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Judging a Book by Its Cover: The Impact of Professional Design on Sales

Is book cover design important? Yes, very much so. A professional design is the best choice for enhancing your book cover’s influence on new readers and having a positive impact on sales.

Book Cover Influence

You’ve spent a long time writing your book, crafting the story, and organizing various aspects of the publishing. But what about the cover? Oftentimes, this is a part of the process people simply dismiss. But the book cover design is a part of your book itself, and as a matter of fact, it’s the first part of your book that potential customers and readers will even see. Too often, people go cheap on the cover design, but it’s important for drawing in your next reader. Your reader doesn’t know whether or not your book is well written or if it’s going to be of interest just by being near it, but the design can be like a window into whether or not they will like it.

A good book cover should:

  • Grab the potential readers’ attention.
  • Tell your potential reader what the book is about.
  • Appeal to your target audience.

Your book cover will influence whether or not anybody actually picks it up or stops scrolling through a webpage to click on it. The latter of those is particularly important as, if you are self-publishing, you will likely be selling mostly digital copies. So the cover of your book should stop the reader, pique their interest, and tell them what type of book it is.

As writers, we can feel very attached to our work, and we feel rightly proud of creating it. At the same time, when we are putting our books up for sale, they become a product, so we have to get into a business mindset. Using a professional design is the best way forward, as a badly designed book cover will be off-putting and have potential customers pass your work by.

Book Cover design

Your Book Cover Will Have an Impact on Sales

Think about it this way: Your book cover will influence whether or not people buy your book and read it. If they don’t buy it and don’t read it, they can’t give you a good review on online selling sites and can’t recommend it. Now, sure, a good cover doesn’t necessarily equal a good book, but a bad cover will have a negative impact on sales.

In a world that revolves so much around instant gratification, you don’t have enough time to actually make a good impression on your prospective reader with your book cover design. Think about your experience on social media. For example, you and people all around the world are scrolling through posts, but you aren’t taking everything on board.

Social media marketing has become so important for authors as it’s one of the most common ways to attract new readers (who don’t have a social media account these days!). Visual posts are more likely to be stopped, but not necessarily for that long, so having a top-quality, excellent, professional design means your book cover design will draw in more people and make them stop and read more about your work.

Basically, your book cover is an important marketing tool that influences whether people linger on it, which influences whether people buy it and then recommend it to others.

Book Cover Influence: The Right Colors

Most of us see a whole spectrum of different colors every day. And the colors we see influence what we think about objects. When we get dressed in the morning, we often decide on the combination of clothes we’ll wear based on whether or not the colors match, and when we eat, the color of foods has an impact on whether or not we choose them.

Colors are an important part of a book cover too, as they will evoke different reactions from people. It’s important to choose a color that creates the right impression of your book.

Here’s a guide for colors in book design:

  • Red: The color of passion, great for romance but also good for thrillers, depending on the tone and shading. Red is provocative and intense, and it is great for getting strong emotions out of your reader.
  • Blue: The opposite of red, really, very calm and tranquil—good for self-help books or books that need a sense of calm around them. Blue covers are popular throughout literary genres in different tones.
  • Yellow: The third primary color on this list is positively associated with happiness. Yellow book covers stand out and attract people, as yellow is believed to be the most noticeable of all colors.
  • Green: Great for anything revolving around health or personal growth. Green is also a good color to use for anything to do with nature.
  • Purple: A mix of two prime colors that are very much the opposites of each other; purple is a color for creativity. It’s a great color for books that are a little different, like stories set in fantasy worlds or books revolving around spirituality.
  • Orange: A nice warm secondary color. Less intense than red, orange is good for homey-type books like cookbooks.
  • Pink: Also the color of passion (if we are to believe the song by Aerosmith). Pink is a color that is great for romance books or any book revolving around typically feminine issues.
  • Brown: An earthy color for sure. Good for comfort reading. Brown is good for adult-focused practical books like cookbooks or books about history.
  • Black: A sophisticated choice—good for anything with dark themes aimed at an adult audience.
  • White: A simple color. White is minimalist and works well for nonfiction.
  • Gray: The most neutral color of all. Gray is good for books revolving around business and factual things.
Book Cover Design

Remember, the list above isn’t exhaustive, and colors can mean a lot of different things depending on the tone and other choices made on the cover. But color is an important influence on your book cover.

