How to Evaluate a Book Cover Concept

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1106 Design

February 03, 2010

One of the biggest mistakes that new publishers make when evaluating book cover concepts is to focus on what they “like.”

“Huh?” you may ask? “I’m paying good money for this cover, and it’s my book. Are you suggesting I’m not entitled to “like” the design?

No, not exactly. What I am suggesting is that before you change your designer’s concepts, it’s important to understand that a book cover has one job—to capture the attention of the buyer. Period. End of story. There are a thousand ways to accomplish this and they all have one thing in common. The book cover must be simple. Breaking this cardinal rule can hurt your sales, big time.

You might think of your book cover as a billboard. Just like vehicles on the freeway, your buyer is speeding by. Statistics show that buyers look at a book cover for only 7 seconds, on average, before making a decision to buy, or not. That’s not a lot of time to convince him/her that your book is the best choice.

Ask a busy buyer to work too hard, by adding complex graphics, too many words, or too many messages to your cover, and they will simply stop looking…and buy another book. Focus is the key. The front cover must drill down to your core message. Save the details for the back cover and flaps, so your book cover will be the effective sales tool it was meant to be.

In the next post, I’ll make the cover evaluation process a little easier by listing what you must have and what you may have.

What do you want to know? What topics should we explore together? How can we help you along your publishing journey? Everyone here at 1106 Design wants to help. Post your comment here or email us us using the Contact Us page.

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