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Judging a Book by its Cover

Making a good impression isn’t always as easy as we would like it to be. Whether we’re preparing for a first date or a job interview, those first few seconds of an interaction are always the most important. The same is the case for books. There are so many books published each year, it can make it hard to stand out in the crowd.


While we’d like to believe that readers are buying books based solely on their content, this is not always true. A survey done by The Book Smugglers shows that 79% of those surveyed agreed that a book’s cover does influence their decision when it comes to book purchases. But why?


There are so many different types of readers out there; it only makes sense that each would be attracted to a different cover. Those who reach for science fiction aren’t going to be enticed by romance covers, and those who love historical fiction won’t likely be found in the mystery section. It’s true that some genres overlap, but there is likely going to be one genre that shines through in each book.


So what does this mean for you as an author? It means that the cover you choose to put on the front of your book truly does matter. It means that marketing your book to a specific audience will likely increase your sales numbers. To give you a head start on your road to book cover success, we have a couple of tips for you.


1. Work with a designer


One of the best pieces of advice we could give is that you should choose a designer to work with on your book cover. Do your research and find someone who has done previous book covers that are in a similar style to what you’re looking for. Once you’ve chosen someone, it is important that the two of you are on the same page. Let them read your book or simply talk through the ideas you have for the cover. Throughout the process, make sure the work they’re doing lines up with your vision.


2. Give a sneak peek


As was mentioned before, readers are attracted to books that fit within their favorite genres. It isn’t an accident that murder mysteries usually have dark covers while summer reads are most often set on a sunlit beach. You don’t want to give away the entire plot of the story on the cover, but it’s necessary to give readers a little bit of insight into the storyline. Maybe you include a flag or skyline to hint at the setting and time period, or you could use a specific font to draw the reader in. Subtle clues add interest and lure in potential readers.


Book covers come in all shapes and sizes. Some are flashy and some are very simple. But they all serve the same purpose: to entice the reader. Judging a book by its cover is a part of the publishing process, so you’ll need to be one step ahead of the game.


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