Your Book Cover Design

stella's plea

Did you ever read a book where the main character is a tall blonde woman, but the cover depicts an average height brunette? Or perhaps the main event you read about in the back blurb is about a house fire that destroys a family home and kills a well-known and loved young man. Shown on the cover, however, is a huge hotel burning out of control on a beach front. It may convey a strong message, but not at all what’s needed for this particular story.

I’ve seen that happen before, and it always throws me off. When I read, I picture the character in the first chapter as I see him or her on the cover. So when I come across the description of a blonde woman, I have to wonder. Okay, so maybe it’s a different character than the one from the cover.

The point is, your book cover design is not to be taken lightly. It’s as important if not more, as choosing your title, which I talked about yesterday.

It’s possible, as you go through your first draft to want to make changes. So she was a blonde, but now you’ve decided she fits the part better as a brunette? Go ahead and make the change, but be sure to change your cover too, if you’ve already designed it.

Why is it crucial to have a great cover? It’s one of the most important aspect of marketing your novel. It’s what can make or break your sales. Remember this old adage?

Can’t judge a book by its cover.

Though this may be true to some extent, I can tell you there are books that turn me away from them, enough that I won’t even check the back blurb. On the other hand, if the cover appeals to me, I’ll flip to the back to see what it’s about.

I paid twice for the cover of Stella’s Plea. I loved the first one but while it was about the kidnapping of a small child, the design looked too serene. The sun coming through the clouds gave a sense of peace. Since the designer was booked solid for the next few months and couldn’t do another one, she apologized and encouraged me to turn to someone else. I did. The cover Mitch came up with was amazing, and six years later, I still get comments on it. A black and pink sneaker on a trail in a wooded area. Simple yet it spelled suspense. Oh but wait… Black sneaker? The one in my story is white and pink. One detail that was easy to fix. I didn’t mind because I love the work he’d done.

Regardless whether you design your cover or ask a professional to do it for you, make sure it matches what’s inside the pages of your book to a T. You want to catch the eye of your prospect readers, enough that they’ll want to pick it up and turn it over to read the back. Make it attractive.

I’ve said this in the past two posts, but I’ll say it again. Be creative. Be unique. 

What makes you pick up the book and flip to the back blurb? Leave a comment below. 


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