Why Book Covers are So Important
There is an old adage “never judge a book by its cover.” While it’s true that great books may lie between the pages of a poorly done cover, it’s also true that people won’t pick it up to find out. Your book cover is your first opportunity to make an impression on your reader and get their attention, so you want to put your best foot forward.
Think of it like speed dating. There are 10 guys in the room for you to choose from. One looks like he stapled a paper bag together to wear as a shirt. One looks like he threw on every piece of clothing he owned, none of which go together. One who is clearly not dressed for the right occasion; wearing a bathing suit. There are six other guys who are dressed almost identical with only minor variations of the same jeans and gray sweater. Lastly there is one dashing gentleman wearing a well-tailored suit, freshly pressed shirt, clean shoes, and a perfectly matched tie that adds just the right splash to the outfit to pull it all together. Who would you talk to? My guess would be the last guy. He’s dressed appropriately, looks professional, and most importantly he stands out for all the right reasons. He’s just different enough that he catches your attention and not because he looks like a hot mess.
This basic principle is equally as important when it comes to picking a book cover. Your cover needs to be original, look professional, and be appropriate for the story.
Let’s talk originality: There is a common misconception these days that you can simply take a cover from a book that has done well, tweak it, and then package as your own and it will sell because the original one did. I’m here to tell you it doesn’t work like that. Your cover gets lost in the heaping stack of other rips offs and the reader passes it by because it is a cheap imitation of the original. If you really like a cover, take the style elements from it but make it your own.
Looking professional is incredibly important. There are some truly awful, self-made covers out there. I’m talking arts and craft style, done in colored pencil and marker. Now, I’m not saying you can’t do it yourself, but I am saying be honest with yourself about your skill level. I am an artist who has painted for years. After briefly flirting with the idea of doing my own cover I quickly realized that I was not up to par skill wise and hired someone who designs covers for a living. It was the best decision I made. You want readers to take you seriously, so put forth something that looks professional.
And lastly, be appropriate. Nothing is worse than grabbing a book with an awesome, badass science fiction cover only to find out it’s a romance novel about a girl who falls in love with a nerd who likes aliens. Your cover should relay what type of story you are trying to tell or at least the mood. Is it campy? Is it dark and mysterious? These are important factors to consider when picking your cover.
So make a great first impression by keeping your cover original, professional, and appropriate. It’s the best tool you have to get those readers to pick up your book. Good luck!
For Onyx Bay, what started as a cathartic ink session takes an unexpected turn when a specialized blood test at the tattoo parlor reveals her true identity, which threatens to turn her entire world upside down.
When Onyx learns that she is the descendant of a fantastical race of creatures who control the global elements, she discovers that her own blood makes her a valuable prize for competing forces, known as the Orders. As the truth about her bloodline spreads, she finds herself at the center of a supernatural bounty hunt pursued by both human and creature members of the Orders willing to do anything to claim her as their own. The hunt intensifies when a prophet foresees she will tip the balance of power and upset the peace among the Orders. As she attempts to evade capture and survive, Onyx is forced to choose between her humanistic past and a supernatural destiny in order to take control of her own future.
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Genre - Urban Fantasy
Rating – PG - 13
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