Book Cover Design: The 1% Difference That Makes Your Book Successful
It is a given fact that your book cover design has a LARGE impact on if your book will become successful. The crowded marketplaces ignore ugly design and hones in onto the book covers that actually look like their the real deal. 99% of authors who simply write a quick book and post it online with a 5 minute book cover and call it good wont see much success.
Your audience is counting on your book to make a difference in their life. Why else would the be reading it? And the first most basic language to engage with your readers is to communicate through language of the design itself. A lot of the time potentially it comes down to authors and what they are going to do to make there book successful.
The steps compiled onto one another create the bigger picture. This is why it is crucial to nail each step down as best you can. Even if your book cover design is not perfect, it should be able to reflect the story your telling, just like looking at your reflection off of still water.
If you can’t display your book an appealing manner then what is going to trigger your readers attention to click it online or pick it up in the store?
The 1% Difference
The 1% difference is what makes those who win…win.
No matter what situation you find yourself in as an author, you want people to perceive you as a professional. It makes no sense to come off as an amateur? Even if this is your first book were talking about here.
You should have a nice picture of you on your website and social media profiles. This plays a role in the 1% difference it takes to become a successful author. When readers go looking for you or stumble across your profile on Facebook for example you want them to really pay attention. Having them visit your page and losing interest is not our goal here!
Another thing I would like to mention here is don’t under estimate the power of Facebook. Yes, it’s still somewhat a new platform but at this point they have become a dominant force in the business and personal branding world.
If you don’t already have a fan page setup for your author profile please create one. Your readers need to know who you are and if you plan on expanding your presence online you can guarantee your readers have a Facebook account.
As quoted by David Leonhardt “If people don’t notice your cover or don’t connect with it, the author of the book next to yours will be very grateful.”
These are the people you can be 100% sure will see what book cover design. To make all of your writing efforts count you must catch their attention. The difference of having an eye-catching book cover is like a rocket that takes off successfully and reaches space versus a rocket that blows up half way mid air and falls back to earth as scrap metal.
The fuel that keeps your rocket (book) going are your readers and audience. This is the hidden force that will create best-selling results. No secret. Just people buying books based off of an emotional spike of interest.
When was the last time you were reading a book and the cover just blew you away? A lot of the time books have covers that are just good enough to maybe sell. Why not have a book cover that you know will sell?
The book your writing is seeking out a perfectly aligned cover and as the author, it is your job to make sure everything is in-sync otherwise you’re just losing more sales in the long run.
The Almost Readers
The truth is you can’t get everyone that sees your book to buy your book. The “almost readers” are the ones that just look at your book cover, read the title, and continue on. They are still potentially interested in your book but not enough to actually take action and buy it right on the spot.
This a lot of the time can be a big disappointment for authors but in the sales world this is how things work. And the only way to combat this is to do things that counter it; like having a book cover design that really JUMPS OUT at their eyes. Of course, the more traffic you can send to your book, the more sales you will also see.
A key thing to remember here is that your average reader will only look at your book for a few seconds before deciding whether or not their interested. So know your audience and you can speak to them through design. You can’t look at something without your mind reading what it is. Just like this text right now, you can’t read it without understanding what the words mean.
So when it comes to your book covers keep in mind the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster then text. That says something pretty bold! Your image matters….A LOT. In fact 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is all in visual form.
If you still think your book cover design is not important then… read a little more. The facts don’t lie.
I have authors tell me all the time that they’ve literally seen their sales SKYROCKET after getting a new cover created for their book. So if you ask me is their any real secret to increasing your books sales? Yes, there are tons if them and they are not secrets. By implementing the necessary steps you will easily be on your way to becoming a well-known author.
The time spent on your book cover shows
Don’t get me wrong, there are tons of great tools like Canva and other free design softwares that you can use to create your book cover but the time and experience will show through the design itself. Some things simply cannot be achieved without a certain level of expertise.
Take me for example, a book cover designer.
I don’t have experience flying airplanes…do you see me trying to take off in a 747 down the runway? No way! Maybe if I had the training and practice needed to be a successful pilot I could but without that it would be like me trying to scale Mount Everest with my eyes closed.
Taking a picture from your mind and creating the real thing is a little but more then copy and paste. With more advanced tools like Photoshop photo-manipulation has become limitless itself. An internationally best-selling author I created a series of book cover designs for was Jeff Carlson. He had a very specific picture in mind of what he seen as the cover but simply did not know how to create it.
So I began piecing the puzzle together. Taking elements from one image and combining them with other images and creating new images from that. The photos below are of the cover designs I did for him. Keep in mind each character was an individual image along with the background, fire, explosions, etc. This just goes to show that anything can be created with the right experience behind it.
The number of hours spent on this book cover designs has paid off and in turn helped the author sell even more books. When you have a design that stands out, your readers recognize it!
As a cover designer I am actively looking at tons of books just to see what they’ve done with their covers so later on I can use that as reference for future work I do.
Readers know the “real authors”
When I say real authors I am referring to authors who write well and have gone through the necessary steps in order to become published. And off the top of my head I can’t think of any really well known authors who didn’t pay attention to making their book come off as good looking.
A book when it’s published is a lot like a nicely finished piece of art.
The meaning of art is to express creative skill and imagination. Your writing reflects this skill and the design does also. If you aren’t comfortable with designing your own cover, hire a designer. As an author you want to become and authority in your genre. This is the only way you will steer your readers into buying your book. Being an “authority” means you are going to have to make decisions. Like what will you do to market yourself and your book? Who will design your book cover? Will you have an author website?
Don’t be afraid to make decisions and keep moving forward straight to your goals.
