Ignite Your Book Sales - Because We Do Judge a Book by its Cover

No one wants to admit it but, subconsciously, we all judge a book by its cover.
No one wants to admit it but, subconsciously, we all judge a book by its cover. When looking to buy a book, we read the blurb, rely on recommendations, scan for reviews and yes, check out the book cover design.
 
A book cover highlights the first message of a story. It communicates the mood, style, theme, and genre of the narrative inside. Brand colours and a business diagram can speak volumes about the professional knowledge shared within. Dark imagery may suggest horror. A passionate embrace will translate to romance. Mixing the two could result in a tragic, cryptic love story.
 
To effectively market your book and establish yourself as an author, you must take your book cover seriously. Your opinion for the styles is important, but even more so, it matters what will appeal to your readers. It's not essential for a professional designer to produce your book cover but working with one makes it far more likely that your book will stand out on the shelves. The book market is so highly competitive. It’s much more than pretty packaging for the writing and here's why:
 

1. A striking book cover design is your greatest sales tool

 
With millions of books available for purchase, in both stores and online, it's important to view your book cover as your first "sales pitch". Yes, your back-cover blurb is essential, but your audience will not read it unless the book design appeals to them. When romance writer R.L. Mathewson updated her cover design, she went from selling five or six copies per day of her novel, Playing for Keeps, to over 1,000 per day. (Source: BookBub) A well-devised book cover can attract your ideal audience by quickly communicating the nature of your book. The overall design hints at your story, giving readers an idea of what they can expect, potentially securing a book sale.
 

2. Your book cover shapes and influences perceptions of your brand

 
Your book cover is more memorable to your audience than your website or social media presence. The instantly recognisable Dummies guide series includes almost every business subject out there. When thinking of best-selling novels by authors such as J.K. Rowling, Stephen King and Danielle Steel, it’s not hard to conjure up images of their book covers. We know Danielle Steel's iconic author font and King's eerie imagery & eye-catching title typography. Likewise, The Harry Potter font is both well-known and elucidates magic, all through design. As an author, it's possible to be recognised by your typography, cover style and cohesive look of a book series. The right design can have a significant impact on both the perception of your book and your brand.
 

3. When a reader sees an amateur cover, they expect the writing inside to be amateur

 
A book cover forms an expectation for the reader. If the book appears cheaply made on the outside, readers will assume the prose within is also lacking. A well-designed cover ensures the reader that the book is not only credible but also worthy of their money and time. Furthermore, authors who invest in stand-out cover design put themselves in direct competition with traditionally published books. When published, your book will be in the marketplace competing for space in a bookshop or online. If your book cover has even a hint of the amateur about it, bookshops will not stock it, and potential readers may not even get as far as picking it up.
 
 
As a self-publishing author, it's important to release a book you are truly proud of, both inside and out. That's why SilverWood Books employs qualified graphic designers who specialise in book covers, having immersed themselves in the world of books. Our team works with you to create your ideal book cover to suit the current style in the marketplace and communicate your concept with clarity.
 
We have an in-depth knowledge of typography, an understanding of proportions and contrast, and the know-how to select and combine the right illustration, photography and typographic elements in perfect balance.
 
If you would like to discuss bespoke and market-appropriate book cover design for your next project, please contact the Publishing Team. To learn more about what goes into great book design, read our Principles of Great Book Cover Design.

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Nicholas King