How do you choose a book cover that appeals to your readers?
The #1 reason to have a great book cover is to grab people’s attention.
A book cover has to cause an immediate reaction within a potential reader; either interest, intrigue or familiarity with the author, and in order to do this, certain “rules” apply.
I’m not a book cover designer which is why I believe in learning as much as I can about this topic, before leaving the task in the hands of those who do it for a living. From what I’ve read on Joel Friedlander’s informative blog: The Book Designer, authors need to think about the following aspects when determining the best covers for their books.
- Initial Emotional Response
Name recognition is important to authors with a large fan base. They are a “brand” and often have a series of books with a similar design or font. Readers subconsciously tune into the author’s brand. I’m sure you’ve noticed how a particular font, color scheme or logo is associated with a specific author or series. Take for example, Nicholas Sparks. All of his books have the same concept with his name in the exact same bold font, with the title underneath. This is enclosed within a box.
Another example of a series is the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series. The font used for the title is the same on all their books. You instantly recognize their brand.
So I decided to take a poll to the public, listen to the pros and cons, and then make a sound decision. I polled other authors on our Facebook Group: Gutsy Indie Publishers, which any indie author is welcome to join. I also polled readers on my Facebook Page: Gutsy Living, as well as other groups I belong to.
I showed two cover concepts based on my first book: Freeways to Flip-Flops: A Family’s Year of Gutsy Living on a Tropical Island, which I owe to 1106 Design, and which won the TheBookDesigner.com’s April e-Book Cover Design Award for Nonfiction.
I received in total around 80 comments on the covers
Here are some of the responses which I listened to and thought made sense. I went with my gut and with what the majority thought was the best. Of course not everyone agrees, but I’m happy that my friend Maggie Dodson from the UK, made the suggestions of reversing the yellow and white colors in the title, to make the “My Gutsy Story®” stand out, and anthology in white, and smaller.
What do you like to see in a book cover?