Back when we were reading paper books more than ebooks, the cover illustrations played a big part in a book's appeal as it sat on a bookstore shelf, and in how we imagined the characters or the iconic scenes. More and more, we pick up an ebook and see only the same e-reader cover or tablet face, regardless of the contents.
Recovering the Classics, a joint project by the Creative Action Network, the DailyLit, and Harvard Bookstore, is a creative project that will allow ebook readers to download a classic book with a cover illustration of their choice. Seventy years after an author has died, their works become part of the public domain. This means that the content is free to the public. Ebook readers enjoy downloading the classics for free, but these come either with dated, worn out cover art, or with no cover art.
Recovering the Classics project is asking designers and illustrators to submit their cover art for 50 classics, including The Jungle Book, A Tale of Two Cities, and The Count of Monte Cristo. Readers will then be able to download a book with the cover of their choice from among submitted cover illustrations for $15, to be split among the organizations and illustrators.
All of you artists out there should submit something! What a wonderful way to breathe new life into classic books and to give the readers an opportunity for active participation in choosing the cover that most appeals to them.