Is Your Book Being Judged By Its Cover?

Just like a person, we judge a book by its cover. Admit it! We like anything that stimulates our senses. We like pretty things, depending on what pretty means to you. It applies to everything. Cars, men, women, clothes... books.

If it pleases our eyes, we give it value. Worth owning... worth wasting time on.

When we browse a book catalog, with the thousands of books available there, what we see are the Book Covers. Being restless browsers, a reader is fickle, scanning quickly and passing over those that are not pleasing to their eyes. The uninteresting. The BLAH. Could your book be one of those that are bypassed because you didn't take time to have a beautiful eye-catching cover made?

Managing perceptions does not only apply to the corporate world. Authors need to know how to do it too. Writing is not the end of the self publishing process, it's only the beginning. Once the manuscript is finished, the next item on the agenda is the conceptualization of an appropriate cover that will help sell our books.

I remember telling an author once that she needed to change her cover. She never spoke to me again. Hahahaha! Yeah, I find it hard not to state the obvious. Being an author myself, I feel sorry for great content with crappy covers. It speaks of poor judgement and arrogance. To think that a book will sell regardless of the cover. But I also understand that sometimes, an author simply doesn't understand good design, or is working with a vanity publisher who doesn't know how to design. I do most of my pro bono work for authors in this predicament.

When you're famous, you can slap a blank cover on your book with only your name on it and it'll sell itself. But if you're a self pub, with the millions of self pub books out there? Let's be realistic and put on our business hats. You need to know what your book needs, and do what you need to do, to convince readers to take a chance. 

For those who want their books to be read, take the time to come up with an original, eye catching, interesting and appropriate cover.

Here are some things to consider while coming up with a book cover:
  • Does the cover clearly convey the book's genre?
    It should match what the book is about. Browse other books in your genre. You don't want to copy their covers. You want to be different, to stand out. But get a taste of how other authors are presenting their books.
  • What image should you put on the cover?
    Whatever you choose, don't crowd the cover. Just put enough images to represent your story. And make sure they're copyright free.
  • There should only be 2 font types used
    Anything more and the cover will look cluttered.
  • Your child's drawing is not cute.... No, it's really not. Not on the Book Cover.
    Even for a children's book, covers should look professional. It may be cute for you since it has a personal meaning, but to a buyer...
  • What color theme will you use?
    We want to make the book stand out... not look like the work of a crazy loon. Choose colors that merge well together and looks pleasing to the eyes.
As a self pub, we are always accused of scrimping on expense and not getting the right services for our books. There are cheap services and there are affordable services, and there are Whoa WTF priced services. With the number of freelancers catering to self pubs, it's hard to find affordable but quality services -  but they're out there. There's no need to spend hundreds of dollars on the cover. You should use your budget wisely and spread it out. 

Details details. There's so many things to consider when self publishing a book, it's easy to be overwhelmed. But, once you get the right team onboard, you'll find that churning out quality books is not really that hard... and you can spend more time in perfecting your craft.

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