Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Why Book Covers are So Important by Karolyn James

It’s not secret… all authors compete with each other. We support each other but we are competing for your eyes… for the eyes of the readers. With so many books available, and growing by the day, it’s more important than ever to have a good book cover. I also think it’s important to flip that coin a little and not go too crazy with covers. I personally hate hearing authors who drop thousands on a cover. Is it worth for that much? I’m not so sure.
Your book cover is the welcoming sight for readers. The cover must speak something to them. It must depict something that is a theme within the book. For example, the book I’m reading now is about someone showing up in Oregon near the coast. The cover is very pleasing in that it has a man with a bag on his bag, standing at the shore. The cover is a light blue, very calm and ocean-y. It fits the story.

Before the reader gets to your blurb or your text, they get your cover. I’m really glad I have the chance to write this post because I saw a discussion with a writer talking about their sales. The titles of the books were great, even the blurb were catchy, but the covers were just… off. They looked cheap, thrown together in two minutes. There was a time a few years ago when Kindle started to gain popularity that covers weren’t as important, but face it, this is the new world of publishing. The terms ‘indie’ and ‘traditional’ really don’t mean a lot to readers… I mean, our books are labeled as such, right? It’s the covers that speak first.

I actually just went through a cover update with the Brothers of Rock books. The series started as more of a side project but the books took off! They charted, they sold, readers wanted more. Going into the fall season, I wanted to be fully prepared so I suggested covers updates. I was able to give input and we came up with covers that looked better. The pictures are the same, it’s just the text, positioning, the way things are blended, etc. The covers look a hundred times better than they did.

And one piece of advice when thinking about covers… look at what’s on the bookshelves at stores! Look at what’s selling right now and why. Sure, the name will carry a book, but look at the cover. Get an idea of what works for what genre you’re writing in and make sure you have the best cover you can get.

Buried Notes 4
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Genre – Romance 
Rating – PG13
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