Time for another tip!
This week, we’re going to talk about the cover of your book.
Now, I don’t care how cool your idea is, I don’t care how great you believe the writing in the book is, if you don’t have a killer cover, your book isn’t going to catch the eye of the reader, and therefore won’t sell.
The first thing about the cover is going to be the logo of the book. It has to be able to be read across the room. That means the clearer your font choice, the easier it will be able to be read. Either that, or it has to have a unique shape to it, if possible. This isn’t always the case.
You want it to be read across the room because your average reader is going to look at the racks from a distance as they walk in the store. The clearer your book jumps out with the logo, the better off you’ll be.
Whenever you can, you want to put the logo at the top of the page. Again, this is for the racks. You don’t want it to be lost among the other throng of books there. Be reader friendly: try to keep the logo at the top of the cover.
Now, we have the image. Images can be interesting. In today’s world of variant covers, it’s become de rigueur to have someone other than the interior artist do the cover. There are reasons for that: sometimes, the interior artist isn’t good with covers; sometimes you can get a higher profile artist to do a cover for you; sometimes you want a different look on the cover. Anything is possible. To me, if someone other than the interior artist does the cover, then that’s a variant cover. (This is my personal take. Others will disagree with me.)
It doesn’t matter if it’s the interior artist or a ringer who’s come in to do the cover: the cover has to have a striking image. Hopefully, that image will be relevant to the book. It doesn’t always have to be, and it won’t always be, but it would be nice if the reader were able to get an inkling regarding something in the book from the cover. Sometimes that won’t happen, and that will be because the cover is a pinup.
When it comes to the image, either have the character facing the camera directly, or do something that will subtly lead the eye toward the right, toward the opening of the book. If you have characters facing toward the left, then you’re telling the reader not to buy the book. Don’t do that. Straight on, or toward the right.
Last, let’s talk quickly about color. Take a look at the racks at your local shop the next time you go. In the independent section, you’re going to see a lot of dark color. Do what you can to stay away from dark colors, just for this reason. You’re trying to stand out. Color is important, but don’t become just another face in the crowd.
Those are some quick tips about covers. Put them to good use.