A book cover can make or break your sales. If it looks amateurish, it can hurt your sales. If it looks appealing, it can greatly increase your sales. There are a few tips on how to make sure your book cover is one of the ones that helps your sales.
The first thing you need to do is to look at other books for sale in your book's genre. Which ones appeal to you? Which ones are best sellers? What is it about those book covers that draws people in? Do you see any trends in them? For example, current trends in YA tend to show the main character (or a representation of the MC) prominently on the cover. Romance covers often show a couple on the cover.
Next you need to think about your story and what you want the cover to convey about it. What aspects of your story will look good on the cover? Do you want your cover to be illustrated or photo-manipulated? Your cover needs to set the mood for your story. For example, horror covers should have a very different feel to them than a humorous book.
Your book cover should pertain to your book’s subject. If you are writing a book about a girl and her pet cat, but your cover shows a knight fighting a dragon, this can be confusing and misleading to your audience. You want your readers to instantly get a feel for your story's subject when they see the book cover.
Your book title’s font needs to be readable even when viewed as a thumbnail. It can be really eye-catching to use unusual or elegant fonts, but you need to make sure that whatever font you use still looks good and is easy to read when your book cover is only viewed as a thumbnail as that is how most people who buy your book on-line, through Amazon and other retailers, will see your book.
Stock photos can be useful, but be careful about using public stock photos which can be over-used in other book covers. You want your cover to stand out from other covers. One way to avoid having to use stock photos in making your book cover is to take the photographs yourself or hire a photographer (or illustrator/graphic designer) yourself.
Did you already publish your book with a book cover that, upon retrospect, was not the best fit for your book? Don't fret about it; you can still re-publish your book with a new, better cover. Some authors have found that by simply changing the cover of their book, they have seen a noticeable increase in sales.
Some advice often told is to never make your own book cover. The idea behind this is that most authors do not have the skills to create a good book cover and their attempts will look amateurish. That isn't as true in the current indie book publishing climate though. More and more authors are learning the skills to create professional looking book covers, and if they spend enough time studying other covers in the market, they are more likely to be able to judge whether or not their cover works for the book they want to sell.
Just make sure to get opinions from the right people about your cover before you publish. When I say the right people, I am talking about people in the industry, not friends and family. The problem with asking friends and family is that they will want to like your cover and will be less likely to tell you if they see something that can be improved. But if you have a critique group or are a part of other groups of writers and publishing professionals, it is a safe bet that they will let you know what you can do to improve your book cover or if it just isn't working.
|example of book mark; actual prize may look different (different charms, etc)|
Have you made any of your own book covers? Let me know in the comments and be entered in a drawing to win your choice of an e-book cover created by me for your book or a handmade charm book mark. The drawing will occur on April 30th. (Must be signed-up for the challenge in order to enter.)