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Do You Judge A Book By Its Cover?

The English idiom “don’t judge a book by its cover” is a metaphorical phrase that means one shouldn’t prejudge the worth or value of something by its outward appearance alone. I believe people do this in their everyday lives, judging or making assumptions on how something appears rather than what it truly is. I am reminded that the cover of a book a writer creates is vitally important as it is the first impression on the reader. What does a book cover say about a story?

What A Book Cover Conveys

With the amount of time we spend on writing our story to share with the world, we should also spend as much time carefully selecting a book cover to convey our intent in a single image, as this is the message that may tempt the reader to take home a copy. Book cover artwork should illustrate the content, form, and emotion of an author as all of these are important elements. In most cases, a book is judged first and foremost by its cover. The cover should trigger an instant response.

Genre is essential to cover design along with the content to a story, which can intrigue readers from the beginning and foreshadow what’s to come in the book’s pages. If for example, the cover of a fantasy romance novel doesn’t look similar to novels that readers are used to reading in that genre, they’re not likely to pick it up in the first place. I like to think of a book cover as art that wraps its literature. It plays a critical role of impressing readers enough to pick up the book or click online to read more, with the overall goal of purchasing the book.

How Do You Accomplish A Compelling Cover?

A well-designed book cover can help in many ways, but not just for the reader. It can help secure positive reviews, establish credibility as an author, and generate many book sales. Maybe even win awards. How is this accomplished?

1) Know your audience for your genre. Who is your competition? Make sure questions are covered with your book cover designer.

2) Create a compelling title. One that is unique, which relates to your targeted audience in your market.

3) It is also important to maintain flow while designing the cover, which gives a sense of balance and prevents the dominance of certain elements over the others.

4) Use an experienced and professional book designer. Check their reviews and ensure quality results from their design experience. One that knows how to use color functionally and integrate the front cover, spine and back cover.

To achieve the perfect design, one needs to think about the message that they want their cover design to communicate.

A Well Designed Cover Is Vital To The Success Of Your Book

Do you believe a cover can make or break a book’s chances of flying off the shelf? It’s true. It can. I can’t tell you how many times in my life that I would pick up a book in a bookstore just by what the cover looked like. I would then read the back cover and if I liked what I saw, I would buy it. Same still rings true today in the online world.

Whether you purchase a paperback, ebook or kindle, there is still a cover that catches the eye, which in turn entices the reader to see what it entails, then buy it. It is said that a customer will spend an average of nine seconds looking at a book. If they pick it up and look at the back cover, they will spend another twenty seconds looking at it. Online book buying is similar to this experience as I am one of those customers.

Building Your Brand

You can say that building your brand all starts with the book cover. It’s the first impression of your brand and first impressions matter, especially in today’s world we live in. Building an emotional connection with the reader sometimes starts with a book cover, not just with what you write. That connection can be how you distinguish yourself from others in your field as well as how all efforts are interpreted by the reader, which sometimes can be the difference between a fabulous brand and one that fizzles out.

Research has found that 93% of purchasing judgment is based upon visual perceptions of logo, product, packaging, etc. In fact, almost 85% of consumers list color as their main reasons for buying a particular product. In addition, 80% of people believe color increases brand recognition. It is crucial that the first impression of your book is a memorable one as it may just be that color choice in your book cover that goes along with the written words inside.


A great book cover design is your best sales tool. Book covers are usually designed to reflect what the book is all about. So, do you judge a book by its cover? The answer with most of us is, yes. Writing is only part of the story. You have just a few seconds to capture the attention of potential purchasers. Having a well-designed book cover is the reader’s first impression of your story and can elicit an emotional reaction for a reader to purchase it. Effective branding is the foundation to the development of a writers platform, which can tie into an eye-popping cover that wows readers.

The author who can tap into what readers crave is the author that develops a devoted fan following. The attention you give to the cover, the overall design, the illustrations and artwork, and even the title makes a huge difference. It creates a powerful message that may make someone look longer, open it up, read a little, then buy it. Your cover must do its job of promoting the book for you, whether it be in a bookstore or as an ebook. It all starts with judging a book by its cover.

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