Penny C. Sansevieri, in HuffPost Books lists “8 Mistakes That Will Absolutely Kill Your Book.”
Personally, I think covers can make or break a book. There have been plenty of times I’ve picked a book off the shelf in a store, looked at the cover and put the book back. The cover didn’t appeal to me and I didn’t even bother to turn it over to read the backcover.
Some folks think covers are not so important in the age of e-books. I think they are. I still look at the covers. (I also want more backcovers on e-books and an easy way to turn to them. I sometimes buy a book and don’t get around to reading it for weeks – I’d like to remind myself why I bought it.)
Here are Sansevieri’s eight questions she asked about the importance of book covers:
1. How long does the average consumer spend viewing a book cover before they decide to buy or not buy the book?
(The answer depends on whether you’re looking at a print book or an e-book.)
2. What are the biggest mistakes you see in book cover design?
(Are you looking for good, fast and cheap? You can’t have all three.)
3. Is it ever a good idea to put your picture on a book cover?
(Probably not, but maybe so.)
4. What do bookstore book buyers look for in a book cover?
(Yep, even bookstore book buyers look at the covers, but you might be surprised by exactly what attracts them most.)
5. What distinguishes a bestselling, brand-building book from one that practically guarantees your book will never sell?
(Too many things in this answer to list here, so zip over and read it.)
6. How did one of your self-published authors reach bestseller status (over 1,500,000 copies sold!) without being in a bookstore?
(An author’s book sold steadily for many years, then they redesigned the cover and it really took off.)
7. How can authors evaluate and know that their title and subtitle are clear, compelling and appropriate for their market?
(If your book will have both a title and a subtitle, then you need to know what the purpose of each is.)
8. How can I be sure I'm choosing the right cover design?
(Three things to do here and you, not your designer, will be doing most of the work.)
So, there you are. Eight questions. In the parenthises, I’ve listed a reason to go read each answer if you’re at the stage of creating your book cover. If that’s sometime in the future, the article is still worth reading and saving for when that day comes.
I know some of you have created your book covers already. What would you add to this list?
2 weeks ago