It’s that the first Wednesday in the month again, which means Insecure Writer’s Support Group Wednesday. Thanks to our noble Ninja Captain Alex J Cavanaugh, it’s time to share our fears and insecurities, or support and assistance. Doesn’t matter which.
How important is my book cover?
The front cover of your book is very important, and it is even more so in this age of Internet book buying.
Let’s think about this. You’ll be promoting your book online and linking to its Amazon page or a page on your website where the book can be bought. The cover is one of the strongest emotional connections you can create with a prospective reader.
Look at the size of book covers on Amazon. How clearly can you read the title, the author’s name, “register” what the cover image projects?
That’s how small your book cover will be. And this is why you can’t look at a physical book cover and determine its effectiveness based on that size.
If you doubt this wisdom, think about billboards you’ve driven by. How many times can you barely read the main tagline? Have you wondered why the company and the advertising agency didn’t notice the type was too small or too fancy to read quickly as you drove by?
The answer is that those people looked at the billboard prototype while standing still and not at the distance from which a driver sees most billboards.
The same with your book cover. You have to forget about how you see the cover and put yourself in the mindset of how someone with the attention-span of a half a second will look at your cover.
If you want expert book cover advice, check out John Kremer’s website www.bookmarket.com – he offers book cover consulting. And on a recent book marketing teleseminar for which I was his guest, he rightly noted a problem with the cover of my novel “Mrs. Lieutenant.”
(The words “A Sharon Gold Novel” should not be shoved up right under “Mrs. Lieutenant.” I’ve had advertising design training and I should have noticed this problem but didn’t.)
Cautionary warning: Yes, I know that self-published authors have much more control over their covers than do authors whose books have a traditional publisher. Still, if you think your cover won’t “read” well online, ask your agent to discuss your concerns with your publisher.
Phyllis Zimbler Miller is a fiction and nonfiction author who blogs on book-related topics at www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com
If you have a question you’d like to ask Phyllis for her ASK PZM: November 2014, email it to cluculzwriter at yahoo dot ca and I’ll pass it along.