So I was perusing though a website of books looking for something to catch my eye. This got me thinking as a rolled past many books for one reason, and one reason alone.
The cover was bad.
I don’t necessarily mean that it was bad in that it was all black, or the font was all wrong, I mean that it was visually unappealing and when there are approximately 4,000 books being published on Amazon a day vying for the reader’s attention the cover has to speak to the book and to the reader. This is especially true of a publishing company. If we do not put out the best cover that we can for each and every book, the author is not going to get the visibility that they deserve and we will not get the credit, money, or future contracts that we believe we deserve. So I am going to go though a couple of things I have seen that automatically make me look the other way.
1) An adult or YA cover that looks like it was drawn up by a 6 year old. I know that sometimes it is cute, but really, take pride in your work and make sure that the cover puts a good face on your book. I read this one book for a blog that I was part of. It was a good book and I did not see the cover until I was writing up my review. If I had honestly seen the cover before reading the book I don’t know if I would have. The cover was abstract, was drawn freehand without any cleaning up, and just did not look appealing. In some cases this type of cover is appropriate but use sparingly.
2) A cover that has nothing to do with the book. This gets me to another pet peeve of mine, the title of a book, but that will be in a future post. The cover needs to draw the reader in, show a bit of the book, and really enhance what you have going on. You, the author just spent a good portion of your life writing this book, again take some pride in it. I read this book, it was okay, the back cover did not relate to the book at all (see #3) but it was okay. The cover was almost all white, with the title across the center and had no information about the book other than a ring of dark. That never came up in the book so why was it on the cover?
3) The back writing. When you are doing the blurb about your book, do not be too vague, people want to know what they are getting into. Use a little of your book as a teaser, tell a little about the main character(s), do something. Using weasel words, or ideas that really do not directly apply to your book will just have people pissed off and returning it. If you have a book about a person named Fred that flies into the future, write that “Fred, the time traveling XXX” Some authors even do a little bit of spoiling on the back cover, I am personally not in favor of that, but to each their own.
4) Copyrighted images. Okay this one is a big one, it is more about legality and less about personal opinion. Just because a picture is online does not mean it is in the public domain. It does mean that someone took the time to take a picture and put it online for people’s viewing pleasure. When an author, publicist, publisher, or cover designer just randomly takes a picture from the internet, it could very well be copyrighted, which means illegal for reproduction. This goes for celebrities, cartoon characters, even geographical landmarks. If you want a picture of the Grand Canyon, either pay for a picture, go take one yourself, or hire someone to take one. Along these same lines is when people take real photos and just mush them together on the cover. Unless you have a talented Graphic Designer like what Wizards Keep Publishing has, or you are yourself talented, this will never look right. There are different light intensities, different angles, even different fuzziness ratios.
There are so many talented artists out there that many are even creating already made covers. You find one that looks good, they add your book information to it, and ta da you have a nice, professional looking, visually appealing cover that will bring readers to you. In our affiliate page we will be adding some of the artists that we know or have used in the past. This is not to say you have to use them, but spend the money and find a good cover artist. Trust us, it is worth the money