Friday, 7 November 2014

Matte Covers - Paperback Heaven

Heaven is a paperback book.

It occured to me the other day that people may not know that Createspace, the accessible Print on Demand facility on Amazon, now has a MATTE cover option on its software. 

That means the same kind of soft, durable, light-absorbent, non-reflective cover that you can see displayed in Waterstones,WH Smiths, Barnes and Noble and your local independent bookshop on the corner.

Here's a potentially great book, one where I stopped halfway through the e-book version and bought the paperback. After The Sucker Punch by Lorraine Devon Wilke.

It's a beautiful looking book with the Mattest cover ever. You could drop a tactical nuclear device right next to this cover and you wouldn't see a reflective flicker. 

Knowing Lorraine had created a Matte cover influenced my decision.

Nottingham Library - Pic Wiz Green (Ed)
It's not hard to imagine the first generation of Createspace self publishers being put off when they first tried to print on demand. 

Tag me in the disappointed queue.

 The old covers were glossy - like manuals and non-fiction textbooks. They didn't look quite right. There was something wrong with them - they didn't look like novels.

The Illustrated Woman (2012). Social/erotic satire set in the inner city of Nottingham
First wave Green Wizard novel - glossy cover, 6 x 9, banned
by Cspace for er, excessively erotic content and
withdrawn by the editor for political reasons,
Sixteen copies exist.
For fiction writers, you couldn't help but be disappointed. Fiction novels don't usually have covers where, on a sunny day, you can comb a mullet in the reflection. 

So Amazon, who own Createspace, listened to the punters (including yours truly) and introduced the current situation.

Lovely, available, accessible for all, Matte covers.

I know these photos aren't fantastic but if I showed you how beautiful these books look, how they feel, how they can be experienced in hand, you may feel like saying, 

"Dierdre. I'm skipping the e-book, dear. I'm going straight for the paperback."


"Roger, I've decided to publish my next Happy Ever After romance in paperback."
"That's excellent, Phyllis. I'll build a new bookshelf in the hall."

Take terrific Orange County "faction" writer, Brenda Perlin's paperbacks, which arrived hotfoot at the Cauldron today.

Brenda Perlin's "Brooklyn and Bo" Trilogy -  supported here by Green Wizard's resident bear, Mr. Chuckles who features regularly on Mary Ann Bernal's history and indie blog (address at the bottom).

Superb looking paperback books. You can't help touching them. You can't help going wow.

And of course, lets be honest. EVERY writer - fiction, non-fiction, happy-clappy, tycoon, manual, god bothersome, satanic, personally developing, academic, memoirist, diarist, trad published, self-published, tiny-press published, pseudo-published et al - has harboured dreams of seeing their work, their beloved toil, their heartfelt labours, in book form. 

On a bookshelf in a bookshop or even on a plywood shelf in a bedroom...the ones below are ALL indie published.

My indie book shelf
So now, with Matte covers, luscious cream pages, step-by-step instructions and a massive support network available on Twitter and Facebook, really, if you have written a decent book then let's be having you - hire yourself a cover designer and create a paperback. 

After all, you can't put a Kindle book on a shelf (he says, with a wink).


  1. You have such a way with words Mark!!!

    You included my books too and you really did buy them????? Go figure. Goosebumps!!!! How exciting. And yes, I am a BIG fan of the matt covers. Though, I don't care matt or glossy for yours, Mary Ann's and of course, Lorraine's. When you have such brilliant content it doesn't much matter.

    I am happy to see that approve of matt covers. I always preferred matt when I took pictures so I have stuck with to no glare option!!! Marvelous!

  2. Great post Mark - only you could be so eloquent about a book cover - haha! I love the matte cover, it has a lovely feel to it and look, of course. I never even considered the glossy choice, I came along after the matte option became available. One early mistake I made though was to go for white paper. Now my books are on cream they look warm and inviting, encouraging you to sink into them before they're even opened. Gx