A cover can make or break a book

If you are a well-known author your name will bring sales, but for most of us that isn’t the case. Here we’ll review some important points to make our books stand out from the rest.

  1. You need to use the right color scheme

If you use pastel colors, especially pink or lilac, you are sending the message that this book is a cute book. Thus, a reader will expect a children’s book especially appropriate for girls, maybe a book with a woman’s theme.

The use of bright red on your cover will send the message of murder or a hot romance. It depends on how you use the combination of colors and features.

If it is black and white it could depict a spy or government plot and so on.

A boring or colorless cover will also say that the book is boring and doesn’t merit a reader’s time or money.

  1. The title of your book should be unique and represent what the book is about. The title of your book should be near the top and your name a touch smaller at the bottom. Now you have a perfect frame to add your picture in the middle. The color of the letters should contrast to the background on your cover so your readers can see the printing perfectly.
  2. Cover theme

You have seen covers with beautiful mountain scenes or skies with bounteous stars—what do they make you think of? One could announce that the book is about cowboys the other a book on constellations. If your book is that then great…but if you’re trying for a medieval or Sci-Fi book your readers need more to tell them apart.

Let’s take Sci-Fi for an example: For a Sci-Fi book you need to add a space alien to your stars, this will tell that the book is about space. If you set the alien in a space ship it will say that there is space travel in the book, and if you add a gun it will scream war.

  1. Clothes

How the people are clothed on your cover will help to place your book in a time period. How? History has different eras and people recognize this by the clothing of that period.

In the Renaissance people didn’t dress as executive salesmen. Nor did the people in the Roman Empire.

Now a romance is a whole new ball game: You can tell how steamy the romance will be by the clothes or lack there-of on the couple portrayed on its cover and by how close their bodies are to each other.

  1. Professional or not professional

If you can afford a pro, go for it. If you can’t, study out your options and make sure you are sending the right message before you do it yourself. There are templates and many options on the Internet. Whatever you do, do your best.

  1. If you are working in the Internet, you need to realize that the color you have chosen often isn’t the same color that is transmitted over the wires. I had a cover with dark blue and purple tones in a midnight scene and when my book came out the cover had turned into a bright sunshine day scene. My moon had become a sun and the colors were washed out with a yellow tint to them.
  2. A well-written short and concise blurb on the back cover should tease and entice the reader to buy the book. I have seen blurbs that tell you the same thing in four different ways, thus wasting the minimal time the author had to convince the potential reader to buy the book. Also, remember that you want to make it easy for the reader. Never use a font that is too small or too busy to be read easily. If the person forgot the glasses, they will put your book down and you will lose your chance for a new reader. Be sincere, readers seldom return if you make misrepresentations.
  3. Your picture should be of passport size and in color. A vacation or Christmas shot will look very un-professional.

In case you wonder—YES, people will buy your book more quickly if you look like someone they can trust and not a deranged mental escapee.

  1. After a study done by me, it was determined that all books that portray the image of a person, even as a shadow, it will sell more than those that only depict landscapes. People like to know about people, thus they are attracted to other people. So if you have space make sure that a small bio is included. (If space is too limited, you can always post a longer bio inside the cover on the last page of your book.)
  2. If you can get an endorsement from a reviewer to place on your back cover, it could entice more readers to buy your book. A celebrity endorsement would merit a spot on the front cover.

There you have it: My ten commandments for a great cover. Now go and use them to make and not break your book.


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