Why You Need a Kick Ass Book Cover


A picture is worth a thousand words and people DO judge a book by its cover.

Cliche and so true.

Look at how Instagram and Pinterest have exploded.

People LOVE images.

Even before the onset of image-driven social media pictures captured people’s attention.

The cover of your book will be the first thing people notice as it’s sitting on the cyber shelves. You need it to stand out and grab people’s attention. To compel them to pick up your book and see what it’s all about.

Your book cover is all about marketing. It’s your first impression. You want that reader stop in her tracks and NEED to buy your book because the cover looks so interesting.

There’s a reason romance novels have half naked men on them.

As you know different writing genres have different cover styles. You won’t see bright colors and an illustrated woman shopping on a horror book or a bunch of robots on a romance novel. Book covers must reflect your genre, so they attract your audience.

Spend some time looking at book covers in your genre. Books by both traditionally published authors and indie authors so you can see what appeals to you. Put your reader hat on and determine what would compel you to try one of those books based on the cover alone. You need to know what’s out there, so you understand what you’re competing against and to know what the trend is.

I’ve spent money in this area duplicating efforts as I have found what I thought looked cool wasn’t selling. I’ve made cover changes that immediately increased sales because the new cover stood out more.

My first books have been through two or three covers because it took me a while to figure out what I was doing. And I don’t have it all figured out by any means.

I’ve had book covers designed where felt I was hitting exactly the elements I needed to reach my audience. But when I revealed it to my readers they hated it, and I had to start over.

It happens.

Unless you’re talented in design, this is another area in your business where hiring a professional is worth every penny. As I’ve said before focus your talents where they will be the most effective.

Don’t spend hours and hours on something that might not be all that great. Find someone who knows what they’re doing and outsources certain production elements. Then you can spend your time writing and creating.

A professional graphic designer is someone who understands how to visually appeal to your target audience. They will be able to tell you about different aspects of your cover you may not have thought of. That’s why they’re in the business they’re in because they want to make things pretty and marketable.

For example, I currently have a couple of different series I write. In the beginning, I worked with designers who were very inexpensive as I didn;t have a lot to spend. I thought my book covers were awesome, but each cover in my series looked much different from the other books in the series. There was no continuity. So the average reader wouldn’t know they were a series. It hadn’t even occurred to me that it might be important.

I’m a writer, not a marketer.

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Then it was explained to me why from a marketing standpoint it was important to have my series branded. For all the books to look like they were part of a collection. It made perfect sense. Once he said it, I realized all my favorite authors have that continuity within their series. It just didn’t occur to me until my cover designer brought it to my attention. I’d always been more concerned about the pretty in my individual book covers rather than functionality or marketability. But they aren’t sweaters; they’re sales brochures.

Covers need to help sell your book.

Each platform you sell your book on, and the various social media platforms will have different expectations of cover sizes to upload to the platform. Something I didn’t think of until I tried to upload my covers to Audible and put a header on my Facebook Fan page. Because I didn’t have the right size, none of my old book covers looked good.

You will need your cover in all the formats because your cover art is your product packaging. It needs to look great in every single place you put it.

After all the hard work you put into the writing aspect, you owe it to yourself to put a great cover on it!

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