I’ll beat a dead horse: as readers, we really do judge a book by it’s cover.
And as an Indie writer, you really–really–need to be aware of how your books appeal to your readers.
If you want to entertain others and gain readers, you must first attract someone to check out your book. The cover should match the reader’s taste and genre. It’s appealing to them.
And get this: while a blurb may first catch a potential reader’s attention, it’s the cover that does the heavy lifting. If the reader likes what he or she sees, they’ll pick up your book or use Amazon’s “Look Inside.” But if their curiosity is cut short by a bad cover, no reader.
So then, how?
- Know your book’s genre. This is your potential reader’s expectations.
- Know your book’s focus. What is the main story about? What is the central idea?
- Know your trim size and published format.
My collection Deny the Father just got a new cover. A much better one. At least, I think it represents the book so much better.
Here’s what it now looks like. Clean. Attractive.
So what genre do you think it is? You may have guessed sci-fi. Possibly a paranormal or fantasy. Maybe even a dark fantasy, but not likely.
I had some trouble focusing the book on a particular genre. There are two paranormal stories and one sci-fi inside the pages.
Spanning genres, how did I decide on a cover with a single idea?
Working at a higher story level, I first summarized each of the short stories. This is what I came up with:
A galactic trade union uses a laboratory-created disease on an alien race—causing the creatures to produce a rare xenon gas when close to death. A charity run by a ghoul is preying on children for financial gain, and more. And the dead must face an inner truth about the living before moving on.
Reviewing these statements, I concluded that the book both touches on what is grounded here on planet Earth and what might exist in the stars above us. The window represents something we all know. But the swirling cosmic mass outside hints at something beyond our atmosphere. And while the font is a sci-fi type, it seems to fit the image.
Steps one and two out of the way.
What about the published format?
The final step was to make sure the cover fits a six by nine print version, a Kindle edition and a 2400 x 2400 pixels audiobook format. To save on costs, I’m not going to create three uniquely different book covers.
My cover has clean artwork. There’s not much clutter so that scaling or adjusting dimensions doesn’t harm the cover’s main idea. It’s a high resolution image. And it translates well to a PDF cover for the print version.
Book face lift complete.
After completing the cover, I do have to go back and make changes to Deny the Father’s retail listings and Goodreads. This will take a little bit of time.
There will be a few headaches to overcome such as updating the book’s edition number. But I feel like I’ve better represented the book. For readers, this will help them better size up a potential fit. And for me, it may add up as new readers who will enjoy my work.
So what do you think of the new cover? Do you like it? Do you think it better represents the book, Deny the Father?
Leave your comments below.