How can you interest readers in your book when you are a newly published author? Writing a great story is only the beginning. Building an audience eager to buy your book is an ongoing marketing effort. When your book has a great cover, you'll be off to a good start. Since a book cover is the first thing a potential reader sees, it's the big hook that has to work for you.
Here are four essential elements of book covers that attract readers:
• The front cover is eye-catching, readable, and intriguing. It prompts readers to turn to the back cover and read the summary of the story.
• The illustration on the front cover represents your story, the theme, the mood. The background colors complement the illustration and reflect the mood of the story.
• The typography is simple, readable, bold, and large enough to be seen from several feet away on a book shelf. It's a good idea to learn the basics of good typography. There are many books that explain typography.
• The back cover copy sells your story. Here is where you tell enough of your story to intrigue readers. If you have great early book reviews from book clubs, authors, well-known book reviewers, etc., you can print them on the back cover (or front cover, if there's space).
Book cover illustration and design are special skills that are accomplished best by artists and experienced book designers. If you have the budget, hire an illustrator. That's what I did and it was money well spent. If you are self-publishing with a print-on-demand (POD) company, they will do the cover design. However, as the author, you will approve the design. That's why it's so important to learn as much as you can about book cover design so you'll know what to request and what to look for when the POD company submits a cover for your approval.
When I began to learn about book cover design, I selected several published books with covers that I admired. I made notes about the illustration, the colors, the typography, etc. so I would be able to discuss this with my book designer. If an artist's illustration is not within your budget, consider purchasing a photograph from a stock photography company. Photographs can also be manipulated to achieve different effects. Many large publishing houses now use photographs on book covers.
Whether you publish a print version of your book, an E-Book version, or both, you will need a knockout book cover. Learning as much about book cover design as you can will be time well spent.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Elaine Bossik published her debut novel, The Last Victim, in 2011. The Last Victim is a literary romance about a woman whose obsession with hoarding money and her secret love affair forever changes her daughter's life. Elaine had three careers: as magazine editor, medical writer and teacher in New York City. She blogs on her website at www.elainebossik.com and writes how-to articles on Scriptologist.com for aspiring screenwriters.