First Impressions Count
In life everything we see makes an impression on us. Both the really good and the really bad stick in our memories. We also make impressions on others. But there is only one first time, there is only one first impression. It is true that if your first impression was not that good, you may have a chance to make a better second impression but the first impression is the one that will also stay in the memory bank.
You wouldn’t go on a first date looking “regular”. You wouldn’t go on an interview looking “average”. You take the time to look your best for “first impressions” in your daily life. You take the time to look your best for “professional first impressions” in your daily life. But often you want to go a step further and look better than all of your competition. You want to look the best in a crowd. You want to stand out from a crowd.
What is the first thing you see when you browse a book store, traditional or online? What makes you stop in front of one book rather than look at the one beside it? What attracts your attention enough for you to pick up the book and read the back blurb? What is your first impression of a book controlled by?
Cover me Irresistible – You had me at first sight
Time and time again I pick up books because of their arresting covers. I might never have heard of the book or the author but if the cover wows me, nine times out of ten I will buy the book. The cover is a book’s greatest first sales tool. It is the packaging of the writer’s project. It is the silver platter that your work is presented on. It can make or break your sales. It can win you new fans and lose you potential readers. Covers are what people buy when you are a new author or an unknown talent. Bookstores will decide on the shelf placing of your book by your cover. Readers will want to know more about your book and pick it up off the shelf if your cover arrests their attention.
Traditional publishing companies pay departments of art and sales people thousands of dollars to make a cover as irresistible as possible in order to make your book a bestseller. Books covers count towards sales. eye-catching covers can make an unknown book a bestseller and bad covers can make well written books difficult to sell.
In Indie publishing – both small press, self-publishing and e-books – covers can make or break a book. Poorly designed covers can make a book look boring, uninteresting, unprofessional and uninviting: all of these points are negatives in selling the product = the book.
So what makes you love a cover? What makes a cover stand out from hundreds or even thousands of similar covers in the same genre? What makes a cover stand out from a crowd of covers?
If there were a golden rule of thumb I am sure many writers would make millions and follow it to the letter. But choosing books is a subjective industry. It is based on personal opinion and personal preference. A cover that i would love might not appeal as much to Jill and a cover that Jill loves might not appeal as much to Joe. There is no “perfect cover” but there are a few key points that the best selling books use for their cover art and cover designs.
- Colour – Bright colours or dark/bold colours
- Colour Palette – Not too many colours on one cover and using colours that complement each other
- Cover Art – Suitable to the genre and must give some sort of “visual blurb” of the story
- Cover Art – Simple without confusing someone, so pick one main image instead of a complicated and crowded image with so much going on that it is difficult to figure out what you need to focus on
- Cover Art & White/Black Space – Well spaced design and placement
- Title – Easily read type font, bold and standing out on the page, should also match the cover art
- Author’s Name – This should also be easily visible and not disappear into the cover art (Remember, you want the reader to know who wrote the book)
These are some of the top selling covers over the last few years. Let us see if they match all the above points.
Goodreads Best 100 Book Covers 2011
Goodreads Best 100 Book Covers 2010
These are some of my favourite covers that had me enticed…
So tell me which are your favourite covers that have made you pick the book from a hundred others?
Why? What attracts you? What makes a cover irresistible?
- Books and their Covers (myintelligentlife.wordpress.com)
- The Science of Cover Art (cianphelan.wordpress.com)
- Don’t Judge a Book By its Cover? (writersforlife.wordpress.com)
- Good Cover(age) (andyswordsandpictures.wordpress.com)
- The Beauty of Print (ayannagillianlloyd.wordpress.com)
- Every cover tells a story (girlsheartbooks.com)
- Do it Yourself: Self-Published Authors Take Matters Into Their Own Hands (themillions.com)
- Great book jackets: Tips from 4 design pros (alanrinzler.com)
- Who is the keymaster and where is the gatekeeper? (madgeniusclub.com)
- What is your marketing message on Amazon? (alchemyofscrawl.wordpress.com)
- Telling an e-book by its cover, redux (teleread.com)
- Pros and Cons of Traditional Publishing vs. Indie Publishing (selfpubauthors.wordpress.com)
- Crowdfunding A Novel – Turning A Profit Before You Publish (davidgaughran.wordpress.com)
- Interview with a Book Designer (mesummer.wordpress.com)
- Book cover time (elleamberley.wordpress.com)
- On judging books by their covers (chazzwrites.wordpress.com)