The first thing that catches a readers eye is the book cover. It may be on a shelf, on the computer in Amazon, or an advertisement, but that is the first impression anyone has about your book.
When I was in sales, we did a skit about not being prepared for the class we were teaching. The teacher was late. She’d “forgotten” the class, had on a shirt with chocolate ice cream spots, hair a mess, not enough supplies for the class, etc. You can fill in the rest. We tried to show people how first impressions mattered. It’s the same with your book cover. Your cover is the first thing people see about your book and it defines sales.
We do try to make a cover that has most of the elements the author envisioned the cover. It can’t always happen. Sometimes an author wants too much on the cover, or wants a background of a place made with a camera with not enough pixels. If the photograph is not clear, the cover will be cloudy. We also try to make it appealing to the public.
The cover above defines this book by Hope Toler Dougherty. Iris Encounter is set in Ireland. The castle used is Galway Castle because the book is set in Galway. Of course there is tea, therefore the teapot. To me, this has all the elements of a perfect cover. Diane Turpin of Diane Turpin Designs did a wonderful job with this cover, as she does with all of our covers.
Covers change daily. The newest ones I’m seeing are so different from what we are used to seeing. They’re more simple with less pictures and more graphics, especially the ones from the UK. They are a little plain.
Self-published authors should invest in a good cover. A cover should tell the story of the book. I don’t see that a lot in self-published works. It does help to sell your book if your cover is good. Don’t skimp on the cover. Make it a good one.
Can a cover be too busy? You bet! The first cover I had made for my first book was horrible. The girl looked like Goldie Hawn in Overboard. She looked like Goldie did when they’d fished her out of the water and she had that horrible expression on her face. That’s been changed now and I have a pretty young girl with a beautiful face. It does make a difference what you put on the cover.
We are fortunate at Mantle Rock to have a good cover designer. Her covers are originals. You won’t find the cover on another book being marketed by someone else. I remember several years ago there were so many covers showing hands hold a bouquet of flowers. There were several covers exactly alike. We don’t do that. I appreciate Diane Turpin for her dedication in searching for the right photos for each book.
Getting the right cover is important. It is the readers first impression of your book.