Friday, July 20, 2012

The Cover MATTERS!

Don’t let the cliché, ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover,’ sway you. Everything is judged by its cover, whether it’s an object or a person! The presentation of a product for sale is important.  If you’ve ever been attracted to a particular product while shopping, 9 out of 10 times it had everything to do with the presentation.  However, the contents are equally important, but this article will focus on what’s on the outside. 

I went to a small business workshop a few months ago and the instructor recommended a book by Paco Underhill, WHY WE BUY.   It’s worth the read and it’s available in audio book.  It was helpful and reinforced aspects of marketing that I already knew.  As an independent publisher/author, I devote as much time to choosing a cover as I do to writing.  Without a cover that represents the essence of your story, you are simply nailing your foot in the “No Name Brand,” market.  I think we all have a sense of how people feel about “No Name Brand” products….low grade, cheap, imitation…you get the idea. 

When your cover has the presence of attracting the naked eye, the odds are, they will move in and investigate the product.   If the Blurb grabs them, you caught one! However, you had to get their attention first!  It took two weeks to find the cover for IN THE VALLEY OF MUD AND WORMS, but I knew it was ‘the one’ when I saw it. It represented the character and the story, but you wouldn’t know until you read it. I was not as lucky with finding a cover for NO STRAYS ALLOWED, so I illustrated it myself. The optical illusion tricks the eye to think that something is wrong.  The effect …you move in closer to see if your eyes can correct the error, but there is none. It’s effective because the potential customer interacts with the product.  Finally, the cover for THIN SKIN SOUL PINNED took three mind-numbing weeks to find, but it was worth it! 

So by all means, judge a book by its cover.  It is something we do unconsciously and it plays a major factor into what we buy.  Also, I could have easily included examples of covers that aren’t the best representation of a book, but it is not my desire to muddy anyone’s hard work. Instead, I will provide an avenue where you can obtain photos that will improve your chances of finding the PERFECT cover! is an excellent site and one of the easiest to use.
Marketing a product is not an easy task.  The next time you go shopping, think about why you buy something.  I am interested to hear your thoughts on this subject. 


  1. Great article! Thanks for recommending I've mostly used fotolia in the past, but I was having a hard time finding an image I wanted for my next story (found it on Big Stock, though!). I'll be bookmarking this site.

  2. Hi Nickie,

    I am happy to hear that you found what you were looking for. Bigstock rocks! Do share your lovely cover when it's done. The Cover MATTERS!

  3. Thanks, Mila. Good post. I use Dreamstime, 123rf, and sometimes iStock. I'll look at Bigstock and Fotolia. It's hard to find exactly what you want.

  4. Thank You. I agree it's a hard process, but I found that is less complicated. It's a tedious process, but if you know what you have in mind for your perfect cover you'll know it when you see it. Also, the size you buy is important the small pictures are for ebooks etc and the large photo is ideal for book covers. Either way at 50% off it's the best deal out there!

  5. My brother is a professional graphic designer and a visual artist. He designed my cover. He told me that his sister would not "have a crappy cover." I gave my brother creative control over the cover he designed. He read some snippets of the book and came up with the whole thing without my input. I never would have come up with what he did. That's why he's the artist, and I'm the writer!

    I totally agree with what you are saying. I am a subscriber to several Indie publishing newsletters, and there are some absolutely horrid covers out there. If you've worked so hard to write a book, why would you do that to yourself? The cover is a deal sealer or breaker.

    1. Your right and your blessed to have a brother looking out for you. Writing is hard work and the best cover helps with visual appeal.

  6. You are right. You are also blessed to have a brother with those skills.