Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Your Book Cover Mediocre? Advice from the Book Coach / Book Shepherd


Why, oh why, do self-published authors insist on creating mediocre book covers? At a recent publishing conference, I talked with a gaggle of newly published authors. As proud as a new Dad or Mom, they put their treasure in my hands. Too many times, the cover was poorly designed, didn’t relate to the book topic and was third-rate at best.
Covers are your barker … “look at me,” “I have the answer to your question,” “Here’s the solution to your problem,” “Wahoo … pick me, I’m a terrific read,” etc. Covers are a critical investment in the presentation of your book … not just the front, but the back. Where the front is designed to say what the book is about and convey, “Pick me up now, I’m the one;” it’s the back cover that should get them to fall in.
Your buyers spend more time on the back—does it have a bold “grab them” headline so they fall in? How about three to five bullet points that are designed to hook the reader with “That’s me; that’s me; the author has written this just for me” as they read through them. A paragraph or two about the book and they should be sold. Don’t get stuck on a bunch of endorsements—unless they are knocking your socks off with a name that is the guru in the genre your are writing in. The truth is, most endorsements are fillers and used when the copy in the body doesn't sing—you probably don’t need them.
With covers—the back, the front and flaps or a dust jackets—always think benefit to the reader. Your book shouldn't look like it was “self-published.” Ever.