When it comes to publishing a book, the easiest part is indeed the writing of the book, but what do you do afterwards. For the first part of our series, we are talking about the importance of cover design and 5 tips to help your books succeed.
Eye Catching Covers
Although we’d love to say that no one judges a book by its cover, that is unfortunately not the truth. The cover should convey the feel of what is between the cover, and if you take a look at any bookstore shelf, you’ll see that the genres also have particular styles for their cover art — from fonts, to images and types of images used.
One of the worse things you can do is have a cover that is either promising a story of one caliber but delivering another, or having a cover that is not suitable for the story in your genre.
1. Cover art research
Check online in the genre your book will be in and compare it to the books in that genre. Does it look like it will fit in? Or, is it too unique? Too different. In this regard, having a cover that is too unique is not always a good thing. Readers have certain expectations, and familiar covers help.
No, do not copy the cover art of those books — those designs are created by talented artists whose blood, sweat and tears have been dripped into photoshop to reign down confetti. Instead, look at the cover art and see what you like from that. Be inspired by them, but again DO NOT COPY THEIR COVER ART!
2. Hire a designer
There are numerous designers online, who offer great services. Some even have premade covers that can be bought and can fit your story. My advice is to always hire a designer to create your cover — it will save you a lot of problems later on (because like I said, many will judge your book by its cover).
If you are talented with photoshop and typography, then give it a shot — but beware of the risk. A bad cover can sink your sales and the viability of your book.
Did you know that different typographies will also convey a different message? If not, then if you are dead set on creating your own cover, you can hire a designer to just do your typography. I see it like this: the engine light might be on, but you can still drive the car. Of course, I still recommend that you hire a good designer. I know several who are extraordinary and more than capable to make your cover art pop.
(Note: When I created my cover above, my designer did an amazing job creating the typography for me to go with all of my books in my series. I love this cover for sure. I can almost feel the fire).
4. Get feedback
Before you press publish, get feedback on your cover to make sure it is hitting the mark. Whenever I get a cover created (or create one), I make sure to ask several of my readers, as well as fellow authors — each set has different insight, and by listening to them, and following their advice I find that my releases go extremely well.
If you don’t have someone you can ask, there are groups online — like on Facebook — that group members can ask for opinions. There is nothing wrong with asking, and trying to do better.
5. Stock photos
Unless you are purchasing the exclusive rights to an image, there is a high chance that the photo used on your book will be a stock image. No book cover will be 100% the same as long as the designer has treated the image — meaning, if the stock photo has truly been worked on, it will not appear 100% like the finished book cover.
If you are in love with a photo, let your designer know about it; let them help your vision come to life (I’m sure you can tell that I am very much in favor of hire professional designers for cover art).
I believe that professional cover art can make all the difference in your book’s success. Many readers believe that a poor cover reflects on poor content, and we don’t want that to happen.
In our next part of the series, we will talk about editing and how important an editor is to every author.