Monday, September 22, 2014

Readers...! And writers...! And COVERS... Oh my!

All right. I realize that I've been doing a lot of thinking lately; hence the many posts. However, I will be the first to say that today's subject matter is pretty juicy.


"What's the BIG DEAL about book covers?" One might ask. Well, there is a whole list of things that make your book cover important. Nevertheless, it can be a huge task--more for the author than for the reader. It's like this huge dance routine.

Big covers, little covers, light covers, dark covers.

His covers, her covers, their covers, my covers.

It's enough to make one's head spin.


But before I get into everything, I think it's important to look at the facts. Here they go:

Fact 1: Everyone (even if they don't admit it) will judge a book by its cover.CHECKLIST

Fact 2: It's imperative for authors to have the best cover then can get for their work.

Fact 3: A great cover, still does not guarantee a great book.

Fact 4: Shopping for books is like shopping for clothes--your eye is going to be drawn to the garment that best suites your preference.

Fact 5: Making a cover is like being the fashion designer behind said garment--you must know your target audience, and cater to them.

That being said, there is this whole song and dance going on in today's book market about book covers. And, in all truth, it saddens me. I'll save you the grief of going into the underground story about cover/graphic designers that are ripping off Indie Authors. That subject matter is for another day.

But, being that I'm a graphic designer as well as a published author, this subject is near and dear to my heart.

There is just too much of a stigma of having to have the perfect book cover, and if you don't than there is this mind frame that your book will never get looked at.

What do I say to that?



I have seen as of late, SO MANY authors that have been on this mission to change their cover(s), and have taken it to such an extreme, that they've change the cover to a single work time and time again simply because they "want it to sell".

Let me be clear:

1) I'm not saying that wanting a good cover, and your book to sell is a bad thing.factcheck

2) CONNECTIONS makes your book sell. You need to be part of the right group and surrounded by the right people.

3) It take money to make money, and if you don't have the funds to invest, don't expect to have your book flying off of the shelves.

4) The right book cover is ONLY THE START.

5) You better hope that the book content is just as good as the cover, because no matter how fancy-shamcy your cover is, if the content is crap, you've already failed.

6) DO NOT put your "perfect book cover" fixation at the forefront of your career, because then you'll lose yourself in that and put your writing on the back burner. That should never be the goal of writers.

If you're a new author who has had this inner debate about book covers, you're probably saying to yourself, "All right. So what should I do?"

Easy peasy!

3 Simple Steps:

1) Know (or at least have an idea of) what you want.

2) Find the means to make that happen. IE: Purchase/download Adobe Acrobat, or even find a graphic designer that can work within your financial means.

3) Once you cover has been created, STICK WITH IT! This is SO important--I can't emphasize it enough--it's very important.

Why? Because, how do you expect readers to recognize your work, if you're constantly changing the cover? You're just gonna confuse yourself, and worse, confuse your readers.

Moreover, humans are by their own nature, very visual. They see things, remember what they saw, and then look for it later. 9 times out of 10, readers will remember your books by it's cover. So if you keep changing it, then how do you expect them to find it again later?


Let's be real here...

The old greats of literature didn't have fancy-shamcy covers. They had this:


Two ugly ass pieces of brown cardboard on either side of a collect of phenomenal literature. Mankind only needed to use their imagination to see the beauty therein.



Long story short, and being clear...?



STOP running the 'whose-cover-is-the-prettiest' race, and focus on what really matters.

Yes, covers are important, but your writing is much, much more important!


If you're in need of a book cover that you'll love at a price you can afford, contact me at Or look at my website at All Authors Graphic Design.

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