A post for e-production geeks. The rest of you are excused.
At yesterday’s #eprdctn roundtable, it turns out that you and I aren’t the only ones who can’t keep straight what anyone means by “cover” anymore.
Ebooks don’t have covers.
NOTHING IS COVERED.
And yet—Amazon wants you to upload a cover. Oh, but they also want your ebook to contain a cover. Oh, and iBooks wants a cover for their library. And then there’s the cover of the printed book. These aren’t even the same graphics files—and may not even be the same designs, since resizing a print cover that contains fine detail, several blurbs, title, series name, author name(s), and an award mention gets you a small rectangle of colored granola. So obviously, there are different names for these different images, right?
HAHAHAHAHAHA! Are you new here?
Answer: Oh, wait. The answer is yes. Everyone is new here. This is new.
Here’s the draft of eproduction terminology that I volunteered to write. Help out here, trend setters and production hounds. This isn’t for me to feel smart; it’s for all of us to be less confused—and to try to set some intelligent standards before Ed in marketing says the same stupid thing over and over long enough that it ends up sticking.
If some of this is reinventing the wheel, that’s because I wasn’t in the wheel meeting.
Comments, please. The next hundred years of book production is depending on you.
- The cover of the printed book. There may further be paperback p-covers, hardback p-covers, trade paper p-covers, etc.
“Anybody can do p-covers. They’re not even interactive. BTW, what’s “ink coverage” mean?”
- E-COVER PAGE
- The big splashy first page of an ebook; its primary visual identity.
“I accidentally applied the “cover” semantic to the acknowledgments page instead of the e-cover page in Sigil, so now I get to learn TextWrangler! Yay!”
- E-COVER GRAPHIC
- The graphic displayed on the e-cover. (eg, e-cover_graphic.jpg is displayed on e-cover.xhtml.)
“Wow, lots of colors in your e-cover graphic! Yeah! That’s really…oo…Hey, I meant to ask. How long have you owned Photoshop?”
- WEBSTORE COVER
- The primary graphic displayed on various store webpages. (eg, when Amazon asks you to upload a cover image and turns it into an Amazon-branded graphic).
“I’m done with his e-cover graphic, but I still have to make twelve webstore covers and change my fee from flat to hourly.”
- LIBRARY IMAGE
- The graphic displayed on on the device itself, used to select which book will be read.
“I side-loaded this damn thing so many times, trying to work around WebKit, that now my whole library is nothing but twenty-three instances of the same library image.”
- PUBLICITY COVERS
- Resized e-cover graphics used by the author or publisher in online publicity.
“I already made her three different sizes of publicity covers, and now she says she needs one that’s smaller than 4K. Considering sending her a pixel and telling her to run it really big.”
- TITLE PAGE
- A page containing the name and title, possibly some graphic elements or other variations. Generally much less flashy than the cover and occurring soon after it. “E-title page” and “P-title page” are self-explanatory.
- TITLE GRAPHIC
- The graphic displayed on the title page. (eg, title_graphic.jpg is displayed on title.xhtml.)
“I did the title graphic, but then they changed the cover, so first I have to do it all over, and then I have to change my fee from flat to hourly.”
Too many definitions?
Too few definitions?