In a 2010 survey of avid fiction
readers by The Book Smugglers, 79 percent said that
cover design plays a decisive role in whether or not
they purchase a particular book. I suspect the
findings would be similar for nonfiction. The cover
of a book can inspire curiosity, confidence and
desire - or it can spark the quiet little rejection,
"No, not this one." The importance of covers applies
even if the book in question is digital and the
cover isn't something that can be picked up and
contemplated in one's hands.
4. Go flat, not 3-D.
Amazon, Nook, the iBookstore and other eBook marketplaces do not want
three-dimensional covers that show a spine for the book
and the edges of the pages it contains. They want a flat
image with no depth and no other parts of the book
showing besides the front.
5. Match the cover with
the audience. The frou-frou style used on
many "chick-lit" novels would be completely
wrong for a business book that needs to be
taken seriously, just as a dark, menacing
look that signals a thriller or
science-fiction title won't work for a
cookbook. Communication with the designer
about the target readers, genre of the book
and the desired emotional tone for the cover
should avoid this pitfall.
If you ask friends and
colleagues for feedback on cover designs,
don't ask which ones they like. Ask, "Does
this make you think of a ___ [the type of
book it is]?" "Which cover makes you want to
know more about the book?" Simulate a
shopping situation by placing your top cover
candidate alongside the covers of published
books it will be competing with. If it can
hold its own in that situation, you may have
Copyright 2013 Marcia Yudkin. All rights reserved.