Walk into the nearest book store and take a look. Beautiful-looking books abound. Why? Because there are a number of people (myself included) who really do judge a book by its cover.
So you can see that as self-publishing becomes easier and more affordable than ever, cover designs become even more important. Your book must stand out from the crowd. Even though you may only be paying pennies (if that) to self-publish your book, it should look like a million bucks! It should look no different than the covers that all those high dollar publishing houses are putting out there. The technology is available! Why not use it?
Here are some tips to make your ebook look like (and be) a bestseller...
- Learn from the best. Spend some time on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, or at your favorite book store. What do today's bestsellers look like? What puts them at the top of the list? Good writing - yes. But even great writing will have a hard time getting read if it's packaged badly. Make a list of what you like and don't like on some of the covers you see.
- Make it your own. Although you may pick up some great ideas from your favorite ebook and book covers, don't be a copycat! Your cover and your book will be a lot more successful if it has an original look. Take the elements that you like best from other covers and combine them or give them a twist. And whatever you do - don't use a template unless you are prepared to take enough steps to really make it your own!
- Use images, words, and fonts that convey the obvious... or not. When considering what sort of fonts, words, and images to use for your cover, you can take several approaches. Which approach may depend on your own personal preferences, the content of your book, and/or your chosen method of distribution.
The creative approach will serve you well. Use your cover to convey the "feel" of your book - fun, romance, mystery, adventure, or whatever it may be.
Non-fiction books are often more sales-driven. If this is the case, you'll want the cover to express the topic very clearly. Your cover should be a continuation of (or conclusion to) your sales pitch.
The bottom line for either type of book is to consider the competition. The kinds of competitors you face will depend on your distribution method. Book sellers on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or one of the other popular ebook sellers tend to be of a different sort than those found via affiliate or independent web sites.
- Get to know the tools of the trade (or someone who does). To design ecovers, it is helpful to have access to design software. On a very basic level, know how to use the graphic tools in Word or PowerPoint. To step it up, learn about tools like Adobe Photoshop or InDesign. And if you're not technologically or graphically inclined, start doing Google searches for professionals who are. If you decide to go with a design or ebook professional, be sure to communicate your needs and wants clearly before they begin on your project. This could save you a lot of time and money.
- Don't overdo it. You've decided on your title and the kinds of images and fonts you'd like. Now you're ready to put it all together or to hand it over to your design professional. But don't be afraid to keep things simple. Covers with too much text, too many images, or too many colors can be counterproductive. Sometimes the most effective covers don't have to say (or convey) a lot.
Good luck with your cover! Have fun with it and make it a bestseller!
Some of my favorite covers --
I took notice of this cover on Amazon recently. It was done by a self-published ebook author Amanda Hocking, who is now a top-seller for Amazon Kindle ebooks!
I haven't read Tim Ferriss' book yet, but I did read his previous book, "The 4-Hour Work Week". That was a great book and this one has a great cover! It's a non-fiction book that says what it needs to say to make the sale, but is visually appealing in a simple way. Hope to read it soon!