If you’re self-publishing your novel, memoir, or self-help book and you’re on a tight budget, you might be tempted to cut costs by designing your own book cover. While this may seem like a great way to save money, it can actually have a negative impact on your book’s sale potential. The experts at Self-Publishing Relief know potential buyers DO judge a book by its cover, and they will expect certain genre-specific cues and elements. If you want to sell more books, your cover must appeal to all your readers—not just you. Here’s why designing your own book cover can be a bad idea.
Why Designing Your Book Cover Should Be Left To The Pros
When you’re not a professional book cover designer, it’s easy to make these rookie mistakes:
Misrepresenting Your Genre: If you don’t incorporate the visual cues that readers look for in a certain genre, you’re going to lose sales. Identify your genre and make sure it’s properly represented in your cover’s design. You don’t want your cover to look like a cozy mystery when you’re trying to appeal to classic mystery readers. It’s important to attract the correct readers so you can build your readership and convince more people to click “buy.”
Unprofessional Layout Or Design Issues: As a self-published author, you want your book to look well made when compared to any other book on the shelf, including those that are traditionally published. If your cover looks amateurish or is riddled with design issues (the design is crooked, blurry, oddly stretched out, or cut off in the wrong place, etc.), potential readers will notice and judge accordingly.
Whether it’s a print book or e-book (or both), the composition of your title, author text, and background art is crucial to a successful cover design. If one of these elements is off, such as text that is too close to the cover’s edge or too small, your book cover will look jarring and unprofessional. You want your book cover design to be intriguing and draw in your potential readers. If your self-published book’s cover design doesn’t have a focal point, your buyer won’t know where to look.
Wrong Color Choices: Your favorite color is red, so you want your cover to be red. However, that might not be the best choice if your story takes place in the arctic and the setting is snow, ice, and your characters are battling freezing temperatures. And you don’t want to pair a font color with a background color that makes it hard to read your title or back-cover book blurb. Professional designers know which hues work well together and the psychology behind using certain colors.
Unsuitable Background Art: The quality of the image or artwork you use will determine whether your book cover is a success or a flop. A pixelated, low-quality, or poorly Photoshopped image will look amateurish compared to the professionally designed covers of your competition.
Be sure to acquire the rights to any image you use on your book cover. Don’t make the mistake of finding an image on the Internet and thinking you can use it without getting permission—that image is most likely copyrighted.
Your self-published book’s cover design is your strongest point-of-purchase marketing tool. Trying to save a few dollars by turning your book cover into a DIY project can end up costing you big when buyers are unimpressed with the results. Let the talented designers at Self-Publishing Relief create a professional-quality book cover that will appeal to your audience and boost your book’s sale potential. You can choose one of our budget-friendly predesigned options, or we can create a custom book cover. Check out our portfolio and schedule a free consultation call today!
Question: How can you tell when a cover was designed by an amateur?