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By John Reese, Mar 22 2017 06:04PM

3 Of Our Favourite Covers. You Can Find Their Links At The End Of This Post
3 Of Our Favourite Covers. You Can Find Their Links At The End Of This Post

Our latest author survey focused on what makes great book cover design. We have all heard that age old adage “never judge a book by its cover,” but the reality is that more often than not we do.

What makes a great book cover design? Is it best to buy a book cover design and where to find book cover design tips? These are questions every author should be asking themselves but let’s first look at some sobering statistics. Our recent author survey was aimed at authors who have redesigned their book covers post-launch after poor or lagging sales and who had opted to use the services of a professional book designer. Now let's be clear and say we are not talking about pile them high sell them cheap stock images where you find the same stock images popping up on multiple book covers by different authors. We were specifically focusing on original book cover design.

Polling over 5000 authors we found just 176 who had used a bespoke cover design service in the last year and 64% had seen an immediate increase in book sales as a result of their investment! We then asked them to quantify their increase in sales as an average over a three month period. It’s fair to say that there were significant differences in terms of volume but in terms of average sales across the 176 respondents, they saw an increase over the preceding period of 263 books each. That’s an additional 46,288 additional books sales or from another perspective lost book sales if they hadn’t invested in a book cover makeover.

The statistics are certainly sobering but they pale compared to the results we got when we polled 3000 of our readers, asking them if a mediocre or bad cover would deter them from reading a books description or opening paragraph. A staggering 76% said it would!

Now we should also point out that of the 176 authors who had used a professional book cover design service all of them were Indie authors or contracted to smaller publishing houses. This means that in the majority of cases they were responsible for approving or creating a book covers that they felt reflected their novel and if we take the numbers at face value they could have done a better job first time around. Make no mistake, your book cover is as critical as the blurb and title and this isn’t something you can afford to learn through trial and error.

Now professional book designers come at a premium which many authors can’t readily justify so we’ve put together 6 tips which will help you make an informed choice when it comes to choosing a book cover that will help you achieve the sales to which you aspire. When you break it down it’s incredibly simple, sometimes you just need someone to point out the obvious and steer you in the right direction.

1 The overarching theme of your book should be reflected in your cover design. This will encourage a sense of anticipation that your target readers will want to explore.

2 Keep it simple. Novels are by their nature complex don’t try and cover all aspects of your novel in the cover design. If you can find one powerful image that connects the reader to the essence of your story they will want to turn the pages of your book.

3 Don’t get carried away with text and colour. Your colour palette should capture the ambience of your novel. There’s a reason why book covers in the Horror genre tend to be dark and book covers in the Romance genre tend to be lighter or lean towards warmer tones.

4 If you have a recurring symbol or image throughout your story, ask how you can incorporate it into your cover design. Symbolic images can have a profound impact on a reader and providing they are original can really set your cover apart from others in its genre.

5 Authors more often than not work extremely hard to get book reviews and there is no place to add a great book review than on a book cover, especially when it’s from a well-known source.

6 Solicit feedback on your book cover before going to print. Not from friends or even close acquaintances. Use social media and don’t be quick to disregard feedback because it’s not what you want to hear.

As always we like to keep things simple with a view to helping you focus on points which are particularly salient and hope this post proves helpful. If you have a great cover then why not enter it into our Book Cover Award. It is FREE to enter by clicking HERE with a $3000 promotion award for the winner. You have nothing to lose and it’s a great way to promote your book.

For Bishop's War cover and our review click HERE

For How To Train A God cover and our review click HERE

For An Unknow Woman cover and our review click HERE

By John Reese, Mar 20 2017 07:56AM

Metaphysical fiction is one genre that has particularly benefitted from the continued growth in self-publishing. Many more authors are now writing it and whilst it still remains something of a niche market it‘s literary contribution can never be underestimated. At the centre of most Metaphysical musings is the ever prevalent question of “What is the meaning of life”. In broad terms, it tends towards those more elusive elements. The ones we intuitively experience or sense but for which we lack objective measurement or explanation for and therefore struggle to explain.

It’s a fascinating genre in which to publish but it isn’t without its trials. Readers are drawn to Metaphysical Fiction because the ideas within are interesting but with a publishing market as saturated as it is and with more books published than at any time in history the challenge is how to broaden its appeal. On a superficial level, Metaphysical ideas permeate through multiple genres. Fantasy, romance, sci-fi, thriller, mystery, historical and contemporary fiction, but here the emphasis is more often than not on the story and the mechanics of storytelling first with Metaphysical elements invariably being clichéd plot devices.

It’s worth remembering that when writers lose touch with the purpose of storytelling, stories lose their power to engage the reader on anything more than a superficial level and Metaphysical Authors need to remember that metaphysics in fiction is not ample enough on its own. When a reader chooses fiction over nonfiction they expect a good story, and if metaphysical fiction is to become a mainstream genre then authors must deliver one. Readers can be quite unforgiving and if a genre fails to fully engage them on the first read they are quick to move on and so the real challenge for Metaphysical Authors is to make their stories not only meaningful but entertaining as well.

A fine example of an author who has achieved this is Rea Nolan Martin and her Award Winning novel The Anesthesia Games. Clarion Reviews said, “Visionary spirituality is rarely as well represented in literature as it is in The Anesthesia Game” whilst our own review in which we called it “A wholly original metaphysical and visionary novel from a luminary voice in Women's Fiction” can be found HERE.

The best writer’s don.t write to simply entertain their readers, they write to change their perception too and Martin certainly falls into this category. Delivering a Metaphysical narrative that is grounded in ordinary human existence but in a way that propels her story forward by exploring how her protagonist deals with events which in turn leaves us reflecting on the deeper meaning within. Metaphysical fiction must be as exciting as the ideas it contains and it’s a point that Metaphysical Authors must take on board. To open up brave new worlds of understanding, thought and reflection.

As we always say, any view is subjective and what we always aim to do with our blog posts is to provide a point of reference upon which you can build. We hope we’ve given you something to reflect upon. Whatever your thoughts we are always open to comments and ideas and if you have a book you’d like to submit for review you can do so HERE.

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We work with both traditionally published and "indie" authors who have self or independently published books and our mission is simple. It’s to discover new and talented authors and help them give their work the attention and awareness it deserves. We do this by providing professional and credible reviews which are respected by our readers. Our primary focus is on fiction across all genres, non – fiction with broad appeal and selected poetry.


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