6 Ways to Create an Amazing Ebook Cover
Imagine how difficult it would be to choose an ebook if all the titles had the same old boring, plain covers. You would probably lose interest and not bother to read the summary or check if the writing style or plot interests you.
While many readers browse through the descriptions anyway, the ebook cover is more than often the first determining factor for buying any piece. Portraying the genre of the book, showing the story sense, conveying the content within, and presenting it in a way that the reader gets the gist of the book just by gazing at the cover; all of this is essential in the world of writing and publishing today.
I’m sure we have all heard the age-old adage “you can’t judge a book by its cover.” But, the fact of the matter is that humans are visual species, easily stimulated by compelling imagery and graphics. And not only do ebooks with appealing covers stand out, but they also sell more.
When sales were at an all-time low – 2 per day – Peter Salisbury considered altering the cover for The First Completely Electronic Robot and Science Fiction Limerick Book. Upon making minor adjustments to the front case, his sales jumped to 12 the next day, continuing up to 21 on day 3 – the highest it had been in 3 months.
According to a successful self-publishing Taleist survey, authors who spend money on a professional book cover have earned 18% more royalties.
Mentioned ahead are some things to keep in mind when planning your ebook cover.
1. Great covers are great sellers.
As soon as you enter the space of self-publishing, one of the best gifts you can give yourself is the time to find a cover expert who understands design, allows you the freedom to weigh in on their composition, and accepts the message you need to send to potential readers.
It is also important for you to step back when required. If your designer has the skill, he or she can be trusted to understand the basic elements of design that are not your expertise.
For Susan Rodgers, the author of A Song for Josh, fonts had to be understood; consistency and color were the main aspects of her design. Her personal cover designer, Alanna, happily listened to what didn’t work and willingly complied to make the image be what it needed to be. “She is a dream,” said Rodgers. “In return I try, with each new cover, not to give her grief. I know what I want in general terms, but she’s the trained designer who realizes my basic vision in stunning covers that help sell my series.”
2. Your cover is your branding strategy.
While writing skills are important to build a fan base and ensure that the audience enjoys your work, they will not become significant unless your book sells. This is where the cover comes in.
The casing is the first thing that the readers see, and for it to not get lost in the sea of other titles on the shelf, it should potentially stand out.
Think of it as the packaging of a candy bar. Most bars you see in shops will have the picture of the whole bar, while others will showcase the image of the bar broken in half so that you can see the inside. This is done not only to make it look delicious but also to give the potential customer an idea of what they’re going to get when they buy it. Your book cover is the same; it needs to give your audience an idea of what they should expect when they read your title.
3. Keep your target audience in mind.
Another important aspect is to know your audience. Books are not only a manifestation of a writer’s creativity. The content needs a definite form, and the form will influence the way the writing is absorbed.
All forms of art have an audience and books are no different. A good book and cover design, then, is not just an expression of the plot or concept behind the book, but it is an essential piece of marketing. Therefore, it’s important that the audience knows what its goal is.
Being a renowned book designer, Chip Kidd, has a responsibility towards three groups of people: The reader, the publisher, and the author.
The ultimate goal of a good book cover is to get people to respond. As readers, you want people to say, ‘Wow! I must read that.’ As the publisher, you want them to say ‘This is something worth printing.’ And lastly, as the author, you want them to say, ‘This expresses my idea better than I could.’
How do you achieve that? You focus on creating quality content that not only matters to you but also the readers.
4. Optimization for digital platforms increases exposure.
If you’re a writer who has not yet considered the thought of selling your work online, you should. Of course, there are still readers who enjoy the comfort of physically holding a paperback in their hands. However, digital audiences now enable people to store thousands of books on a single device. Optimize your images for ebook sales.
Digital books with creative covers can help increase the number of books you sell, so make sure your book looks good in a thumbnail format as well. Minimize the image of your book cover to check what it looks like on a digital platform like Amazon. If it seems too confusing, try making customized alterations to the design elements.
5. Visual psychology is critical.
By creating a bookish-visual presence, you are inviting potential buyers to give your work a closer look. First, they would feel drawn by your cover. Afterward, they will click on it to inspect the book further. Finally, they will be filled with curiosity and intrigue brought about by your bookcase. From there on, the potential buyer will open the book, browse through the first few pages and make the purchase.
There is indeed entire psychology behind it all. Understanding how your readers look at the design is just as important as creating the case itself. Color psychology allows you to associate a certain meaning with the way your book cover looks. For example, the color black offers the perception of mystery, power, villains and possibly, death.
Believe it or not, but appearance counts for 93% of customer purchasing decisions. If you want your consumer group to buy your book, make sure to appeal to their visual psychology. Hence, work in close collaboration with a designer who understands the importance of books’ cover design.
6. Consistency makes searches easy.
Once you have established a loyal readership, you must vow to maintain it. With their intensely outlined covers, books like the Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz make it easy for buyers to find work when browsing online. As an author, you can be recognized not just by your name on a cover, but also by the way it is typeset and the overall look and feel of your ebook covers. Make sure the marketing materials are in sync with your cover design so that everything works in your brand’s favor.
Check out some of the top free online ebook cover creators:
For more resources to help you throughout your ebook publishing journey, here are 45+ Free Resources for Writers and Self-Publishers.
All in all
My advice to you would be to never compromise on content creation and covers. What is the point of telling a story when your cases are badly composed, or just not working for you? Think of the covers as an extension of all the hard work you have put into writing your novel. Dare to be different, and to walk your own path. You just might find that books are more discoverable because of it.