No matter what anyone tries to tell you or the old cliche may imply, readers DO judge a book by its cover. Especially in this day when anyone can publish a book and there is a plethora of pure, indie trash out there, nothing screams “amateur” and someone with a major ego trip than a canned or unprofessional cover. Most readers can spot them a mile away. The main one that comes to mind has a black square where you place your title with a photograph or some other graphic behind it.
In other words, make sure yours looks professional. Put as much thought, time, and money into your book’s appearance as you do your story. Don’t think that you have to spend a fortune. Many cover designers, including myself, will put one together for a very reasonable price. If you want to see some of the ones I’ve designed, you can see them on my Kalliope Rising Press website here.
The cover should represent your story, its theme, and/or main character as clearly as possible. This is not always easy, but is well-worth the thought. I’ve seen great covers that fronted for a lousy story and great stories fronted by a lousy cover. Do everything in your power to make them both the best. Your readers will appreciate it.
Don’t ever underestimate the importance of a quality cover. But it goes beyond that. When designing your book cover, look at best sellers in your genre for ideas. General layout, font styles, and even the predominant colors should be similar. You want to fit in with the best.
If it doesn’t fit in with what readers are looking for, they’re likely to ignore it. Make sure it’s an accurate representation of your story, its genre, and good design. You want it to be worthy of all the hard work you put into writing it, not look like it was thrown together just to get the book published.
It’s acceptable to change your cover after your book is published, if you realize you goofed after the fact. Sometimes this can give it new life all around and attract readers who missed it the first time.
People DO judge a book by its cover. Not only must it look professional, it also needs to represent the story as accurately as possible. Capturing the feeling of a story graphically is an art in itself.
Using the templates found on Create Space can label your story in a negative way. Your cover deserves as much attention and creativity as the story it presents. Neglecting this important facet can doom your book to obscurity.
Apparently some people don’t read the description before buying a book. This became apparent to me when I got some bad reviews based on complaints related to matters that were clearly explained in the book blurb. That shows the importance of your book cover, which also needs to be an accurate representation of what’s inside.
This is the downside of being a writer, the opposite of the euphoria you feel with a good review. Be prepared for both.
Readers DO judge a book by its cover. Make sure yours looks professional. Put as much thought into your book’s appearance as you do your story. There are great books with awful covers and dreadful books with magnificent covers. Make sure your work is packaged the way it deserves.
(If you need a cover designer, I’m available. You can see samples of my work on my Pinterest site here.)