Literary Publicist, Stephanie Barko, discusses the value of book covers.
Tip #6: Book Covers
Book covers sell books. Most of us would agree on this, right? If a picture is worth a thousand words, then your book cover is speaking for your whole story when a potential reader takes a look at it. Think about the mood you want that image to convey and how a font could reinforce that message and tone of voice. Imagine your plot or characters as a single scene. Does your cover convey that feeling?
It pays for indie authors to hire the most experienced Book Designer they can afford to render the front cover. Although you don’t have to use original art to have a great cover, stock images should be integrated with the text and adapted to your book’s context. You might want to use the words “novel” or “memoir” if the image is confusing in terms of your genre. If you have a super endorsement, consider displaying a portion of it on the front cover.
One of the most frequent questions I receive from clients is what to put on the back cover. After the front cover, the most important sales element of your book is the back cover. The text on the back cover is the domain of the Book Publicist, and it is one of the most effective means of gaining recognition for independent publishers and authors. Regardless of whether the back cover increases book sales, it conveys a higher level of credibility for small presses and authors and can even differentiate the title in some cases.
Here are the elements that I consider essential to a paperback back cover. This is what your readers are expecting to see:
- -short synopsis or bullet points
- -short author bio
- -author URL
- -endorsements with byline
- -genre & subgenre
- -photo credits
Share your experience working with a book cover designer or book publicist in a Comment below. Tell us about your book covers.