Choosing the perfect cover for your book is important for many reasons – here are a few of them:
- Snap decisions. People browsing for books, whether in the store or on Amazon (other online retailers are available) spend an average of five seconds looking at your cover (and a further thirteen seconds reading the bumph, if the cover passes muster) before deciding whether to buy, or move on.
- Quality control. If the cover has a cheap look and feel, then it is often assumed that the words inside will be of the same quality. Try to resist using that cute image you found on the Royalty-Free Clipart site if you want to impress your readers.
- Face value. By all means put your face on the cover of your book if you are Beyoncé or Justin Bieber, or if you are planning to market the book to a specific audience that will identify with your image. If not – it’s probably better to leave your face out of the equation.
- Looks count. Certain designs, colours and visuals speak to particular genre fans. Books aimed at a female audience tend to have lighter covers; those aimed at thriller/killer fans tend to be darker with bolder, bloodier fonts. Any science fiction fan will be able to pick out his books from ten paces due to the graphics on the cover. If you want to find and attract your audience, get the cover right.
- Title shot. The title and subtitle of your book are the first messages that your readers will see, and so they must grab their attention. To have any chance of succeeding, your titles must speak about the contents of your book in such a way that they convey the features, advantages and benefits of your book, whilst at the same time generating a powerful emotional response in your readers.
A good book cover is vitally important. If you make the wrong decisions here, you could be condemning your carefully crafted words to the bargain basement, or worse – gathering dust under your bed without ever being seen.
On the other hand, a well-designed, suitably titled cover will give your stunning prose a better chance of seeing the light of day, and a shot at touching the hearts and minds of your readers.
Time spent getting your cover right is an excellent investment, so make sure you give this aspect of your book the respect it deserves.