3 Great Tips on Book Cover Designs that Authors Need to Know - #Indieauthor #bookcover


Have you ever bought a book with a horrible cover from an author that you’ve never heard of? 
I bet it's unlikely. 

A stunning cover can attract a reader’s attention and have them buying your eBook over the competition. It’s like the first impression that a reader has of your wonderful product.

Most self-published authors and indie publishers use stock photos and images from sites such as CanStockPhoto or ShutterStock, etc. on their book covers. Even the bigger traditional publishers use stock images.

The only problem is that there are a lot of very popular models that are used
repeatedly on book covers. Some photographers just have great poses (like the models in the photo on the left) that make stunning book cover designs, so they get used again and again.

Personally, I think if you're a writer on a budget, then stock images are great for covers. And I see nothing wrong with using them. From my experience, readers don’t care, either. If the image or model fits the genre, that's all that should matter. I suggest that if writes create a DIY design that they alter the image enough so it doesn’t look exactly like the original stock photo.

Just make sure that your design is unique to your book when using the same stock image that's featured on someone else's cover. The key word is "unique" though, because it would be hard to find professional stock images that haven't already been used before.

The truth is, any stock photo can be used on another book cover. Stock photos/images can be licensed to thousands of different people who purchased the same one. To ensure that the images you picked out for your cover don't mirror someone else's design, I suggest altering the fonts, style, and colors effects, and including other elements to make your own book cover stand-out, and so that it doesn't look exactly the same as another author’s design. It as almost unavoidable and just part of the publishing business. But no one wants to be labeled a copycat.

The first rule of packaging a product, and yes your book is a product, is attraction. Plus, branding. Think of Tiffany & Co. The recognizable light-blue box (branding) is more identifiable than the jewelry itself. 

How a book is packaged may be what attracts the reader to take a closer look at the product (the novel.) Packaging (book covers) also play a very important role for portraying information about the product, like the genre.

A book cover (outer packaging) should have an attention-grabbing appearance. Your cover needs to be instantly recognizable within the genre that you write. Do lots of research and figure out where your book should be best placed within the market and what genres it fits. Study what works for bestsellers in a similar genres, after all, they’re the authors you’ll be competing with. 

Don't worry if you find the same stock image being used on another book cover, unless the designs are too similar, then I suggest that you alter your cover immediately. 

My advice is to really take the time to learn about marketing and cover design. A book cover is just pretty packaging that hints about the story. The actual novel is what the reader is paying for, and I think some writers forget that. A book cover is only "packaging" for marketing purposes. What a writer wants on the cover doesn't mean it necessarily meets the expectations of what a potential reader might be looking for in a particular genre.

For instance, let's say that your book is a science fiction / steampunk novel, so you want a unicorn, and a floating hot-air balloon with your main character riding inside, along with circus monkeys and aliens because those are just a few of the awesome things that happen in your wonderful story, but that will not make an eye-catching design. With a cover design like this, I bet readers will be confused by what the book is about. A cover like that will most likely look unprofessional.

Instead, I recommend visiting goodreads and Amazon to check out the bestsellers in the categories that your book falls under and study them! Then buy a premade cover or create a design that fits your genre. 

Also, it is a general advertising principle that having a face and/or people on (a product) the cover will help to sell more books. 

*Tip: As you're searching for a premade book cover or if having one designed, please keep in mind that the models on the cover don't need to look exactly like your hero or heroine, but just enough so the reader can form their own image of your characters in their mind. 

All of the premade eBook covers on this site were designed in a wide range of genres for self-published and indie authors on a budget. (And these covers are also great for wattpad or fanfiction writers, too!) These inexpensive designs will give your work a professional look, so please browse each genre. Even if you feel like you can't afford a premade cover, I'm more than happy to work with authors on pricing. I have over a 100 book covers to choose from for under $39 dollars, too.

Even if you've already published a few books or you're just starting out in the indie publishing world, there's always more to learn on the craft of fiction and book promotion. If you're determined to take your writing career seriously and make it to the next level, you need to make sure that your author branding and book packaging are "genre specific" to hit your target audience and build a loyal readership.

As always, I wish everyone much success on their writing journey!

S. A. Soule

 ~ ~ ~

FYI: I am always willing to work with authors on a budget. If you need to make payments on a design, please contact me and we will work something out. I understand that buying covers can be expensive, so please just send me an email and let me know which cover you like, and again, I'm happy to work with authors on payment plans. And I often offer new clients a generous discount.

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