Print Book Covers - Glossy vs. Matte

Before posting in this marketing forum, please try to read 10 Step Plan to Promote Your Book: Online Book Marketing on Any Budget. This forum is mainly for followup questions and discussion after reading that book. This forum does indeed allow for much broader discussion of marketing and promotion than just that book, but it's good for everyone to be on the same page about the basics.

Please note, this forum is not for self-promotional plugs. It's for discussing how to promote your book or other writing.
User avatar
Scott
Site Admin
Posts: 3124
Joined: 31 Jul 2006, 23:00
2018 Reading Goal: 52
2017 Reading Goal: 36
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 5
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 25
Favorite Author: Voltairine de Cleyre
Currently Reading: The Woman in the Window
Bookshelf Size: 225
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-scott.html
Reading Device: B00L89V1AA
Publishing Contest Votes: 960
fav_author_id: 2660
Signature Addition: testtesttest
Location: CT

Print Book Covers - Glossy vs. Matte

Post by Scott » 06 Oct 2015, 15:33

As explained in more depth in my ebook 10 Step Plan to Promote Your Book, the most crucial part of marketing is product development.

One part of the publishing process is developing the cover for the print editions, i.e. traditional paperback editions or hardcover editions. One choice that comes up is choosing glossy versus matte finish for the cover.

Which do you generally prefer and why?

Those who publish many books will probably find that depending on the book and cover image a different finish can be preferred. What determines your choice on a per book basis?
"That virtue we appreciate is as much ours as another's. We see so much only as we possess." - Henry David Thoreau

"Non ignara mali miseris succurrere disco." Virgil, The Aeneid

zeldas_lullaby
Posts: 5985
Joined: 27 Mar 2013, 20:01
Favorite Author: ---------
Favorite Book: <a href="http://forums.onlinebookclub.org/shelve ... =3452">The Thorn Birds</a>
Currently Reading: The Last Stonestepper
Bookshelf Size: 79
Location: ------------

Post by zeldas_lullaby » 06 Oct 2015, 17:51

I like matte. (This is probably TMI, but I have a mental glitch that causes me to pronounce it mattAY. Anyway.) However, if you get matte from Createspace, it is readily smudged by fingerprints. So you could say it's not quality matte. (The way I said that actually rhymed.) Glossy seems like a better option through CS. However, I still opt for matte.

I love books that are matte except for the focal image, which is glossy. Of course, that's not an option for the self-published among us.

As per deciding on a book-by-book basis, I get what you're asking, but for me it's matte all the way.

Another interesting point on this topic is how weird it is that you cannot tell on a product's page which type of cover finish the book has!

User avatar
bookowlie
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 7138
Joined: 25 Oct 2014, 09:52
2017 Reading Goal: 52
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 50
Favorite Book: The Lost Continent
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 301
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-bookowlie.html
Latest Review: A-Z of Animal Limericks by Kate Condon

Post by bookowlie » 06 Oct 2015, 18:43

I like matte, with nothing glossy anywhere.

-- 06 Oct 2015, 19:47 --

It would probably help if I said why. I think matte covers look modern and antique at the same time. There is just something special about a matte cover.
"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship" - Louisa May Alcott

User avatar
ALynnPowers
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 8447
Joined: 21 Aug 2014, 07:14
2017 Reading Goal: 125
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 3
Bookshelf Size: 341
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-alynnpowers.html
Latest Review: "Jake and the man-eating Picnic Basket" by Peter Preston
Reading Device: B0051QVF7A
Publishing Contest Votes: 13

Post by ALynnPowers » 06 Oct 2015, 18:58

I think it depends on the book. I agree that createspace makes smudgy matte covers, but if you can get a quality matte, I prefer that. It looks so sophisticated.

User avatar
gali
Site Admin
Posts: 29478
Joined: 22 Oct 2013, 07:12
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 60
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 105
Favorite Author: Agatha Christie
Currently Reading: The Cat Who Blew the Whistle
Bookshelf Size: 1808
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-gali.html
Reading Device: B00I15SB16
fav_author_id: 2484
Location: Lost in a good book

Post by gali » 06 Oct 2015, 21:33

I think I would prefer matte since the text is a bit easier to read on it and it has a nice aesthetic quality.
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)

User avatar
ALynnPowers
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 8447
Joined: 21 Aug 2014, 07:14
2017 Reading Goal: 125
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 3
Bookshelf Size: 341
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-alynnpowers.html
Latest Review: "Jake and the man-eating Picnic Basket" by Peter Preston
Reading Device: B0051QVF7A
Publishing Contest Votes: 13

Post by ALynnPowers » 07 Oct 2015, 04:30

I just thought about something else regarding the finish. I prefer the way that glossy covers "feel" when I hold them. All smooth. I think the matte feels sticky. But I still think it looks nicer, as long as I don't leave sticky handprints on it.

