I know you’ve seen some HIDEOUS book covers. I’ve certainly encountered my share of awful covers and can’t help wondering, “What are they THINKING?“
Back in the far distant past, when I was publishing “paper books” a customer said to me, “I could see your book across the entire room, it just popped out at me and I had to buy it.“
No sweeter words could have been spoken. I sweated over that book cover and paid over $1500 for the design and color separations. It is a different world today. With a $25 piece of software we can create our own covers in less than an hour.
Just because the software is cheap (or free) and easy to use, doesn’t mean that the person using it has ANY design sense at all. We’ve all seen the results of poor design decisions.
Your book cover is the FIRST step in the buying process. If readers don’t like the cover, that’s where it stops. No sales, No downloads, BOOK DEATH.
Which book would you choose, based on the cover alone? Would the cover on the left side have you clicking and reading the description? If you were interested in fitness, would the cover on the right side interest you more?
The comparison above is from a cover software program called Push Button Covers. It works with both Photoshop (recommended), but they also have a Miscrosoft Word version. In my opinion, the great looking templates provided in this program are best suited to non-fiction books.
Your book cover has to appeal to your audience. If you have a children’s book you not only have to appeal to the age demographic of the kids, but to the parents who buy the book.
For authors who plan on creating a series, whether that is a fiction trilogy or an ongoing non-fiction empire … start thinking of the series design from the very beginning. Brainstorm three to five potential titles and think about how each of them would fit into what will become your series template. If you plan this from the get go, it will save you a lot of time and money when you go to publish books two, three, five and ten.
One of the important things to pay attention to, is that your cover has to immediately place your book in your niche. If you have a SciFi book, the cover has to convey Sci Fi. If you have a K9 book, your cover has to have a DOG on it.
All you have to do is look at the covers above and you KNOW what the books are about. No guessing involved. This is also a great example of how a series should tie together. If you love Highland Romances … you will fall in love with Alyson McLayne’s witty and spellbinding series.
Many authors fall in love with their own covers. They can’t SEE the problems because they know what they are “supposed to see,” so they see it. One of my fiction writer customers asked for some suggestions on her book. It took me 30 seconds to email her back. I could NOT read the title of her book because the colors of the title font blended in with what should have been background artwork.
Since the author knew the name of her book, when she looked at the cover could easily “read” the title. She was basically blind to the big mistake on her cover. After several revisions and tests, the new cover was easy to read and was targeted to the right audience.
IF your sales are slow and languishing AND you have a great description, maybe it’s time to take a look at your book cover again. Is it killing sales?
You can poll your friends with two or three different book covers. Join a few Facebook Groups and ask for votes. Take your cover design research a step further by asking your “helpers” to tell YOU what they think the book is about and who they think the audience is. You may end up with a vastly different book cover than you started with.
And YES, you can replace the existing cover on your Amazon sales page.