26 February 2014
The Importance of Good Cover Design

The design of your book cover will affect sales. Whether your book is in print or exists only as an ebook, it is imperative that you have a professionally-designed cover. To achieve this requires three things:

  • Find a graphic designer who specialises in book cover design to design your book cover.
  • Be prepared to pay for artwork or photography that will truly help sell your book within the intended genre.
  • Get multiple opinions and demand multiple drafts and options from your designer.

If your book doesn’t have a professional looking cover, it will be like a red flag to people in the industry (book shops, reviewers, websites and the media) and also to most of your potential readers, who don’t want to waste their time reading something that is less than professional.

At Australian eBook Publisher we offer book cover design for print as well as ebooks, two slightly different approaches to book cover design. We can also work on a shoestring budget, or with a Marketing Success mindset, whichever you prefer.

Our aim is always to create a cover that looks professional, attracts the eye, is easy to read, and draws a reader in.

Your cover should:

  • Indicate to potential readers the book’s genre and content

Your potential readers know what kinds of books they like to read, and they will know what kinds of covers reflect those books. If your cover is not relevant to your book’s content or genre, your readers will pass right over it.

  • Attract your target audience

When you wrote your book you knew who you had in mind to read it. For example, romance novels are usually targeted towards adult women, and the covers often contain images of women or men in seductive poses. Non-fiction book covers often picture the end-goal of what the book is about, for example children consuming a beautiful meal on a cook book cover, adults with perfectly-toned bodies on a fitness book cover.

Children’s picture books are targeted at specific age groups, and the covers are designed to attract mothers to buy them. The quality of the illustrations is paramount to catch the eye of the discerning mother, who is bombarded by products for children that are of the highest quality (not just books). Because of her experience judging and buying myriad products for her children she will know in an instant that your book is not professionally made if the front cover contains pencil sketches and a title squished into a poorly planned space in the sky. She will not buy a book like this when there are a thousand others vying for her attention.

A gimmick book (in print) must appeal to someone who either has an interest in the topic themselves or is looking for a gift to buy someone else. Therefore a book of funnies and one-liners about motorcycles might have a motorcycle being ridden by a laughing person on the cover.

Your cover should be geared towards your target market, not your target audience. The target market are those who will BUY the book (eg. mothers, wives) whereas the target audience are those who will read the book or have it read to them (eg. children, motorcycle riding men).

  • Stand out

You need to balance having a cover that fits well in your genre and attracts your target market with one that stands out. Visit a book store or library and peruse a range of books in the same genre as your book. Note the similarities and differences between the covers.


     

Some book covers Australian eBook Publisher has designed

With ebooks cover design can be considered particularly important, as the reader does not have the tactile experience of picking up the book and flicking through the pages. Your ebook, as it is listed on a vendor page, will have a book description (blurb) and sample text, as well, but it is the cover that will make your book more appealing (or less appealing) than the millions of other ebooks it is surrounded by.

The design of ebook covers is also slightly different, as the cover will only be seen on screens, not in print. This allows designers a bit more freedom and results in covers that are brighter and more colourful (RGB for screens is more dynamic than CMYK for print). When a buyer is considering your ebook they will sometimes only be able to see a small version of your cover (such as on the Apple iBookstore with only a thumbnail about 150 pixels wide). You will notice in the example below that the text at the top of the book cover design for Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins is not readable on the iBookstore.
 


Once the book is purchased the cover can sometimes be seen on device larger, but more often than not it is only ever seen as a thumbnail in the reader’s library.

Here at Australian eBook Publisher we are not constrained by what big publishers are doing, instead we tackle the fast-changing nature of ebook design and distribution head on and quickly.

We usually insert ebook covers into the first page of the interior so that readers will have the chance to enjoy the cover design. If we do this for you, bear in mind that your ebook will be read on a wide range of devices, so an inserted picture of the cover has to suit a number of different screen sizes. For this reason it is ideal to keep the cover simple enough that it remains readable on a screen as small as an iPhone, but still dynamic enough to be attractive on a tablet as big as a Kindle Fire (for example). At the time of writing, the meta-covers as per Amazon’s own specifications were not big enough to fill the screen of a Kindle Fire 8.9"! There are complexities and flexible aspects to every book cover and every ebook that we design.

You might be getting the picture now that cover design is not as simple as whacking on a nice picture and adding a title and an author. There are a number of different things book cover designers take into account for each book. A good book cover designer will consider all of these things and more.

Choose Australian eBook Publisher today.

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