One of the key areas when it comes to marketing a newly written book is designing a book cover that catches the eye of your audience but leaves them curious about the contents of the book. It is an essential requirement nowadays in the ever so competitive market of book selling, according to JD Smith (graphic designer, editor and writer).
That being said, a professional cover is always the first thing a reader sets their eyes on in a book shop. It’s what makes them pick up the book to read the blurb and make a decision of whether to purchase before they have even read the inside. The unique font style, illustration, imagery, composition all contribute to this. Over the years technology has advanced and we now have EBooks and audio books available to readers; a more on the go approach for book lovers. A book cover is just as important to display on a website, as it’s the first thing that a potential reader will click on.
This article will highlight and explain a few simple ideologies to think about when creating a book cover.
Know your market
First things first you need to know the demographics of your audience. Answer some of these questions.
– Who are you selling to? (age, gender, education, religion etc)
– Who will purchase your book? This is important to figure out. For example, a book cover has to appeal to the child and the parent(s) when it comes to children’s books. The child will probably be the first to grab the book based on how it looks, but the adult is ultimately the one that will purchase the book. Is the cover design effective enough to persuade the parent to buy?
Market research can be attained through questionnaires, focus groups, interviews or even the simple reviews from family and friends depending on the contents of the book. Social media is also a cheap and useful way to monitor and track trends in consumer interests. Using the insights tool to see how many “instagrammers” view, like, shared and commented on your post. In addition to this, posting on your stories and using the optional voting system and Q&A sessions, can also be an effective and efficient tool to use as it directly targets your interested audience.
Put yourself in the shoes of the reader
Just like paintings, sketches and other forms of art, a book cover should not try to explain something to the reader but make them feel something instead. So the choice of image and font should correlate with each other. For example, a cook book should have the type of cuisine associated with the recipes that are printed inside. It should almost have that Instagram thumbnail look, which is a popular way books are contemporarily sold, as its aesthetically presented and pleasing to the eye. It’s understandable, but then again, if you placed a rocket ship in the middle it would still catch someone’s attention, right? But how likely is it that the customer will take your cook book seriously and make a purchase?
Convey your design ideas clearly!
When explaining how you would like your book cover to look to a designer/illustrator, don’t be afraid to have a full conversation with them about the whole idea of your product. Even though this article talks about two areas of the marketing mix (physical evidence and people) designers should be made aware of the whole process so they can get a better understanding of your vision minimising any room for mistakes.
So inform them of the 7Ps: Product, Price, Promotion, Process, Physical evidence, Place and People in order for them to be able to create the ideal cover and develop your brand.
In addition to this choose a designer that has had experience designing book covers for your chosen genre however still differentiating your product from the other books out there. Your unique selling point is the design of the cover so don’t let the designer get off easy by taking a similar concept and tweaking it slightly. It has to be completely brand new! Also if the illustrator/designer is well known for their art, it’s highly likely the book will be picked up by someone who is familiar with the artist, which could boost recognition and have a positive impact on profits. As well as building a consistent relationship between yourself (the author) and the designer for future projects; this also reduces the time researching book cover artists.
What we can gather from this article is that designing a cover is a pretty time consuming process and many of the points stated above have to be taken into consideration in order to have a profitable strategy; be it online or in a bookstore. So let us know how you went about designing your cover and did you make the right choices?