Anyone who believes books aren’t judged by their covers has never published an ebook. As an author, your tome’s face is going to be evaluated against every other book your potential customers have ever seen. And, whether they know it or not, they’ve been trained to a certain standard. If you want to compete, you’re going to have to meet (ideally, exceed) their expectations. To give you a fighting chance, here’s what you need to know about the elements of a compelling ebook cover.
Image Source: Pixabay
Every Picture Tells A Story
You’re actually looking at the pictures when you scan an ebook site. The title usually only comes into play after the picture has arrested your retina. Of all of the creatures on this planet, human beings are the most visually oriented. When we see something we like, we investigate further. Keep in mind you’re typically looking at thumbnail-sized images of book covers. This means the picture has to be bold enough to command a viewer’s attention, even when rendered very small. The image should also give some insight as to what your book is all about. If you hit all of these points, the shopper will then consider the title.
The Title Must Be Relevant
A title capable of instantly telegraphing the essence of the book is indispensable. In most cases, you’re only going to have a fraction of a second to resonate with the shopper. If your picture stops them and your title captivates them, you’ve got a good shot at selling a book. Graphically, the title should also stand out from the rest of the cover. One way to accomplish this is by making the title a different color than the background. Above all, it must be clear, sharp and easy to read. When you choose your color scheme, make sure the color of the title stands out against the background—without jarring the eye. Which brings us to—
Colors Have Emotional Qualities
When you’re considering how to sell an ebook online, it’s important to remember color has a very strong effect upon the reaction your customers will have to the appearance of your book. Therefore color theory should be taken very seriously. Different colors are associated with different emotional states. If your book is about business, blue is a good way to go, as it connotes confidence and optimism. If it’s a romantic love story, go with pink or red, if it’s about making money — use green and/or gold (of course). Yes, there are times and places to bend and or break these rules, but to do so successfully you have to know what the rules are.
Font Choices Make A Difference
While you’ll typically want to limit your font choices to one or two, sometimes employing a completely different font for the keyword in the title can help sell it. Either way, your type style should be predicated upon the nature of the book and the mood you want to set when customers see it for the first time. It must also be crisply rendered and clear enough to be read at a glance when it appears on a thumbnail. By the way, if you have a very strong following, make sure your name is as clearly legible as the title. Some really well known authors actually run their names larger than the title of the book. Of course, until you hit the Oprah Winfrey, Stephen King, Agatha Christie, or Tony Robbins level, you should emphasize the title over your name.
People judge books by their covers every day. Nailing these four elements of a compelling book cover will go a long way toward helping your ebook find its audience.