Marketing strategist Damian Horner, chairing the recent event held at the British Library, said publishers' current approach—of replicating a book's printed cover online with review quotes and design flourishes—does not work in the digital sales environment.

Horner recommended that publishers should instead consider a cover's digital impact, dropping text entirely in favour of a distinctive "icon" that can transfer to social media like Twitter; good examples of this were Caroline Lawrence's The Case of the Deadly Desperados, Stephenie Meyer's Twilight and David Nicholls' One Day.

Horner said the online blurb will have to convey all the information a cover cannot communicate in that environment, including the book's title and reviews. Publishers will need to embark on the "whole new discipline" of search engine optimising e-book blurbs.