Your Book WILL Be Judged by Its Cover

Today’s post is by publishing industry expert, Cheri Breeding.

Readers will judge your book by its cover — and quickly. Statistics show that the average person will decide to buy your book within 8 seconds of  seeing your cover. That’s an expensive piece of real estate! It helps you get noticed and is usually directly correlated to sales success.

My book is well-written and packed with intriguing content. Doesn’t that count for something? Of course, but if no one ever sees your book’s content because of a boring cover, how much will that help your sales? Have you ever heard the old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”? This is especially true for books. Your cover should be 10x better than the content on the inside. So, if you have AMAZING content, you must have an EXTRAORDINARY book cover.

To put it in another perspective — when you go shopping for clothes, how do you pick what to wear? Do you pick the best-looking shirt? Or, do you blindly choose a shirt off the rack irregardless of looks? If you’re like most people, you choose based on aesthetics. This example was about clothes, but books are no different. People are drawn to things they find attractive. There’s very little attraction to a Plain-Jane cover. People like to see pictures and text intertwined in a visually pleasing way. Some books can get away with text only covers, but the layout must be creative in some way to get people to read it.

If you saw the two covers below (for children’s books), which would you choose to find out more about?

One Wacky Wasp book cover

If you’re like most people, you chose the top book. Don’t you see just how important a “pretty” cover is to your book sales?

A professionally-designed cover is important for online sales, but even more important if you plan to “sell” your book to the brick-and-mortar booksellers. A buyer will also apply the 8 second rule to your book before making the decision to purchase it. They see many books every day. If yours doesn’t stand out, they likely won’t be interested.

Getting a custom cover design is expensive! What if I can’t afford to pay for it? Maybe now is not the best time to publish your book. Continue saving and set aside enough money to do it right the first time. That way, you won’t have any regrets later. Think of your cover design as an early investment in your book promotion strategy as a lame design can affect the overall “saleability” of the book.

DISCUSSION: Did you pass on a professionally designed book cover? How do you think you think your sales have been affected?

Since 2005 Cheri Breeding has been working as the Director of Production for Outskirts Press. In that time, she has been an instrumental component of every aspect of the Production Department, performing the roles of an Author Representative, Book Designer, Customer Service Representative, Title Production Supervisor, Production Manager and, Director of Production. She brings all that experience and knowledge, along with an unparalleled customer-service focus, to help self-publishing authors reach high-quality book publication more efficiently, professionally, and affordably.


3 thoughts on “Your Book WILL Be Judged by Its Cover

  1. Sound Advice.
    I can’t imagine working so hard on writing a book only to have the cover be the reason it doesn’t get picked up.
    I like the analogy to real estate.


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