Ironically, the old adage, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” applies to almost everything in life except books. If you’re serious about reaching your audience, achieving respectable (or even remarkable) book sales, and expanding your brand, influence, and business, do not skimp on the book cover.
An original, unique and compelling cover is a must for any author who wants their book to act as a vehicle for something greater — whether you plan to leave the corporate world to launch your own business, become a respected motivational speaker, build your medical practice, or attain whatever goals inspired you to write and publish your book in the first place. Don’t negate your hard work to save a few dollars by entrusting this powerful marketing tool to a cheap online service or using a templated cover that screams, “This is a self-published book!”
When it comes book cover design, consider the wisdom of the expression “You get what you pay for.” Hire a professional who is not only a master of their craft, but also understands how to visually represent your book’s message to attract readers. Because it doesn’t matter how valuable the book content is if your cover doesn’t inspire them to click on your title to preview and purchase it. In the world of independent publishing, where everyone can leverage technology to bring their book directly to the masses, it’s imperative to produce a quality product that speaks to your main audience enough for them to give it another click — instead of moving on to another title in an infinite cyber-world of choices.
How do you find the right designer?
As with many things in life and business, word-of-mouth is probably the best option. Ask the people around you for recommendations. For example, if you know someone who’s published a book with an excellent cover, there’s nothing wrong with asking who designed it. If you’re already a member of a writer’s group online or in person, there’s a good chance someone in it does book cover design. Or conduct an online search.
Ideally, your cover designer will also be an author who understands important elements like file requirements, spine calculation, and layering, to ensure a seamless process when it’s time to upload the file to Create Space or your preferred self-publishing platform.
As for pricing, a cover design fee can go as high as $1,000 or more depending on the designer’s experience. It’s one reason why I included it in my publishing packages, after connecting with exceptional cover designers/authors who’ve agreed to a set price. My clients receive a customized, high quality book cover as part of their overall publishing package because the cost is already factored in. But no matter how you choose to proceed with your self-publishing goals, always remember, readers do judge books by their covers.
And don’t forget to tune into Your Book Your Brand Your Business, Mondays at 5 PM Eastern.