Animated book covers are a great book marketing tool

The Three Sarah Lotz animated book cover
Animated cover of The Three – a new novel by Sarah Lotz

In digital times, where most of readers’ activity is focused on the web, animated book covers should be quickly and naturally embraced by book marketing.

However, golden times of animated book covers haven’t come, yet.

So far, best examples come from book fans not book publishers, as this list of most interesting animated book covers shows.

Take for instance minimalist covers designed by Harry Potter fan Jessica Martinez. They describe in motion the most prominent element of each of the Harry Potter books. And they have drawn extraordinary attention, not only from people addicted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft. The level of buzz every book author would love to create around her own book.

Animated cover is nothing more than a sequence of still images put together into a gif file. There is no need to do make a flash animation.

At the basic level, the movement can be brought to the cover by fading in the following words of the book’s title. Simple as that.

This can be done using free online animated gif generators, like Gif Maker. Every book designer, using the current software to design a still cover, can output a sequence of still images. No extra stills or paid resources are needed for that.

Animated book cover is much easier and cheaper to create than a book promotion video. Put it in the sidebar and it will start “playing” right after someone visits your author blog.

If you were the author, and had the cover this beautiful as The Three, a new novel by Sarah Lotz (shown above), would you display on your blog its still or moving version?

A great example of why animated book covers are much more effective in attention-grabbing is the list of covers prepared by Epic Reads. Original designs from YA novels were taken by Epic Reads designers and turned into animations.

Now, imagine a book marketing activity like book cover reveal. Announce the still and animated version. Which one would get more reshares on Tumblr, the dome of everything animated?

The fact animated book covers have not yet become popular, doesn’t mean there is no activity in this area. A pre-launch promotion of UK edition of the latest novels by Stephen King, Doctor Sleep, and Mr Mercedes, included animated book covers. The one for Doctor Sleep was pushed even further and became interactive.

Animated book covers are definitely worth adding as a next bullet point to a book marketing to-do list. Making a cover moving is just a first step. The next step, and the big thing, will be to bring creativity to cover design, and to change attitude from “how to animate this still cover” to “what story do I want to say with this cover”.

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