3 things to DO on a book cover

Last month, we talked about not judging a book by its cover. The intent is great, but the fact remains that we DO judge books by their cover. It’s even often a snap judgement that takes a second at most. That means that book covers are a very important part of your marketing strategy! That goes for a lot of other industries as well, by the way. So here’s a few things to do, to make sure you draw in as many fans as possible:

1. Use high-quality illustrations and images

A big giveaway for self-published books are low-quality images. This can mean blurry images, or images that are too dark, too bright, washed out or just badly composed! You want your cover image to reflect the right genre, be instantly appealing to the right reader, attract attention and be clearly readable.

2. Consider the buyer

Where is your reader most likely to first come across your book? Is it going to be in a bookshop, which means the cover will be full-size in their hands; or will the buyer be browsing online, which means they’ll only see a thumbnail size image of your cover? In all likelihood, it’ll be either both or just online. So make sure they’ll have a great experience when they see your book cover in a small format: is it immediately clear and intriguing?

3. If working on a series: does your design match the previous book?

If you’re a bibliophile, you’ll know how satisfying it is to have a row of books from the same series on your bookshelf. What makes it so satisfying? The fact that they all clearly belong to the same series. The books will be the same size, roughly the same amount of pages, use the same fonts and use visual elements that are in line with the previous book(s). If you’re hiring an illustrator and designer for a series, make sure to supply them with your previous book cover so they know what elements to use. Or better yet: stick with the same illustrator and designer for your whole series.

Of course, there are many more elements that contribute to an amazing and effective book cover. That’s the advantage of hiring a knowledgeable illustrator and designer: they’ll be able to guide your story into something amazing and attention grabbing for your book. 

I hope this gives you a bit more insight into what makes a great book cover. Any questions? Feel free to email me, or find me on Twitter and Instagram!