Remember the movie Xanadu? Well, unfortunately, I do and the main character was an album cover artist. Changes in music delivery from the smaller format CD cover to electronic delivery greatly diminished the need for this particular niche of design.
Now an article on the CBS website “Judging Books by Their Covers” debates whether book cover art will suffer a similar demise given the sharp increase in the use of e-books.
Ultimately, the future of the book cover is as uncertain as the future of anything. However, this article covers (no pun intended) several interesting points such as the “subway factor” – whether someone wants to be seen on the subway reading a book based on its cover art and the fact that an actual book cover acts as a billboard advertising the book to other potential readers. Unless you are very cozy on public transportation, you may not be able to spy on your neighbor’s reading material as readily on an e-reader.