Test Your Book Cover Design and Be Open to Feedback

So, book covers are really important to get right, but how do you know a different cover wouldn’t have a better impact on sales? Good book covers make a difference, so you need to know you are picking the right one.

It can be really beneficial to use A/B testing for your book covers. This involves coming up with two separate book cover designs and asking focus groups which they prefer (“Do you like to cover a or cover b better?”). Really, you could have as many options as you like, but keep in mind how time-consuming it is to design them, and besides, if you give people too much choice, it is more difficult for them to make a decision. So, there’s no need to have a design for every letter of the alphabet.

When you’re putting together a focus group, ensure that you are gathering people who would actually buy the book. There’s no point getting people involved in the decision about your design if they would never buy the type of book you wrote anyway. Have a handful of questions you can ask the room to get the conversation started, like:

  • What emotions does this cover make you feel?
  • Which of these covers do you find more attractive?
  • Which cover grabbed your attention faster?

Ask the members of the focus group to elaborate on their answers to get more information. And remember to take notes.

Always Go With a Professional Design

Whether a book cover is good or bad, it will have a massive positive or negative impact on your sales. Book cover design is so important to your success that you simply can’t afford to do it badly. So why on earth would you leave it to an amateur to do it?

You need a professional designer to ensure your masterpiece flies off the shelf as it should. And for professional freelance services, there is simply no better option than The Urban Writers. You probably know we provide first-class writing and editing services and offer revolutionary writing software in Dibbly Create. And on top of that, we have a team of freelancers who will design you a professional book cover that is second to none.

At The Urban Writers, we provide book cover designs at an affordable rate for any platform. We can make a cover for a print book (even hardcover) or a work that is being digitally published, like an audiobook or eBook. We offer attractive, affordable packages to suit everyone’s needs and budget. Our freelancers will work with you to design the cover of your dreams and will make any revisions needed to make you happy. We will collaborate with you throughout the process and ensure you are helped fully along the way.

You know the facts about how much a book cover influences your potential readers, so let us make you a custom book cover that will make your next bestseller look as good as it reads.

Five Book Cover Design Tips

Here are 5 things you can do to get on the road to ensuring your book cover design has a strong and positive impact on sales:

  1. Look at covers from books of a similar genre, especially books that sell a lot. Ask yourself what is good about them and what can be improved. Use these book covers to get inspiration. Of course, you can’t simply copy someone else’s design, but you will get ideas about what type of fonts, color combinations, and imagery work for the particular topic that you are writing about.
  2. Design your book cover with your target audience in mind. You’re probably writing a book that you would like to read yourself, so think about what you would like to see on the cover of this type of book. Keep in mind, too, that designing a book cover for children is completely different from designing a book cover for adult readers. As well as this, the expectations of the audience around the book genre will go a long way in helping you decide what imagery to use. To be sure of a positive book cover influence, you need to know who your target reader is.
  3. Find a place for your best book reviews somewhere on the cover. Whether it’s on the front or the back, having a 5-star review or some really positive comments will encourage readers to buy your work. If you see a book where a respected outlet is quoted as calling it a masterpiece, you’re surely going to be more likely to pick it up. It’s worth seeking out genuine feedback that sticks to your cover.
  4. Develop a distinct visual style for your work. While you will, of course, take inspiration from other authors and books (just like you may have in the writing of your book), your book covers should have unique elements that allow your readers to recognize you. This could be things like the look of the title, the style of the imagery, or the combination of colors.
  5. When you’re designing your book, play around with different ideas. Even if you are going with a professional design, you will likely give them input into what kind of thing you would like your book to feature. Consider it a kind of drafting equal to when you were writing your book; test out font ideas to see whether you want something big and bold or small and defined, and do some rough doodles of imagery. It helps if you can give the artist designing your book cover some guidance on what you do or don’t want on your book cover.
Book Cover Design

A lot goes into designing a great book cover, but remember, the professional design team at The Urban Writers is here to help guide you.

In Summary

The book cover’s influence is often overlooked, but it really does have an impact on sales. A great book cover design is worth investing in, so get a professional design to make your masterpiece appeal to potential readers.

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