Since your book will be competing against every other title in an online bookstore, based almost exclusively on its cover, it’s hard to ignore the importance of good cover art.
And if you have ever self-published and had the pleasure (or experienced the cringe) of seeing your book cover competing next to the millions of other books at Barnes and Noble Books online or Amazon Kindle books, then you know how good cover art can enhance a book's appeal. Or, if you have a publisher and are deciding on a book cover design from a professional graphic artist, then you may be experiencing an apprehension like never before.
Because bad cover art can make your online bookstore cover art into a joke.
And the bottom line for everyone is that you will sell more copies on sites to buy books with a better cover. Or maybe no books at all if your cover looks terrible next to the others at online booksellers like Powell's Books online, for example. Or any other site to purchase books.
But there is no need to panic about what your book cover looks like next to an obviously expensive cover design on book ordering websites. Not yet anyway. Because the key to an impressive cover design is collecting your thoughts and thinking about what is really important about selling your book.
So ask yourself: what do you want the cover to say to people as they scroll through a popular online book store?
And this does not necessarily mean a more elaborately-designed cover. But instead, the cover that will catch everyone’s eye on any online bookstore page. Which means that it is more a matter of taste.
If you want your book to be one of the top selling books at the best online bookstore.
So first, have a look through any online bookstore and save the images of covers you like. Or do an Amazon books search by subject for books similar to yours. Or an Amazon books by author search. Pick some book covers that catch your eye.
Chance are, there will be some simply designed, yet impactful covers in your online book search. Covers you can have someone professional look at to design something similar. Maybe cover designs that will help you design it for yourself. Either way, once you have a collection of professional cover samples from Amazon.com or anywhere you can buy books online, you can start thinking about your own cover.
Learn more about bad cover art here: http://writeyourselfrich.net/getting-published/
Now let’s look at 3 ways to come up with a better cover:
1. Make your online bookstore cover simple.
If you shop for books in person, an elaborately designed book cover is like a work of art. Mainly because can you take the book off the shelf and admire the artwork. And wish you could afford that artist for your own book. Nevertheless, book ordering websites work completely opposite of this.
Because if you reduce that same cover image to a thumbnail-size graphic and put it on an online bookstore page with a hundred other covers, it will become an indiscernible blip. Which means that viewers will overlook it as a blur when they go to buy a book online. So keeping in mind that your cover art will be a very small image on someone’s screen, the one word to remember is "impactful."
An impactful book cover is one that stands out from all the others at online book purchase sites. Even those top-selling books with free shipping online. So think about using a bright color, or a large font, or a haunting photograph for your cover. Stay away from busy artwork or drab colors.
If you want to sell a lot of copies at a popular online bookstore.
Oddly enough, the simple one-color cover with contrasted lettering and a one-word title is the one that stands out the most at an online book store. So make it easy on yourself. Design a simple, impactful cover that will sell books online. Forget about that overly-artistic and busy cover you would find on a Barnes and Noble bookshelf.
That will come later.
2. Make your online bookstore cover readable.
There is nothing like looking at a new book in an online bookstore and not being able to read the title on the cover because the font is too ornate. Or tries too hard to be experimental and gets lost in heavily complicated artwork. And this is fine for authors who have a publisher behind them to promote their hard copies in bookstores. But if you do not have a publisher, you have to make someone want to buy your books online. Based on the cover art. With a title in a readable font.
You may think that a good description will save you from a poorly executed book cover. But the way people skim online, it will not. Especially if your complicated artwork further obscures the title. Your book cover will look like a smudge.
And no one will be tempted to buy it from the online bookstore.
Or to read it. Not even from a free online library.
So the word "readable" refers mainly to the title. Is the lettering so ornate or fancy that it cannot be read clearly in a thumbnail image? Remember, many people use their phone for online reading. And also when they want to buy books online.
So although you will see many best-selling book covers with title fonts you can’t read in a small image, they are usually being pushed by the major publishing houses. And they are only disguising main-stream books with avant-garde covers to sell more copies to serious readers. But if you are an independent author and viewers can’t read your title in a glance, they will simply move on.
Nevertheless, a cover that is readable will prompt them to read further. And your book description, along with an impactful cover, may prompt them to use their Barnes and Noble coupon.
To buy your book as part of their online books purchasing.
3. Make your online bookstore cover a contrast.
Before you design your book cover, check out the competition. There is usually a reason behind the way these authors design their online bookstore covers. Figure out what the common denominator is.
Then you have two choices:
First, you can make your book cover similar to the others, but more appealing. Or second, you could make your cover the complete opposite of all the other covers. For example, if all of the authors in your genre use bright colors and happy lettering, use dark colors and brooding fonts.
If nothing else, the viewer’s eye will naturally travel to the odd book out on the page and give it much more consideration than they otherwise would have.
It may even help to make it one of the top selling books you can buy online.
Not one of the cheap books for sale at an online discount bookstore.
So make your online bookstore cover readable, vibrant, and more eye-catching than all the others and you are on your way to having a bestseller.
I know you can do it.
See also: https://brenthollister.blogspot.com/