Saturday, June 11, 2011

Covers 101

And Blogger is down again.  Whee! 
I won't even bother trying to post a photo.

I was somewhere--nevermind where, it's not my intention to hurt anyone's feelings--and saw a cover that committed 2 of the main sins.

1) Don't use sunsets.  (or sunrises for that matter). 
2) Let's at least be able to READ the title and the author's name.  

I don't know what else to say.

#1 is a matter of personal preference.  You like the sunset, you want the sunset, you haven't looked at 1200 other covers on wherever also using a sunset and if you did see them you don't care because you want the sunset even if it has nothing to do with the theme or plot or any peripheral information that may possibly be contained in your book.  Oh well then go for it.  Use it as your desktop image, too.

#2.  The color of the text is the same color as the sky in the sunset except with a thin outline (to make it stand out from the background undoubtedly).  I don't understand this choice.  I know people think things look good when I don't.  I've been to enough auctions and craft fairs to know that.  I can't explain it. 

Be objective.  I know it's very exciting to write your book and be able to publish it on your own.  Don't be so excited you're in a rush.  Go look at the covers of books in that category.  Read the descriptions.  Read the samples.  Compare everything to yours being unemotional and professional.

Is there anything you can do more efficiently?  Does your book stand out from the million other books on Amazon?  Is the cover eye-catching and readable?  Is the description entertaining, interesting and to the point?
Are the pages of your sample likely to make the reader want to buy the book?  Be objective.

If someone is scrolling through the Top 100 Books in whatever category it is, is there ANYTHING about your cover that would make a reader slow down?  Because at some point, all your friends and relatives will have bought the book and you have to rely on strangers who don't know you and don't care about your feelings and only want a 2 hour mini-vacation from the hard reality of the world to spend their money on your work.

How are you going to convince them to do this?

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