Guest post by Ida Jansson, Amygdala Design
Why should you invest in a professionally designed book cover?
I love to read, and I’m constantly on the lookout for new and exciting books – particularly those in the dystopian genre! And I find it particularly satisfying to discover books by high quality self-publishing authors. But how do I choose what books I’m going to read?
Even in this limited genre, when browsing through Amazon or similar sites, there are an enormous number of titles to choose from. Of course, I could just look at the ratings, but how then would I find the new and exciting authors that have yet to get reviewed? And how do I know that the reviews are genuine, and not put together by someone paid to give a good review?
The answer is – I couldn’t, and I can’t! So, instead, I look at the cover.
Is it high quality?
Does the cover speak to me about the book and the genre?
Has the author got enough faith in their story to invest in a professional cover?
If the answer to these questions is yes, then I will most likely go on to read the description and reviews. If not, then I’ll probably decide the book won’t be worth spending more time on. The cover needs to say, ‘I, the author, am serious about this book; this is a quality product and it’s worth your time. I believe in this book, and so should you.’
Without a large publisher and the marketing opportunities they provide, it can be hard for an author to reach a large readership. But it’s not impossible; just look at the success stories of writers like Amanda Hocking and E.L. James. To get there, you have to be willing to take a risk, and you need to give it all you’ve got. The competition is ridiculously tough – and it’s getting harder and harder for the reader to decide what books to pick. This is why, for self-publishing authors, it’s important to stand out from the crowd, and, most importantly – to give an impression of quality.
So what makes for a quality cover? Here are 3 essential points:
Simple, but descriptive
Don’t try to depict a scene from your book on the cover, and don’t have too much detail; this will just result in a crowded, busy cover, and will not look at all professional. Remember that most potential readers will see your cover in thumbnail size that crucial first time. The title and main object should, therefore, be discernible even in small sizes. So rather than putting in lots of detail, focus instead on one object – the main character, for example, or a simple landscape – giving the title the space to stand out.
Unless you are a professional photographer or artist, let a designer find high-quality images for you, that can be assembled to make a great cover. Don’t make do with a grainy, low-resolution image or just buy a generic one. A designer can customize and put together a striking cover for you – one that will be guaranteed to catch the eye.
The cover is for the reader, not the author!
To make the most of your marketing, try to see your book from the potential reader’s point of view. If they’re browsing through thousands of titles on Amazon, what would make them stop at your book? What is the first thing they’d see? It might be tempting to make your name, as author, leap out from the cover in big, fat letters. You might even want to use a personal image on the front. Unless you are a famous person, however, having your name emblazoned across the cover will not help! The reader is interested in the story, not the author. That is why it’s the title and the image, instead, which should stand out. These should convey to the reader, clearly and with impact, what kind of book they’ve come across, whetting their appetite to find out more.
So if you have written a book that you believe in and want the whole world to read, show it – with a high quality, professionally designed book cover! It might not be as expensive as you think, and it will be an investment that is guaranteed to give you a head-start on the competition.
About Amygdala Design
Amygdala Design was started in October 2012 by Norwegian graphic designer Ida Jansson. The company specializes in eye-catching book covers and related services, for authors and publishers all over the world. Over the last two years, Amygdala Design has designed covers for both international bestsellers and new, self-publishing authors, and offers a comprehensive range of associated services such as web design, book trailers and other marketing material.
You can also follow us on Facebook at Amygdala Art