Today, I have a guest post from a gentleman who designs book covers. Anyone who’s dabbled in self-publishing knows how important that piece of the literary puzzle is and how difficult it is to get right. I think you’ll enjoy Adrijus’ thoughts:
How Book Covers Help Self-Published Writers
Book covers. It is said they are the thing that can make or break the book sale. Is it true? Or is it simply something book designers selling their services say? Many designers claim on their web sites, “While it is said that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, people do it and that’s why you need a designer!” I admit, we designers are biased on this one, but I do believe it to be truth, and here are five reasons why a professional book cover design matters:
- In a world where everything is happening fast, instant gratification is often expected and people don’t take time to look at details. When I stand in the bookshop looking at shelves, I scan books fast—seeing each one in mere seconds! There are so many good books and I would buy half of them if I could, but most of the time I’m in a hurry, so I’m just seeing if there is something good I can quickly grab. The same is even more true on Amazon.com listings where the book cover is so small you can barely see it. For these listings, an easily readable title and subtitle is an absolute must. If I am not intrigued by title and/or book cover’s design elements, it’s not likely I will click on the book to go and read the description, much less buy it. Good looking covers will stand out and scream, “Look at me, stop here for a second!”
- Let’s say a cover has a picture and simple text on it—it is readable, but doesn’t look professional (ie: well chosen font, good balance/placement and matching colors). What does this communicate about the book you worked so hard to write? To many potential readers, it appears that you didn’t take the time necessary for the details and it was done in a hurry. A potential buyer may think the content of the book is created the same way—in a rush. This is not always a fair judgement, but again it comes down to instant judgement. Here is Dan Poynter’s excellent article about people judging books by their covers: http://www.parapublishing.com/files/articles/ArticleAB-202CoversSellBooks.pdf
- Similar to number 2 above, book agents, publishers and reviewers also care about the cover design. They know how important a good cover is to stand out on the bookshelf. If you independently published your book and are shopping it to a publisher, a professional cover lets them know that you are a serious writer and know your message, know what you want to communicate and how, and understand your target audience. A great book cover can also be the difference between standing out in the pile of books gatekeepers receive for reviews and being thrown into the slush pile.
- A professional book cover can help your productivity. Some people have told me that once their cover was done and they loved it, they hung it over their desks or put it on their computer as wallpaper and it motivated them to finish their books. You are already seeing a major part of your baby, and you can visualize your book better. It’s a glimpse at a dream coming true!
- If you are writing a series of books and developing a brand and platform to showcase them, having recognizable and attractive book covers will let your readers know at first glance it’s your book. You can match it to your website, Facebook Fanpage, etc., creating an awesome looking identity for yourself.
Some of these reasons aren’t cool, but that’s how it is. This does not mean that writers should break the bank on a book cover and pay $2,000[KE1] for it. Nope. But just like a good editor, a professional book cover will contribute to your masterpiece. It will make for a complete package matching the quality of your wordsmith talents and help spread your message to the people who need it.
Here’s a Before-and-after example of book covers. What do you think:
[KE1]Average in the traditional industry is $750-2,000. $1,000 can be reasonable, if custom art is being created (no stock photos). $2,000 is high.
–Adrijus Guscia is a Book Cover Designer, working with writers to create book covers that are attractive to readers eye, convey author’s message and improve sales. He’s been designing for 3 years and chose this profession because he loves books (they taught him a lot) and graphic design. Working with creative people is an added bonus too. See his work athttp://www.ebookcoverdesigns.net and get a Book Cover you will love.
Jacqui Murray is the editor of a K-6 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, creator of two technology training books for middle school and six ebooks on technology in education. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, Cisco guest blog, Technology in Education featured blogger, IMS tech expert, and a bi-weekly contributor to Write Anything. Currently, she’s editing a thriller that should be out to publishers next summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.