There’s a lot of research evidence out there to support the notion that more than 75% of book sales are earned by the quality of their covers. It’s easy to understand that a strong title and graphics will grab a buyer’s attention – and in a marketplace with more than a zillion titles floating around, an author needs all the edge he or she can get.
Let’s face it, there are some real turkeys out there and no matter what lies between the covers it’s unlikely these books will ever get more than the briefest of glances before a potential reader’s eye roams quickly to the next in line.
So how do authors give themselves a fighting chance of getting noticed? It’s simple – get a cover that makes people pause when they scan the bookshelves or run through the endless pages of listings on the Amazon website.
A knock-‘em-dead summary of the book’s content is, of course, just as important as a strong cover – but that’s a subject for another day.
Let’s look at what makes a good cover. Everyone will have their own choices but most readers I’ve spoken to tell me their preferences run something like this:
1. A great title (in as few words as possible);
2. An evocative image that creates a sense of what the book is about;
3. Overall professional design (not a cut-and-paste job).
So where do authors turn to for those killer designs? The choice of designers floating around the Internet is mind-boggling, but so too in many cases are their fees! For new indie authors looking to make an impact they are simply outside their budget with the result that many, regrettably, have to turn to self-creations or seek the help of friends with a bit of Photoshop knowledge.
Too often this results in amateurish, poor quality work that will undermine all other efforts to promote their work.
The good news is that there are some really great professional choices available to authors. Prices ranging from $20 to $300 are available, with the higher prices charged only where more than one ‘stock image’ is required – these things have to be bought and ring-fenced for just the one title, hence the growing cost if you look to add too much to your shopping cart.So, if you keep it simple you can grab a bargain and yet still have a professional, quality design to put you ahead of your competitors. In many cases you’ll find designers with low-cost pre-made covers for ebooks and paperbacks – they just add your title and author name.
I feel so strongly about the issue that I want to help develop a resource for authors where they can access tried and trusted designer sites. And I want to enlist the help of readers to help inform the choices that are made.
Are you willing to share information on good quality, affordable designers that you’ve used? Why not pass on a recommendation that will help narrow down the endless searches and queries that all new authors have to go through?
I’ll kick the ball off by throwing out some designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with. You can check them out by clicking on the links below:
Can you tell us what book covers have recently caught your attention? What do you look for in a cover? Do you agree that authors need to pay more attention to their covers? Your feedback will help authors get a better ‘feel’ for what’s popular with their audience.
I intend to run future blog competitions in which readers can win Amazon book vouchers and new authors will earn a free cover design service. So help me with some feedback so I can ‘design’ the right competition that will help push this campaign along.