Is Your Cover Helping Create Sales

The Front Cover

The cover of a book is the first thing a reader sees. It is the initial introduction to your book. All too often the cover can make a difference to whether the reader picks it up or skims past it on the shelf. Your book cover is the single most important marketing tool for your book. Here I look at the front cover from the consumers point of view. This relates to paperback books as opposed to e-books which are a whole different visual experience.

So what does your front cover tell your reader about your book? Does it give them a visual clue to the topic, the plot and the meaning? Does it call them and entice them to open the book? Is it eye catching and invigorating? Is it pleasurable to the senses?

These are only some of the things an author needs to question when they are designing their front cover. Whether we like it or not people do judge a book by its cover, after all it is usually the first thing they see. It is the calling point of your book. A poorly designed book cover will indicate to a reader that you do not care enough to put time and effort into your book and may seek them to question your ability to put together worthwhile content.

I will be the first to admit that as soon as a book arrives in my office and I pull it out of its packaging I browse the cover and form an opinion. Second to that is the way the book feels in my hand, is it smooth or rough, firm or soft. To myself the cover is an overall sensual experience which is followed by the reading experience.

When designing book covers most think it is as simple as finding an artist and asking them to design you a cover. Yes having an artist does help but there is way more to it than that. Knowing the material within the book is one of the most important consideration for cover design. As mentioned earlier your cover is what is going to give the reader the initial insight into the book topic, and if it invites them they will look further. Nothing is worse than buying a book you did not want as you were mislead by the cover. This can lead you to no longer trusting the author and walking past any other books they may write. Even worse you may anger readers which will lead them to blasting anger all over the internet, ruining your future reputation and sales.

You, the author, are the one who knows your content best. You know the personality of your book and are in the best position to set the mood and character of your book. Your input in the design of the cover is of utter importance. The final decision should lay with you. You need to feel comfortable with the impression the cover gives.

The introduction of the e-book has changed the way books are not only read but presented. One thing a paperback book has that an e-book will never has is the sale point of on shelf presentation. With the paper book an author is able to produce a product that calls, invites and has more of a physical presence in the life of the reader compared to an e-book. Your paper book is going to sit on the shelf and invite all who visit the readers house to pick it up and browse. Once your cover has drawn attention discussion is sure to follow which will hopefully set your book firmly in the mind for purchase. A memorable cover will stick with the consumer and jolt brain cells when they next see it on a shelf in the store. Traditional books not only look amazing but are beautiful objects people want to pick up and display at home. For those who collect books the cover could be all that is needed to produce a sale.

The way books are being purchased has also changed with more and more books being sold online. Consideration needs to be given to how your book cover attracts in thumbnail view online. This view is your virtual bookshelf. Your cover is the colour and zest on the sales page that is going to give the first visual message of your book. It is only then that the potential reader is likely to read the blurb about the book. Again this leads back to the cover relating to the content and story. If it misleads the reader at first glance or does not entice they are not likely to look for more, especially if they have to scroll down.

To write a book is an uplifting and invigorating experience but it is only the start of your journey. Success is equal parts talent and marketing. You can’t just write a great book and expect readers to know it is great. You have to lead them to it and make them want it.

Your book is your baby, your business, your future. Give it the time and nurturing that is deserves and it will reward you in the long run.

Next: The back blurb

written by Jennifer Deaves

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