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Do You Judge a Book by its Cover?

14 Jun

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shoestring_4A book that is brilliantly written, but lacks a good quality cover design will remain unnoticed and undiscovered.  It is absolutely crucial to have a book cover that grabs the attention of readers and book buyers.

Book Covers are often challenging to design as they should show the heart and the soul of the book in one single image and at the same time should be visually striking, appealing and represent the book’s contents.

Will your e-book cover get judged in the same way? Certainly! This is why you really need to focus on the visual design aspect of your cover, because most people will not give it a second glance if it just does not look professional.

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Here are some points you should discuss with your designer.

  • Use bold or complementary colors
  • Use light on dark for dramatic effects (if it fits to your book content)
  • Test the cover in thumbnail size to make sure it looks good at Amazon’s website
  • Use not more than different two fonts in total
  • Use not too wide vertical spaces between lines of text
  • Use few shadow, bevel, gradient or glow – keep it subtle
  • Align the cover text – centre, left or right
  • Place text on plain background to stand out
  • Use the same fonts for all your books and readers will be able to identify them easily
  • People read left to right, top to bottom. Position your elements in appropriate levels of importance.
  • Never, ever, use a white background for your book! White on white is barely visible and on websites your book will not stick out, as their background as almost always white.

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E-books are bought online, usually on a page with many other books on it. Therefore, simplicity, clarity, brightness and information must jump off the screen. A simple and arresting graphic element and  bold clear text for the title and author must be easy to read on the small online image.
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Bali Rai wrote in one of his blogs:  “In 2002, as one of the judges on the Guardian’s Teenage prize, I remember a book called Thursday’s Child by Sonya Hartnett.  It’s a simple yet wonderful story of 1930’s Depression-era Australia, and it went on to win the award. However, it was not my choice for winner, simply because I thought the cover illustration would deter people from reading it. It was drab and old-fashioned in my opinion and had I not been reading and judging the book, it would have put me off completely.”
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You never get a second chance for a first good impression!
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Don’t use just “flat” font – it is almost always better to add some shadow, bevel, gradient or glow. Using various colors, filters, and effects available in Illustrator and Photoshop, you or your book designer can create book titles that are both, original and effective.

Remember always:
Your title and its appearance is the first, and perhaps only impression you make on a prospective reader.  A great image on your e-book cover will undoubtedly catch your reader’s imagination, wondering what lies beyond the cover. It’s a great opportunity to draw people in.
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Not that an appealing cover means automatically a great book, but a book that is accurately and even interestingly represented by its cover, is more likely to catch the eye of someone who is going to enjoy reading it.  Interesting covers are going to get more time on shelf-displays, online and off-line.  We are a visual culture; naturally that is going to influence our book-buying habits.
A stunning book cover is one of the best marketing tools for any writer!
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More online book cover design sources:

“23 Creative Book Cover Designs and their Story” is a showcase of creative book cover designs, indicating the typefaces used for the title or text:
http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/inspiration/creative-book-cover-story
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Joel Friedlander wrote a great blog about brilliant book titles in one of his blogs:
http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2010/06/how-to-write-book-titles-for-people-robotsJoel
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“40 Extraordinary Photoshop Text Effects” shows detailed tutorials, how to create amazing book title effects, step by step and using lots of screen shots.
http://www.problogdesign.com/resources/40-extraordinary-photoshop-text-effects

Using various colors, filters, and effects available in Illustrator and Photoshop, you or your book designer will be able to create book titles that are both, original and appealing. Remember always: Your title and its appearance is the first, and perhaps only, impression you make on a prospective reader.

More about fonts for book titles:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typeface
http://www.dafont.com/themes.php
http://www.1001freefonts.com
http://www.identifont.com

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2 responses to “Do You Judge a Book by its Cover?

  1. Stephanie Keyes

    June 14, 2013 at 7:16 am

    I couldn’t agree more. Quite a few authors either design their cover themselves or go cheap. This is one area, besides editing, where you need to invest in quality. People really do make a purchasing decisions based on the cover – in many cases.

     
  2. Rebecca Vance

    June 15, 2013 at 12:09 am

    It’s because of all you do for all us authors & writers by giving great advice/tips, (especially to us “newbies”) and the time you take out of your Life to do so is much Appreciated, AND is why I NOMINATED you & your Blog for a *Super Sweet Blogging Award*!!! CONGRATS! Come by my blog for details, and you can SHARE your “FAVS” as well! *Becky* http://rebeccavance.com/super-sweet-blogging-award/

     

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