James Harris, of Auxiliary Memory writes:
I’ve always loved dust jacket art on science fiction hardbacks. I also love cover art on science fiction paperbacks, and cover art on science fiction magazines. But what the hell is happening with covers for ebooks? I can understand when self-published authors create their own covers and they look awful.
If you look at the cover art from 2016 – here’s a selection at the old SF Signal site, and look at a selection of cover art from the 1960s and 1970s at Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations, you’ll notice, at least in my mind, that cover art is less creative.I hasten to point out that e-book covers face challenges that print editions don't. Pixel space is limited and the need for scalable titles that show up against high contrast backgrounds at any resolution aren't as important for print editions. Anyone hiding lazy cover design behind that excuse deserves the low sales volume they get - just because it's harder to do it, that doesn't make it any less important. Particularly for those of us toiling in trenches of our own digging.
And it doesn't have to be expensive. If you have no talent for art, an evocative cover is just five bucks and 24 hours away. Here's a list of people willing to do it for you. Everything I produce goes through a round of Fiverr.com proofreading, and the service is easier to use than eBay. If you're paying to eliminate typos (and why wouldn't you?) then you can just as easily do the same with your cover art.
Even those of you with great cover art already can always use the reminder, people judge books by their cover. If you publish your own works put at least as much time, effort, and thought into the cover as you do the first chapter. It's everyone's first contact with your book - make it a good one.