The only way the market will take you seriously is if you’ve done what it takes to become a successful author. Maybe it’s investing in yourself and growing your Fanpage to 100,000 likes or doing more research on where your target audience is then marketing to them. Like Abraham Lincoln said “Whatever you are, be a good one.”, do have any reason not to?
The foundations of your success are laid upon the structure which you build. This applies to both your online and offline presence. So get clear on what it is you want and what you’re going to have to do to get there. Then all thats left for you to do is to follow through and have faith in yourself.
You see, the “real authors” are normal people too just with different goals in mind. With different goals comes to taking different actions. And with no goals…well your better off leaving your fate to be decided at random. When you expect to be little…you turn out to be little…when you expect to be great…you turn out great. It’s just a matter of making sure your watch and actions are aligned to what it is you want to do.
Im a minimalistic person that knows with the proper order you get the result you want.
Lets say you are craving to eat a deluxe supreme pizza with everything on it but instead you order a cheese pizza. You are not happy with the cheese pizza but whos fault is it? You’re the one who ordered it.
Your book cover design is the key
This has to be the most exciting part of getting a book published! The actual book cover design itself. Most authors who have put very little work into their book cover design won’t see the BIG results in sales numbers like some authors do.
This is the nature of design. It either works or it doesn’t work at all.
If their was one key pointer that I could tell every author out there, it would be to not underestimate your abilities as a self-publisher. Going to a traditional publishing house can be quite costly so doing it on your own is another great approach if you want to publish your book without all the big costs.
Formatting your book can be learned in a few short hours and the main focus should just be on your writing if you do decide to self-publish.
I think the fear that often holds us back is that we want to remain unsure about things for some reason. Imagine flipping this around and being 100% sure of everything you did. Would you doubt yourself? No. Would you give up? No.
So seeing how simple emotions are guiding our decisions plays another large role in choosing what it is we want to do. When I left college do design book covers did I know it would pay off? Yes, I knew that if I applied myself to everything that I thought about doing and actually did what I said I was going to do then I would see results. So if you’re doubting yourself as an author right now please don’t! The cause of your success will be from what you’ve done. If your not selling books have you tried changing your cover? Have you asked readers what they think of your book? What are you doing to get your book exposed to more people?
Asking questions helps and can lead you to a clearer resolve of what it is you want.
Don’t settle with a cover you don’t like
I tell my clients this all the time! You want to make sure your book cover is liked by you yourself first before your readers see it. This is the image you’re going to wakeup to and once it’s being printed it just becomes inconvenient to have a cover out there that you’re not happy with.
Another one of my clients Rektok Ross, author of the book Prodigal wasn’t super happy with the first design of her print book she had done by another designer. So she approached me to get it redesigned with a completely entire new look. We went through about 6 stages of revisions and the end results were great!
Anything you’re putting out there to the world should be approved by you first. Your book cover is the only external part of your book that readers are going to see so your eyes must agree with it. The nice part about hiring a designer that provides unlimited revisions is that you will never have to worry about walking away with a design you don’t like. Every client that comes to me seeking out a new book cover design I always want to make sure they are completely satisfied with what I have created before they publish.
When you yourself as an individual believe in the work you do it makes a big difference compared to doing nothing at all. When you see your book cover all finished up and it brings all of the text you’ve written about to life, you can almost always guarantee a smile. When your sales are going through the roof because you executed all the necessary steps that best-selling authors are doing then you’ve hit the point where you know you’ve made it based off of all the steps you took to get there.
Publish your book as if your life depended on it
When you express your writing skills you are making known one’s thoughts or feelings through language itself. No matter what genre you are writing for, your emotions are at work going into what you’re doing to make it real. If you are writing you book and you are happy then you’re ready should reflect that, if you’re writing a book and you have writers block then your time spent writing will reflect that, whatever you’re feeling and writing about correlate. And if they don’t you’re probably to distracted to notice.
Getting a book out their on the marketplace is a big deal. If your operating at 5% of your maximum efficiency why not crank it up to 90%? Every human being spends the same 24 hours in each day, just doing different things. So what’s holding you back? Indecision? Doubt? Wasted time?
My dad once told me that if he had spent 5 years of his life actually doing whatever it is he believed he could do, he would have done it by now. So what’s your excuse?
This next 5 years of yours can be as life-changing as you want them to be based off of the decisions you make, relationships you hold, and what your thinking. Don’t waste your time people with the internet, TV, ads, and all that other distraction out there it can be easy to lose your purpose and intent.
So do yourself a favor, give yourself direction, and stick to it. Where do you want to be as an author in 6 months from now? 1 year from now? These things aren’t happening at complete random. With the freewill to choose, why not be thankful for another day you get to do the things you dreamed of doing.
Push through that barrier that says “I’m this wee little published author and work on transforming your author life into it’s highest form”. The world will pay attention if you are clear on what it is you are doing and stay persistent.
Marketing your book
Social media is growing rapidly so using good keywords and hashtags like #IAN1 and #ASMSG can give you some great placement to advertise your book.
If you dont already have your social media accounts setups you’ll want to make sure as an author you have a Facebook Page, Twitter, Instragram, and Linkedin. Additional networks like Tumblrand Pinterest can help you gain even more exposure. And for those of you wondering how to build up your followings on each network, well it’s simple. Be active and engage with people. “Like” their posts, retweet, follow them, talk to them. Do whatever you have to do to make people aware that oh hey this person is actually really about what they’re doing.
In the end don’t give up, social media growth is about growth and becoming a well known author. It won’t be going anywhere anytime soon and can be used as a great way to market successfully to real readers. Leveraging Facebooks ad platform would also be a good idea to build your community of readers.
Don’t forget on top of all of this your book cover design just compounds your efforts to make them pay off even more.