User avatar
Kesia Alexandra
Posts: 8
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 16:34
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by Kesia Alexandra » 07 Oct 2015, 09:06

I do like the look of matte covers and when I first made my book available I used matte. But I noticed that it started to get sticky, handprint-y and a little faded after a while. I think it made the book look cheaper than the materials used actual were, if that makes sense. So I switched to glossy.

User avatar
ChantelSeabrook
Posts: 5
Joined: 18 Jun 2015, 20:17
Bookshelf Size: 1

Post by ChantelSeabrook » 15 Oct 2015, 17:31

I agree, matte is much nicer than glossy.

User avatar
CCtheBrave
Posts: 180
Joined: 11 Jul 2015, 14:35
2017 Reading Goal: 24
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 0
Favorite Author: Jorge Luis Borges
Currently Reading: Under Wildwood
Bookshelf Size: 166
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-ccthebrave.html
Latest Review: "Wild Ozark Nature Journal" by Madison Woods
Reading Device: B00I15SB16
fav_author_id: 2819
Location: Tacoma, WA

Post by CCtheBrave » 20 Oct 2015, 14:33

I just stumbled across this thread, but i've been debating glossy vs. matte all week! I really prefer matte, but it's good to hear you guys say CS doesn't produce a quality matte finish, i'll keep that in mind. thx
read well and write bravely

User avatar
LivreAmour217
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 1982
Joined: 02 Oct 2014, 12:42
2018 Reading Goal: 75
2017 Reading Goal: 60
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 40
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 118
Favorite Author: Too many to count
Favorite Book: Ditto
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 218
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-livreamour217.html
Latest Review: The Chronicles of a Sophisticated Redneck by Phillip Garrett
Location: Kentucky-Tennessee state line, USA

Post by LivreAmour217 » 22 Oct 2015, 13:07

I've never thought about this before! I just now pulled several books off of my shelf--some glossy, some matte--to help me answer this question. I think I prefer the matte covers, as the artwork looks more detailed, with richer colors. Plus, my glossy books look more worn out than the matte ones (and some of these matte books are older than the glossy books), so I'm wondering if the matte covers hold up better over time.
"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." - Albert Einstein

User avatar
VictoriaR
Posts: 27
Joined: 12 Oct 2015, 00:00
Currently Reading: Thrones, Dominations
Bookshelf Size: 5

Post by VictoriaR » 24 Oct 2015, 23:50

I have always used glossy. There's a whole youtube video (actually, several) devoted to this subject. The consensus seems to be that glossy covers hold up slightly better over time. Also the color black seems darker on glossy covers. But there is something to be said for matte also, it looks a little more sophisticated.

User avatar
Topcho
Posts: 122
Joined: 15 Sep 2015, 13:21
2017 Reading Goal: 80
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 0
Favorite Author: J.R.R.Tolkien
Currently Reading: z2
Bookshelf Size: 861
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-topcho.html
Latest Review: "Sonar The Cyclone" by B Truly
Location: Bulgaria

Post by Topcho » 25 Oct 2015, 12:14

Well, I never really thought about it much. I like it when both - glossy and matte surface - are combinedin one cover to create a special effect or a certain 3d effect. And I do think, like VictoriaR above mentioned, that the matte looks more sophisticated. However, this doesn't really matter to me and won't change my mind when I am buying a book. As long as the cover is well done and fitting the read, wether it is glossy ir matte is the least of my worries :D

User avatar
Momlovesbooks
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 292
Joined: 13 Apr 2015, 12:49
2017 Reading Goal: 50
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 70
Currently Reading: A Book for Oreo
Bookshelf Size: 231
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-momlovesbooks.html
Latest Review: Seasons Once Upon My Innocence by Lea Ann Vandygriff

Post by Momlovesbooks » 25 Oct 2015, 16:08

Matte covers seem to look a little more sophisticated, but I don't really pay much attention to whether it's matte or glossy. I'm looking at the title and whether the cover fits the type of book. The type of finish on the cover won't change my mind about buying it.

User avatar
Olivia_Ritch
Posts: 6
Joined: 26 Oct 2015, 14:13
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by Olivia_Ritch » 26 Oct 2015, 14:40

I definitely prefer matte. Glossy just bothers me for some reason. If I can see fingerprints it will drive my OCD up the wall. Matte keeps it contained.

User avatar
BookAddiction
Posts: 5
Joined: 30 Oct 2015, 08:18
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by BookAddiction » 30 Oct 2015, 08:28

Definitely glossy. Much prettier to look at it :D

Post Reply

Return to “Marketing and Promotion for Writers”