Authors, Writers, Publishers, and Book Readers

How important to book sales is the cover? It is one of the most important visual presentations that the writer has to help promote their book. The cover is the first thing that will draw the reader and potential buyer to the book.

What many authors do not stop and think about is that this cover will be what draws many people to purchase their book, because of the artwork on the cover that will entice their imagination. The artwork is rarely done by the author in preparing their manuscript and it can be one of the most important thing that sells their book. Even for books that are sold as ebooks, the artwork for the cover is important, this is one of the only ways people can have what they think is an insight in what might be contained inside the ebook.

This visual presentation that is done by a designer will give the book life, whether the book is online or in a book store, the eyes are drawn to the cover art. The author’s passion that helped them create the pages of the book should be extended to the art designer. The more informed the art designer is the more accurate the cover will convey the message the author wants to send to the person reading the book.

The front cover will be the first thing that is looked at by the reader, and then it will be flipped over to the back cover to satisfy their interest. This means that it is just as important to have an interesting back cover; this is where there should be a short summary of the book and often has the author’s photo and author bio.

Having a successful book in part solely depends on the front cover art and the back cover information, one other part of the book cover is the spine. The book that has the title on the spine draws attention, this lets the reader know the title, and this sparks interest, over the book that has a clear spine. What this means is that the reader and potential buyer will need to pull the book from the shelf to see what the title is when the spine is empty.

Giving the reader as much information as possible to entice them to read the book is what will help raise the amount of sales. The plain book cover shows the reader that what could be contained on the pages of the book could be extremely boring and will not hold their interest. Where the book that has great cover art, an informative back cover and title on the spine is guaranteed to attract the person looking for new books will be drawn to your book.

Some tips that can help the book cover are to have a title and subtitle, use an author’s photo when possible and the author’s bio should be kept short, but interesting. The artwork is important and the title on the spine all can lead to more sales.

Views: 350

Comment by scribbler on March 31, 2010 at 6:39pm
"The more informed the art designer is the more accurate the cover will convey the message the author wants to send to the person reading the book. " I guess it's too much to ask to expect the cover designer to have actually read the book? And traditional publishers don't expect the author to design their own cover and don't always give them a say in that. Publishers like to choose it themselves because they have experience on what sells and what doesn't. Only big name authors have the leverage to be picking and choosing.
Comment by Sean Noonan on June 20, 2010 at 5:10pm
'Never judge a book by its cover' is true, however in this day of information overload if we don't visually attract the likely reader as a flower attracts the bee we won't be assuring our future....

'Cream will always rise' I know but... when. If it has the right start and emphasises its beauty then it has a better chance to rise, sooner rather than later.
Comment by Jaye Murphy on September 11, 2010 at 6:43am
The book's cover is quite important. Often times, it will be the first representation of the book or yourself that one will notice. And as an author, I love to see a book cover that describes the essence of the book. A good book cover immediately draws me to pick that book up and read the synopsis on the back, perhaps even turn a few of the pages and read through. I've never done that without paying attention to the cover. A cover that is unappealing, I have a tendency to pass right on by (and it's true - never judge a book by it's color); though, you have to admit a beautiful or enticing cover is certainly a way to make one do a double take...hmmm:))
Comment by Marti Melville on December 4, 2010 at 3:49pm
Fortunately, the publisher is the "expert" on what will catch the attention for sales. As an author, it's sometimes difficult to let go of the emotional side of watching your books become a business entity but it's rewarding to watch the experience of the publisher create a marketable commodity. So glad I listened to my publisher (the design is very close to what I had in mind, the colors are not. Comments since the release are consistent, "I love the cover!!")
Comment by Jaye Murphy on December 4, 2010 at 7:15pm
The book cover is very important for the sale of a book, but it is not the defining choice of buying the book. Let's be real - We're walking the isles of a book store, Wal-mart, Target - whatever, and we grab the book that catches our eye, read the back, it my not be what we want, but the cover was creative enough to make us stop and go hummm. Saying all this to say, that yes it is very important. But if you are one of those that "doesn't judge a book by it's cover" then no it's not the defining moment of purchasing that book without the eye-catching cover.
Comment by 2 Moon Press Publishing on December 23, 2010 at 5:35am

As a cover designer myself, I have a rule. I have to talk to the author to gain insight as to what they want, and feel the cover should be. Plus, I read a little of the book, and also read the synopsis that is supplied. The cover is the MOST important aspect of the book purchase, as the cover is what gets the reader to pick the book up..... The good cover designer will design a cover that is appealing, have balance, and has something to do with the book.


I once redid a cover for a murder mystery, where the original cover designer had an image of a body in a foyer, with a clock that read 10:30 prominently. Well she was mad as heck, as the murder took place in a library, and had nothing to do with that time, nor time in general as an element.


For the author, before you trust ANY designer ask to see examples of their cover work, and be your own judge of their work.

Comment by Carol Graham on June 26, 2013 at 8:53am

I agree that the cover is important but I don't agree that the publisher or cover designer is necessarily the best judge.  My publisher gave me several designs to choose from and none of them captured the story.  My daughter made some suggestions which I passed on the publisher and they were thrilled with the result.  Emotion and passion need to be part of the cover and only the author can relay that.  I was fortunate to work with a publisher that didn't have ego issues.


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