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Why Book Covers are So Important
Authors Breakfield and Burkey
Book covers are the doorway to any story, fiction or non-fiction. When someone says, ‘You can’t tell a book by is cover” they are likely referring to very early printing that cranked out old fashioned hard back covers that typically looked the same.
Consumers today usually make up their mind within eight seconds or less glancing at the cover to determine if they want to even pick it up and turn it over for more information. Watch a young child in a bookstore and you will see immediately that the brightest colors, with relatable images are the ones they glom onto, then beg mommy or daddy to buy.
Adults are no different. An image, color, or title are often all it takes to at least get a book picked up and turned over for more detail. Though at times if the size of the lettering for a well-known authors name is such that it can be digested in two seconds, like James Patterson, the title coloring and image is purely secondary. Not every author has that level of notoriety, so the other elements become the key focus.
Images on the cover have to be recognizable and relatable. If there are too many images it can confuse the consumer as to what the content is about, even if they relate to each other at some level. For example, I recall walking through an airport many years ago glancing into the windows of the store fronts. I wasn’t really looking for a book, favoring murder mystery and romance at that time. However, I spotted this book with the simple illustration of a boy wearing glasses and trying to see who was behind him. I walked in and bought. I didn’t read the back cover until the plane was racing down the runway, and I became an instant fan of Harry Potter. It was the simplicity and coloring that grabbed me. To my delight the story was wonderful. I recall the clerk telling me he’d only just put it in the window and I was the first buyer.
Even though you can’t tell a book by its cover you can attract people with different colors, images, and font sizes. A professional book cover graphic artist is often the best way to approach your cover development. There are also tools such as Canva where you can try different covers and use your social media to help narrow down the ones that seem to resonate with people outside of your immediate family.
However, a word of caution is offered here. Just because there are tools out there (many are free) to help you craft a cover doesn’t mean you should. We have seen several examples of “did it myself” and boy it sure looked like a home plan gone wrong. A shabby graphic design that looks like it was assembled by a two-year-old will advertise to the world one message; amateur. In this case you absolutely can and will judge a book by its cover. No one will pick it up and it will be forgotten to death in a world that sees 3,600+ books a day published in North America alone.
We want to have a cover that will sit on a shelve with other books of the same genre but stand out as the one to pick up by most people. Doing the research again will help get your mind wrapped around the best cover. Once they pick it up and turn it over, then you have time with a grabby quick summary, that highlights the why but it. It needs not be wasted words, but rather a tease. The author picture is considered appropriate today, as people then can relate to you as a person. The photo on the back is new for us and a part of the redo portions as with The Enigma Rising 2nd edition. The value, especially for non-fictional books, is that people do business with people. Frankly, authors are people. A word of advice regarding a back photo; a selfie done in a hurry may convey the wrong message. Get a professional to do the picture so that you can project yourself as a competent writer and that the reader will get a great book.
Take care – Breakfield and Burkey
2nd Edition on pre-order till fifth June at $0.99 – grab a copy now!
BREAKFIELD AND BURKEY INFO SHEET
Breakfield, is a 25+ year technology expert in security, networking, voice and anything digital. He enjoys writing, studying World War II his¬tory, travel, and cultural exchanges. He’s also a fan of wine tastings, wine-making, Harley riding, cooking extravaganzas, and woodworking.
Burkey, a 25+ year applied technology professional who excels at optimizing technology and business investments for customers all over the world with a focus on optimized customer experiences. She writes white papers and documentation, but has a marked preference for fiction.
Together they create award-winning stories that resonate with males and females, young and experienced adults, and bring a fresh new view to technology possibilities today.
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