Just like with paper books an ebook grabs your attention with a good cover image. It’s the first thing you see in the ebookstore and the first thing you see when you open your ereader library. But when you open an ebook for the first time I noticed a strange thing with certain ebooks. You don’t see the cover image anymore. You’re taken to the title page or sometimes right away to the first page of the first chapter. If you want to see the cover image again you can’t go back. The cover image is not included in the ebook content. This annoyed me when I tried to make my first ebook. I had put a lot of time in making my first cover image. I was proud of the result and when made the first version of this book with a simple ebook tool I didn’t like the fact that in the resulting ebook the reader would not see the fruit of my labour.
When I set out to learn about the ePub format this was one of the small issues I tried to figure out and I quickly learned that it is something that you can set in the OPF file of the ePub. OPF stands for Open Packaging Format and it is a file that lists all components of the ebook, it provides publication-level metadata, it specifies the navigation structure of the ebook and the linear reading-order of the publication. So the OPF file is an important file and all the metadata you enter in the Eboocz metadata screen will be stored in this file.
Book Cover Philosophy
So what is going on when the cover image is not part of the ebook? What some publishers choose to do is set the linear reading order to NO for the cover image in the OPF file. The result is that the cover image won’t be visible once the ebook is opened. Apparently this is something that some publishers care about a lot. In a way I understand their reasoning. The cover image is not part of the front matter of a book. It’s something on the outside, so why include it in the book? Well, I think that ebooks are unlike paper books in this respect. The cover image you see in the ebookstore and the ereader library is only a small thumbnail image. If you want to see the cover image in it’s full glory you can click on the thumbnail in the ebookstore and it will show a larger version of the cover. But once you’ve bought the book and it resides in your ereader library, how can you see the cover image in large when the publisher has not included it in the ebook? You can’t. If you open the ebook in your ereader the cover image will only show for a second while opening the ebook and then it’s gone again.
Eboocz Cover Option
That’s why I favour ebooks that include the cover image in the ebook content. It gives you the possibility to check out the cover image. I understand that others choose not to though. So when I built Eboocz it was immediately clear that I would include an option where one can choose to include the cover in the book contents or not. It’s one of these small nifty little features of Eboocz that’ll make your life as a self-publisher easier, because you won’t have to dive into the OPF file afterwards to correct things. I hope you’ll enjoy it.