Better Book Covers
The big boys and big girls in this business all have fantastic covers. Immediately, our eyes are drawn to their covers. Their covers silently yell at us inside of our heads to click on it to find out more so we can buy it.
The same dynamic of success is at work for us self-publishing indie authors as well. The only thing is we don’t have the deep pockets and whole teams of people working for us to create that luscious book cover.
Ninety-nine percent of the people who see our covers are going to make an instant snap-decision on whether to click on it to find out more or not. For most of us, sadly, they will pass right over our covers and then pause on the big boys and big girls’ covers.
Whether it’s in a bookstore or on the net, if our book cover doesn’t catch people’s attention, they will just move on. They’re busy people. Hey, we get it. We’re all busy. But, if our cover doesn’t catch their eye, the simple fact is that they won’t pick it up. Nor will they flip it over to look at the back cover. They won’t look at the endorsements and reviews either. And they won’t open it up and discover the great life-changing content inside our book. Sad. But true. They just won’t know how awesome our books are because we failed to halt them in their tracks and make them look at our book.
So here are some tips to help us authorpreneurs living on a budget come up with a decent book cover that will catch some eyes. Now listen, I’m well aware that most of us can’t do what the big boys and big girls in this industry do. And that’s okay. We don’t have to do what they do. We can just keep it simple. And believe it or not, simple sells books. There is a genius in simplicity done well.
An easy basic guideline in keeping our covers simple and effective would involve having some text on the top. Then some cover space and an image below it. And then some text again on the bottom of the cover. This is a very simple and effective format for our covers. Keep it simple. Don’t overcomplicate it. We don’t want covers that are too busy. Simplicity is the genius and advantage that we have over the deep pockets in this business.
Sadly, though, most of us are not proficient at book cover design yet. So we’re probably going to have to spend a little money here as we’re slowly learning how to do this ourselves. Initially, we may have to bring someone in to do this for us until we can learn how to do it ourselves. Now, I know we don’t like spending a lot of money. But, if we are going to spend any money at all, then our covers are the place we should do it.
Hey, look at it as an investment for now. Remember, ninety-nine percent of the people aren’t going to give us a second chance if our covers don’t catch their eyes immediately. So consider getting professional help with your book cover as an investment for now.
Also, make sure you’re paying close attention to what these professionals are doing, so you’re also investing in your own education in book cover design. With this knowledge, you’ll be a lot more proficient and skilled in what works for a book cover and what doesn’t. Eventually, you’ll be able to do covers for others, too, which would be another income stream for yourself.
Pay attention to the book covers of books in your niche that are selling well. Find what the commonalities are that make them eye-popping. And then apply some of those strategies and features to your own book covers.
Also, if you have some backlist books that haven’t been selling very well, maybe it’s time to breathe some new life into them. Take what you have learned about simplifying your covers to make them more effective, and apply that also to your older books. Take them down off of Amazon. And change the book cover to a newer, better book cover. Then put them back up on Amazon.
When they come across your cover, some people will think it’s a new book and will click on it because it looks like a new book to them. Others will know it’s the same book, but will still click on it because now it has a new cool cover. Changing an old book cover is a great strategy to get an old book moving again.
Here are some more tips for your simple book cover template. Put the title on the top. A simple, eye-catching image in the middle of the cover. And your name on the bottom written in type that is smaller than the title of the book. The only time your name should be on the top is when you’re super famous. And since most of us aren’t super famous, our name will go on the bottom. For now, the title, and the unwritten promise that the title is making, will remain on the top.
Also, keep the color scheme simple. Don’t use too many colors. Use no more than four colors. Use a dark and light, black and white, or contrasting colors that cause the colors to define each other and jump off the page at us. Figure out what kind of colors the bestselling books in your niche are using. Oh, by the way, here is a warning. Don’t use neon colors. Neon green, purple, and yellow are terrible colors. They just don’t sell well. Now, electric colors pop, but not neon.
Also, don’t forget to see how your cover looks as a small image. A lot of your book sales are going to be kindle eBooks. And I don’t know about you, but when I’m skimming through my phone for the next book to read, I want it to be easy. If I can’t immediately and easily see the entire book cover, then I’m swiping right past it to the next one that I can see more clearly. Make sure the small image of your book cover pops so people won’t pass by it for the next one.
Now, here is a mistake I made in the beginning. I was trying to be too clever with my title, subtitle, and image. I thought it was cool how deep the meaning was that I was portraying in my very clever book covers. Listen, most people will not appreciate this cleverness. So, don’t do it. Keep it simple if you want to sell your book. Remember, the genius of what we do is in the simplicity of what we do.
*Check out the free video lesson on this chapter!
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