If you haven’t noticed there’s a major publishing revolution happening these days. Now anyone can easily and quickly put a book up on Amazon for sale, without having to have a publisher. This has begun the official gold rush for existing and new authors. Now, hundreds of thousands of writers are able to sidestep the middleman and go direct to their readers. Oh, and also make a lot of money doing it.
When you self-publish you have to take on a few of the responsibilities that a publisher used to do for you. Those include things like editing, proofing and of course, cover design. All three can be outsourced to professionals you can find in your area or online. Today I want to talk about effective digital book cover design and how it can affect your Amazon sales.
So what makes an amazing digital book cover? As we all know the attention span of people who use the Web (me and you) is very low. We have become accustomed to finding what we need online as fast as possible and have learned how to scan massive amounts of information with our eyes in seconds flat.
For consumers that’s a great thing. But for anyone trying to sell anything online, it makes our challenge greater. As an author, we have only seconds (sometimes less) to engage a Web visitor and tell them a story about what the book is about.
Do a quick search over at Amazon.com for books in any genre, it doesn’t matter which one. Notice how you quickly look at the book icons on the page along with the book title, and quickly scan down the page. Notice how your eye is drawn to some covers and others not so much.
As an author with a new book coming out, if you don’t have an amazing and eye-catching book cover you’re going to have a tough time making sales on Amazon.com. Here are few tips to help you out.
Image Is Everything
First off, it’s important to realize that design matters. Sure, you could do your book cover yourself, or pay your nephew who’s in college $10 to do it for you, but what you will probably end up with is a home-made book cover. Readers are expecting more, especially on Amazon.com. Your book is going to be sitting right next to thousands of other books with professionally designed covers. Chances are that if you don’t fit in to what’s expected, a potential reader isn’t going to take a chance on your work.
The Thumbnail Matters
When you upload a book to Amazon, the Amazon system automatically sizes your book cover to an appropriate, preset, size for display on their website. There are a few thing you should know at this point so that your book looks as good as it possibly can.
Number one, you should follow the sizing guidelines on the Amazon KDP page to the tee. If you don’t, your book cover may end up looking garbled and hard to read. That’s bad. The other thing to worry about here is that if you have designed your book cover with small type, it’s probably not going to be able to be read without zooming in on it. That’s also bad.
When you’re scanning through Amazon notice how all the top selling books have great looking thumbnail images. That’s because the authors and their designers knew how to design the cover for maximum readability.
Whether you want to use a photograph, or an illustration, or whatever, you should know that images help make your book cover get noticed. As most Web designers will tell you, when you add images of people, places or things into your design you have a much better chance at getting the viewer to relate. Why? Because pictures tell stories better than words.
If you have a book about aliens from outer space, there’s not going to be a better way to convey that than to have an alien like image on the cover of your book. If you’re writing a book about butterflies, well, you get the point.
The bottom line is that if you don’t have a readable and beautiful digital book cover your sales are going to be compromised.