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5 Secrets to Designing a Book Cover that Skyrockets Sales


Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggerCreating a bestselling book on Amazon. A laudable goal that many business owners aspire to. It’s perfect as a Christian work at home mom or dad to publish a book because it brings credibility. But what’s the number one factor when self-publishing a book?

Your cover.

Yet many business owners skimp on this by doing it themselves or outsourcing it out to someone who is sub professional. This results in less sales and less exposure, which does damage to your brand.

Let’s face it: a prospect will take seconds to decide whether or not to click on your link, and that is highly dependent on the quality and relevance of the graphic of your book cover.

So how can you create a book cover that not only stands out, but helps you skyrocket sales? Here are five graphic design secrets that will help you!

1. Think of the book cover as an art poster

As a graphic artist, I have always approached designing book and magazine covers this way. Would you want to hang up your book cover as art?

When I was in college, one of my favorite magazines was The New Yorker. They always had such intriguing art! I saved many of them and one of these days I am going to put them up on my office wall!

What about your book cover? Would you want to hang it up on your wall or are you embarrassed by it?

If you don’t know what constitutes a good art poster, check out some art galleries or go to your local library and peruse through the periodical section. Get inspired by some ideas (but don’t steal them), and your cover design will improve!

2. Make the title readable

This is the first and primary rule of graphic design. Your font selection needs to be readable! It’s amazing how many people overlook this essential principle.

After all, if your audience can’t read the text on your cover, what’s the point?

For example, my mother was telling me about a postcard that someone in her painting guild recently produced for an art show opening. The date was not readable! This results in confusion.
It’s even more important on a book cover. If they can’t read your title, which is the most important aspect of your book to make sales, why would they click on the link to purchase it?

3. Include a compelling picture relevant to your message that stands out

You want to draw your reader in. And that takes artwork that will attract interest and curiosity. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words!

The graphic, whether an illustration or photograph, must be relevant to your message. You want it to complement the title of your book.

Let me illustrate this with one of my book projects. An author, Tammie T. Polk, wanted me to design her book cover, “The Virtuous Business Woman.” (You can search for this in Amazon and see what I’m talking about.) I chose a picture of a lady dressed in a business suit looking up with a hand over her heart. This conveyed virtue. I also softened the look with a silver frame over the picture, making it look feminine.

4. Use professional design standards

When creating a cover, it is important to use artistic principles like balance, composition, proportion, scale, etc. Contrast between colors is vital and will make the difference between attracting or repelling your readers. Your color choice needs to support your theme and message.

Again, I will put forth the example of the cover I designed for “The Virtuous Business Woman.” Since the book directly relates to Proverbs 31, I chose red for the color (you know, how it talks about how a wife is more precious than rubies or jewels?). I found a beautiful photograph of a red drape. Then the frame was silver which matched the gray color of the woman’s suit. I designed it so that the title stood out the most and the tag line supported the overall message. It is pleasing to the eye. And also, I made sure the back cover enhanced the front cover, giving it the same look, design, and feel.

5. Less is more

Typically, when a business owner or marketer is trying to sell something, he or she often tries to put all the information on a tiny area. This is counter productive. It’s also very easy to over design and put too much into the book cover. Anything that takes away from the simplicity and readability of the cover will not be as effective and will result in less clicks. Remember that the cover needs to draw interest and produce a desire to find out more. Therefore it’s important to remember that crowding your design too much will only hurt you in the end.

Designing a professional book cover that stands out will garner you more sales because your audience will click more on your link. And that will lead ultimately to more branding success!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Dana Susan Beasley, the creator of an online training program called Brand Identity Quest, helps Christian families create sizzling brands so they can build dazzling futures. A graphic artist, writer, and homeschooling mom to a special needs son, she is the owner of AngelArts, an arts agency and publishing house. It’s purpose is to inspire audiences to reach for new heights in their lives and beyond through excellently-designed publications and products using original art and literature. To take her free mini-course, 5 Steps to a Wildly Successful Home Business, click here to start now

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