Let’s be honest, if you don’t judge a book by its cover, well, there’s not a lot else to go on. A short blurb, some reviewers’ comments, perhaps reading the first line or paragraph or two will give you an idea. But ultimately, a well-designed book cover will help to sell your book.
Unfortunately, in a crowded book publishing market, many self-published books are easy to spot – from their poor covers. Having a professionally designed cover can really make a difference to how your book is perceived – does it look cheap and nasty and amateurish, or does it ooze quality? Consider your own reaction to a book – does the cover catch your eye; do you want to pick it up and explore further; does it convey what the book is about? If none of these things, the sale is already lost.
This same principle applies just as much to e-books as to printed books – it’s all about perceived quality and helping the potential reader make the purchasing decision. In some ways though, the popularity of the e-book concept has meant that printed books have to work that bit harder – if they are going to sit on your bookcase and take up space, they need to look good. This concept is taken even further with the coffee table-style book – its purpose is as much decorative as the relevance of the content.
Keep it simple
Some books work well with a strong image or illustration – others sit quite happily with a more typographical approach – with all though the aim is to encourage the potential reader to explore further, to pick up the book and/or buy it. Simple generally works best and can be really powerful – if the cover is too busy, there are too many competing ideas or themes that just end up crowding each other out. Avoid using too many colours, and don’t be afraid of space – space is what gives the elements of the book’s design room to work. Similarly, the title needs to be readable – don’t be tempted to use an obscure typeface that you think looks hip;…