Tag Archives: Joel Friedlaender

The Best and the Worst Book Covers



Interesting book covers are getting more exposure on shelf-displays, both online and off-line. We are a very visual culture, which influences our book-buying habits. A stunning book cover is one of the best marketing tools for any writer!  And you will never have a second chance to make a first good impression with your book – online and offline!  In the last weeks I have seen so many ugly and boring book covers and lots of beginner errors on self-published books, I just had to write this reminder.

Chris Robley wrote recently in a blog for BookBaby:

  1. Before someone buys your book, they will probably read your book description, blurbs, bio, and maybe even skim a few pages from chapter one.
  2. Before they can do any of that reading, they will have to pick the book off a shelf, or perhaps click to the book’s page on Amazon, B&N, etc.
  3. And before they are compelled to click a link or pick up a book, they will have to be attracted to your book’s cover (or thumbnail image).

From the moment a person picks up your book, you have about 6 seconds to convince them to buy it. This includes the time they take to look at the back cover and the spine.


Front Cover Tips
E-books are bought online, usually displayed on a page with many other books. Therefore clarity, simplicity, brightness and information must jump off the screen. Use simple, yet stunning graphic elements and bold clear text for the title and the authors’ name, both must be easy to read on the tiny online image.



And Never, Ever:
use the word “by” before your author name. Using the word ”by” screams DIY self-published.
use a white background for your book! White on white is barely visible and on websites your
book will not stick out, as the sites’ background are almost always white.


Back Cover Design
Book Layout Designer Joel Friedlaender posted in a great blog 7 Secrets to Writing Persuasive
Back Cover Sales Copy
“If your cover is good enough to grab readers, your back cover copy needs to convince them to
buy. For authors who self publish this can be a challenge because writing promotional copy
many not be their area of expertise. Plus, for many authors it’s never easy to “brag” about
themselves and their own work.”



Visit a Bookstore
Check out all the books that are similar to yours. Place your book (or a mock-up) between these.
Does it look better? Is the spine eye-catching? Ask other patrons what they think about every
book, but don’t tell which one is yours. Listen to their opinion. Place your book on the first table in
the bookstore where the NY Times bestsellers are placed. Does your book cover really stand
out?  Has any of the bestsellers the word “by …. author name” on the front cover? For sure not!



Book Cover Size:
Check if there are specific or popular sizes in the genre your book is in. And do all these
BEFORE your book is ready to print. Later changes only confuse readers and they are very
Discuss these Points with Your Cover 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
  • Let the front cover design flow into the book’s spine
  • 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

Read more:

Lousy Book Covers
Inside Random House: The Journey from Manuscript to Book
Inside Random House: “The Art of Cover Design”
“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:
Front and Back Cover Copy for Book Covers
Joel Friedlander wrote a great blog about brilliant book titles in one of his blogs:
Book Design and Production
Basics Design Layout, 2nd edition
“40 Extraordinary Photoshop Text Effects”, it shows detailed tutorials, how to create amazing book title effects, step by step and is using lots of screen shots.

Fonts for book titles:





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Are Book Reviews really THAT important?

Beech Roses


The dreaded R-word! Reviews… Book Reviews that is. They certainly matter

In a poll 70% of book purchasers admitted to buy books after checking the reviews. Surprisingly many did not pay too much attention to 5-star or 1-star reviews, rather more about the number of reviews and the average rating. 5- star could be a good friend and 1-star someone from the competition, right? So what I am doing is to check the “history” of the reviewer. How many books does he review. Just click on the reviewers name and go to their Amazon site to find out more.

One of these, almost professional reviewers is Melanie Carrico. I met her through Twitter. On her blog she writes: “I am open to reviewing most any book. So far I have agreed to review every book I’ve been asked to. I only ask that you realize I give HONEST reviews. I won’t sugar coat things for anyone. I will continue to support you and help promote you in any way I can.

If you’d like me to review your book, simply email me at macladie25 .[at] yahoo [dot] com. It isn’t necessary to send a blurb, in fact I prefer you don’t. I can be more objective that way. I have a Kindle for ebooks. If you need the review by a certain date, please include that in your email. I do the reviews in order and it may take some time but I complete them all.”

Melanie is not only reviewing your book, she even publicizes these reviews for you:

“I post reviews to Amazon, Good Reads, Twitter, Facebook, here, Pinterest, Amazon UK and Books a Million. The reviews are automatically sent to these places, you don’t have to pick and choose. The more we post the review the better it is for your book.”  What a sweat heart!

More about getting book reviews from Joel Friedlaender. And if you would like to get a list of almost 50 FREE book review links, write an email to 111publishing [ a t ]


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Hyper Smash



Posted by on August 7, 2012 in Book Reviews, e-Books, Marketing


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