by Fern Reiss, CEO, PublishingGame.com
Have you fallen prey to the classic mistake of new
self-publishers? Have you spent a lot of time and energy
on your book’s content—and then whipped
off your own book cover?
Don’t do it. Although the technical aspects
of designing a book cover are not that difficult once
you have a command of the software, book design is
a specialized field—for a reason. Designers,
whether they have obtained their professional training
at an art institute or are self-taught, have years
of experience in what makes covers look good—and
bad. They spend hours of time in bookstores, perusing
the current offerings. They know how to combine fonts
and colors. And they know how to make your book cover
your strongest sales piece.
Your book cover is one of the most important elements
in whether or not your book will sell to—and
in—bookstores. Your cover needs to look good
even when the colors are seen in black and white (like,
when you fax the media a press release with a graphic
of your cover.) Your cover needs to look good when
it’s shrunk down to an inch in size (ever notice
how small the book graphics are on Amazon—and
how often you can’t read the cover?)
Don’t neglect the spine of your book. It’s
the first thing bookstore and library browsers will
see—and the only thing, if they don’t like
the looks of it. And be sure to avoid yellow and white
covers in general—yellow tends to fade, and white
can show scuff marks easily.
Many new publishers think they’ll save costs
by printing a black and white or one-color cover—but
that is foolish economy. Your cover is going to sell
your book—so make it the liveliest, snappiest
cover you can.
If you have any related books, even if they’re
not published yet, consider adding their (front) cover
art to the back cover of your book. That way, you’ll
get people interested in your forthcoming titles even
before they’re published.
You’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover—but
people often do. Make sure you’re putting your
best foot forward when they judge yours.
Fern Reiss is CEO of PublishingGame.com (www.PublishingGame.com) and Expertizing.com (www.Expertizing.com) and the author of the books, The Publishing Game: Find an Agent in 30 Days, The Publishing Game: Bestseller in 30 Days, and The Publishing Game: Publish a Book in 30 Days as well as several other award-winning books. She is also the Director of the International Association of Writers (www.AssociationofWriters.com) providing publicity vehicles to writers worldwide. She also runs The Expertizing® Publicity Forum where you can pitch your book or business directly to journalists; more information at www.Expertizing.com/forum.htm. Sign up for her complimentary newsletter at www.PublishingGame.com/signup.htm.
Copyright © 2011 Fern Reiss