5 Reasons Why Your Book Cover Is Really Important
“Don’t judge a book by its cover” is arguably the most abused and disregarded “rule” or advice by far. The reason is because it simply doesn’t “make sense” not to. We all judge a book by its cover almost always. If we are not judging a book by its cover, we may probably be judging it by its author.
So, why would the average person willingly want to judge a book by its cover? Why would a book with “average” content but a classy cover get picked up more than one with a mediocre cover but great content? It all comes down to one thing – marketing.
As “visual” creatures, the human mind is designed to make quick decisions based on what we see. So, if something looks “appealing” and a bit unusual to the eye, the brain is likely to give it a bit more of attention than the ordinary.
Knowing this, advertisers are always striving to take advantage of this to create ad copies that that are a bit unusual or appealing to the eyes. The end result is a craving for that which the eyes saw.
Like a piece of advertisement, the cover of your book plays a similar role as an author. In fact, when done right, your book cover may be the most important aspect of your book publishing process. Here are five reasons why.
1. It Instantly Grabs Your Readers’ Attention:
How many times have you taken a peep at a billboard by the roadside while driving? Did you intend to take a look at it before hitting the road? Probably not, right? Yet, you were able to give a bit of attention to it, despite the fact that all your attention ought to have been on the road.
Well, this is the same way a book cover can capture your readers’ attention. It almost acts like a little billboard screaming out loud to a potential reader, “Hey, look at me!”
2. It Engages Emotions Of Readers:
After successfully capturing the attention of the reader, the reader is likely to “feel” something. It can be anything – anger, pleasure, despair, excitement or remorse.
This is probably a major reason why “sad songs” such as Adele’s “Someone Like You” sell that much. They quickly put us in a nostalgic state.
Your job as an author is to create the right emotions from the right audience to the point that they just can’t wait to read what you’ve written in there.
3. It Serves As A “Teaser” And Introduction To Your Book:
Do you remember how the host of the last conference you attended took some time to introduce the speaker? Aside from the fact that it gave you an idea of who this speaker was, it also made the speaker “interesting” to meet.
Imagine your favorite presenter giving your book such a great Introduction? How valuable will that be? I understand that may cost you some money to do. Thankfully, having a great and well designed book cover does just that for you with less time and money.
Plus, your book cover is a perfect place to tease your readers with what they should expect from reading your book.
4. It Builds Confidence In Your Book And You (Author):
Two things can sell a book faster: a popular author and a good book cover. Perhaps, you are not that celebrity author with numerous New York Times Best Sellers, yet. Chances are that not a lot of people know who you are as an author.
However, if there is one thing that can build some sense of confidence and trust in you and your book, it is your book cover. People may consider a popular author over you. That’s fine, though unfair. But, only a few people can resist the charm of a well crafted cover. It tells readers that, indeed, you mean serious business.
5. It Boosts Sales:
Having a great book cover has a big ripple effect on how much sales your book makes.
Let’s face facts; in the end, it is about who sold more. Thus, if your book cover has a huge role to play in making sure people want to read, guess what, they will buy more.
When more copies are bought, it means a lot of revenue will be made to cover your costs and hopefully turn some profits.
By selling more, you could get a lot of attention and speaking events to even earn more money or leverage on for a new book, product or business.
We can spend the next hour going on and on about how important your book’s cover is. But, that may not amount to much without having an idea how to get it “right”.
In order to create that really good book cover, your cover should basically answer 3 simple questions:
1. Does It Stand out?
There are millions of books out there. How different is yours from the rest?
2. Does It Have A Clear Message?
Does it have a clear focus? Does it indicate what the book is about and who it is for?
3. Does It Engage Emotions?
How would you like the average reader to feel by just seeing your book’s cover? Does it get them “moved”?
If you accept that your book’s cover completely addresses all the questions above and even beyond, well done. However, if it doesn’t address any of these questions correctly, you may want to consider how to make things better.
Here are some tips to really consider:
1.Get It Done Professionally:
Unless you are a seasoned designer, it is not advisable to design your own covers. Instead, you want to get a professional designer to do so. A professional may see and understand things better to create something to catch the eyes of your audience.
2. Have Several Options Available:
You may be limited if one design is all you have. Instead, have a different versions from different designers available to choose from.
3. Seek Reviews From Author Forums:
Author forums are a great way to test your designs for feedback because most of the contributors there are authors like yourself. They can give you some insights.
4. Ask Your Fans Or Audience, Sometimes:
The book may be written by you. But, it is likely not for you but a targeted audience. Sometime, you can depend on them to choose which design works best for them on social media.
This should be done with caution though. In most cases, your audience may not be right and may choose a cover that just makes you “fit in” among similar covers they have seen. But, you should strive to stand-out instead.
Besides, your friends and followers on social media may include people who may not care about your book at all.
5. Identify And Go With Your Industry Standards, Sometimes:
Every book cover is made of some elements. What happens is, sometimes, these elements are either under-utilised or over-utilised. That is the last thing you want to do.
Use colors to draw attention; contrasts to strike a balance or project; appropriate fonts to communicate; and images and symbols to represent.
6. Think Like A Reader, Not A Writer:
All things being constant, will you really buy your book if you were a reader? If yes, why? If no, why not?
Do well to see things from your readers’ and audiences’ perspective. Be open-minded to ideas that will excite your audience.
It is also very important to avoid jargons and cliches as much as possible. You don’t want to be misunderstood by the very people you are trying to reach.
7. Choose The Right Title And “Teaser”:
Your book’s title is everything. You want to put a lot of work into crafting that unique title that summarizes your book in one statement or less.
Equally important is your subtitle (if necessary). Your subtitle is that part of your book’s cover that will serve as a “teaser” to your audience. The better, clearer and concise it is, the easier it will be to tease your audience.
Bringing it all together, it is very obvious that a the cover of a book plays a major role in how successful the book becomes. As a result, it is important to invest enough resources in crafting the best book cover that will not only appeal to the eyes but also the hearts of your audience.