Does your eBook Cover hit the right buttons? A Checklist

I’ve been putting the final touches to my new guide, which is out tomorrow. (It’s called Fire Up Amazon: Tweak your Amazon presence to perfection and ramp up your sales potential!)

While I’m ecstatic to have the final product DONE, I have to admit that this guide has sucked the life out of me.

Let me tell you the saga that is this book!

It started out as a video course. I spent months writing the content, then in May I recorded 12 videos. That might not sound like a lot, but geez do videos take time. It took me pretty much the whole month to do.

Then I created a whole bunch of PDFs to accompany them. I wanted actionable worksheets for people to print off, and checklists for them to put next to their desks. I guess I’ll never stop being a teacher.

I was geared up to launch this baby in early September…

U-turns allowed

And then I took a complete U-turn.

I’ve spent the last three months reducing all of that delicious content in to a short 80-page guide.

WHY, oh why?

There is SO much you can do with your Amazon listing and presence. Of course the world’s biggest online bookstore provides several tools to help you (and them) sell more books. But unforts, most authors don’t know about – or utilize – the majority of them. So I wanted to go really in depth with all of the tools and resources available to us. I got really deep in to each section.

And then I had a HUGE realization.

We’re all short on time.

While it would be to everyone’s advantage to sit and watch hours worth of video, I know you just don’t have time. I wouldn’t want to do that, so how can I expect you to?

So, I changed direction a little. I took out all the info I poured into that info-packed series and arranged it into a much more manageable e-guide. I split it into two sections: Be Visible & Be Irresistible. And I made sure that every single piece of information in there is valuable and would further the potential of your book. I took out the fluff. Squeezed it dry and created what might be my favorite guide yet.

Phew, was that a lot of hard work though. Just 80 pages of content (with images) that has taken me 7 months+ to put together in total. It’s good stuff though, and I’m happy to be putting out a quality product over rushing a less-than-stellar one.

Thank you for being so patient!

I know I’ve been talking about it in the newsletter for months and several of you have been so kind as to ask about its progress.

Anyhoot, coming back to this blogpost.

In the Be Irresistible section of the guide, there is (of course) a hefty section on book covers. I give some specifics about what makes an effective book cover. I share some existing covers that work really well. I dig into the psychology of what makes an attention-grabbing book cover. I give the names of some fonts that are made specifically to work well on book covers (vs paragraphs of text), and lots more. Below is a little teaser of the content in that section.

Whether you already have a book cover that you’re happy with, or if you’re just starting to design your cover from scratch, below is a checklist of things to consider. I’ve also listed some great resources where you can learn more about book cover design – if you’re designing your own cover, or even working with a designer, be sure to check them out and edumacate yourself!

Here it is!

A Checklist for your eBook cover

  • Does it grab attention at thumbnail size? Remember that this is where most people will see it.
  • Can you read your book title and name, even at thumbnail size?
  • Is it memorable, remarkable?
  • Does it look good in black and white? Again, this is how it will look on some eReaders.
  • Have you focus grouped it? Asked the 3 F’s: Friends, Family, Facebook about their thoughts? What might work for you might be completely displeasing – or misleading – for others.
  • Does the font work or is it hard to read, misleading of the genre or just plain ugly?
  • Have you kept the concept simple? Or is it too complicated – requiring some top-down knowledge of what the book is about?
  • Does it reflect the genre of the book?
  • If you have books in a series, do your covers match? Even if you don’t have a series but have multiple books out, do your covers share similar design elements that add to your author brand?
  • Does it look professional? Could you imagine seeing it in a bookstore?

Further resources:

– Monthly ebook cover design awards on TheBookDesigner.com:

http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2011/08/monthly-e-book-cover-design-awards/

– Where to find free images for book covers: http://www.self-publishing-coach.com/royalty-free-images.html

– CreateSpace cover designer: https://www.createspace.com/Tools/CoverCreator.jsp

– Inspiration for book covers: http://bookcoverarchive.com/ –> Browse by genres

What’s your favorite book cover ever? Feel free to nominate a fellow indie author!

Image courtesy of Sanchom on Flikr 



Laura Pepper Wu is the co-founder of 30 Day Books: a book studio. She has worked with a variety of authors to successfully promote their books, including many Amazon best-sellers. Laura is the author of wedding non-fiction guides and book marketing guides 77 Ways to Find New Readers for Your Self-Published Book and Fire Up Amazon!

Laura also runs Ladies Who Critique, a critique-partner finding site. When she's not working at the studio, you can find her walking her dog, "yoga-ing" or at a coffee shop in Seattle.

 

  • http://www.rainyofthedark.com/ Rainy Kaye

    Excellent checklist!

  • Pingback: Are you pressing publish before you’re ready – just because it’s so easy? | 30 Day Books

  • laurapepwu

    Thanks Rainy! Anything you’d add?

  • J S

    Last year I did a google image search of raymond chandler’s “The Long Goodbye” and counted at least fourteen different cover designs used over the years. “The Hobbit” produces about the same number of variations. Difficult to guess if a cover will do well or not so leave yourself some flexibility to change and try something new. I shrunk the size of an image used on the cover (opposite of what you want for thumbnails) and that cover started selling more books. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009JQFRNG