By John Reese, Mar 22 2017 06:04PM
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