Sunday, March 24, 2013

Julia Tagliere – Why Book Covers Are So Important

at 1:30 AM

Why Book Covers Are So Important

by Julia Tagliere

Think back to the last time you bought a book on impulse, right off the shelf. What caught your eye? Was it the title? Was it the design of the cover? Was it the description on the back? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you’re not alone: In 1997, Publisher’s Weekly and the Book Industry Study Group published a study revealing that 66% of participants in the study listed content on the inside flaps and the back cover of a book as having the most influence on their book-buying decisions. That makes a book’s cover design almost as important as its content!

That factor has always loomed large for print versions, but for e-books, your cover design is even more critical, because readers often see your cover for the first time as a thumbnail image. If you’ve ever browed Amazon for a potential read, think about how long you spend scrolling through the covers; for the fiction category alone, there are more than 2 million books listed! Just how long do you think a reader’s eye will linger on each one of those individual covers? You simply don’t have much time to grab readers’ attention, so you need to make the most of it by having the best cover you can.

The purpose of a book cover is to help sell your book, so your book cover should be appealing, it should eye-catching, and it should entice the reader to want more. Not sure what that looks like? Do your own informal market research at the book store or library. Browse the shelves and pick up the first five books to catch your eye. Make some notes about what drew you to them—was it a particular color scheme? Was it a startling photographic image? Maybe it was a really striking font. Do the same for e-books: Visit Amazon and scroll through some of those two million covers; see which ones you’re tempted to click on and analyze why.

Once you have an idea of what an enticing cover looks like, you can start thinking about your own cover. If you’re a very talented graphic designer in your own right, kudos to you—you’re ready to start designing! But if you’re not exceptionally gifted in that area, you would be better off hiring a designer to create the cover for you. You can design a cover from a template, but that’s not going to help you achieve the ultimate goal for your cover, which is to make it stand out from all those other covers. If you have the budget for it, farm the design out to the most talented designer you can afford. What if you don’t have a huge budget? Try contacting the graphic design department at local colleges; they may be able to recommend a talented student to help you for less.

Bottom line: your cover is a critical selling tool for your book. Make it stand out!

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Genre – Women’s Fiction

Rating – PG13

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