through their own hoard.

If you are an indie author, look at your book covers. Compare it to other book covers in your genre. Would you choose to read it?

If not, then consider revamping it. If you’re not confident of your own design skills, ask for help. There are many creative people in our industry. As an indie author, you have complete control, so use it.


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eBook Hoarding by Robin Van Auken is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at http://www.robinvanauken.com.
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