The Importance of Cover Design
A great cover can do wonders for great content:
- An appealing cover helps to get a book discovered among millions.
- A cover that quickly signifies the genre and content helps attract the target audience.
- A fantastic cover catches attention when sorting through several thumbnails.
- A professional cover suggests that the content may also be professional.
- Cover appeal can have a positive impact on a buyer’s mood and mindset.
- Book covers play an important role in branding the book’s image.
However, a great cover won’t sell a lousy book. Once the target audience discovers the book, it’s up to the blurb and Look Inside to generate the sale. Once the book is sold, it’s up to excellent content to generate recommendations. Lousy content with a great cover will backfire with negative reviews.
A lousy cover can have a negative impact on good content:
- If the cover doesn’t seem professional, shoppers will wonder if the content also lacks effort or quality.
- If it attracts the wrong audience, the people who discover the book won’t buy it.
- Covers are fashionable. People are reluctant to buy books with covers with styles they don’t like.
- When a cover isn’t good, it has a negative impact on a buyer’s mood and mindset.
Feedback on Cover Design
Consider these thoughts:
- Wouldn’t it be nice to know how your target audience reacts to your book before you publish your book?
- Wouldn’t it be nice to know how your book cover rates in terms of the various elements of cover design?
The only thing that prevents you from doing these things is you.
It’s wise to research cover design to learn about the various elements. Even if you hire an illustrator, you should understand what the illustrator is trying to achieve (and communicate clearly with your designer).
But even if you master the theory, practice is another matter. Show your cover to people and get feedback. If you can get a few people with expertise in cover design to look at your cover, that will help you assess any issues that your cover-in-progress may have. The most important thing is to seek honest feedback from your target audience.
With successful premarketing, you may have some fans and followers starting out to help provide feedback for stages of your cover reveal. When publishing subsequent books, you may already have a fan club in place.
Cover feedback helps you build buzz for your book. It serves two purposes, so how could you possibly skip this valuable pre-publishing step?
Check out this new website: http://covercritics.com. It allows you to post a cover for the purpose of receiving a critique of the design. It’s worth checking it out and exploring the comments on covers already there, as you can learn helpful information about cover design from the comments. I can’t make any warranties or recommendations on posting your potential cover on this site, as I haven’t used this service myself, but I can emphasize the importance of receiving feedback. Even more important is learning how your target audience reacts to your cover.
I started this blog to provide free help with writing, publishing, and marketing. You can find many free articles on publishing and marketing by clicking one of the following links:
Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers
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Thanks for this covers article and for the CoverCritics link – I just spent a bunch of time there – and will be brave and put the cover for Pride’s Children up when I have finished my next pass on it.
As they say, it’s easier to know what NOT to do – but even when I look at many mainstream and women’s fiction covers, I’m not sure I can pick out a theme.
So much to learn – thanks for all your information. It is read and appreciated and added to the Font of Knowledge (or whatever that is spouting at the back of my mind).
Sometimes, it’s also easier to teach what not to do than what to do. I hope your cover turns out great. 🙂