4 Reasons Why a Great Book Cover is Essential for Sales

Expert publishing blog opinions are solely those of the blogger and not necessarily endorsed by DBW.

The importance of an impactful book cover is something many writers do not take into consideration. After pouring hours of dedication into writing their novel, a writer only hopes that readers will love it. If the contents of the book contain detail and a compelling story, what’s not to love? The truth of it though, is that readers judge a book by its cover.

If the cover lacks a thoughtful design, it is likely that a reader will skip past it in search of something else. Therefore, it is best that you focus just as much on the importance of your book cover to increase sales. Fortunately, there are ways to ensure your book cover is up to par. With the right tips, advice, and information, you can provide a book cover that is sure to sell.

Your Cover is Your Branding and Product Packaging

While writing skills are important for building your fan base and ensuring your audience enjoys your work, they will not be showcased unless your book sells. This is where your cover comes in.

The cover is the first thing potential readers see and, if it does not stand out, your book will become lost in the sea of other titles on the shelf.

Think of it like the packaging on a candy bar. Most candy bars you see in stores will have an image of the whole bar, as well as an image of the bar broken in half so that you can see the inside. This is done to not only make it look delicious and appealing, but also to give the potential customer an idea of what they are going to get when they buy it. Your cover is the same in that it needs to give your audience an idea of what they should expect when they read your book.

It Captivates with Color and Creativity

Colors and pictures play a fundamental role in the creativity and aesthetics of your book cover. Creative Indie recommends designing covers that “pop” by using contrasting colors. If you have a central character or object on your book cover, design the object or character using light colors. Contrast the character by using darker colors for the surrounding. Of course, you can always do the reverse, too.

Many movie posters use contrasting colors to capture the attention of their audience. For instance, the movie poster for Disney’s Brave used a combination of teal and orange because it appeals to the eye. Of course, you should not go overboard with your book cover, either. Mistakes commonly made are that the book cover does not have enough thoughtful design, or it is too busy.

With a busy book cover, the subject of the cover tends to become lost in the design. Make sure your character or object stands out and do not overshadow the primary object or character with too much design. Blend all your elements together in a way that appears smooth and appealing rather than crazy and thoughtless.

It is Engaging & Intriguing

A book cover should be just as engaging as it is beautiful and bold. An attractive cover is a cover that captivates and intrigues your audience. It is enough to entice a second glance out of a passerby because first impressions do count. A person will form an opinion about your book within just a few moments, and you want it to be a good and lasting impression.

By creating a visual presence, you are encouraging potential buyers to give your book a closer look. First, they feel drawn by your cover. Afterward, they pick it up to inspect the book further. Finally, they are overcome with curiosity and intrigue brought on by your book cover. From there, the potential buyer opens the book, glances over the first few pages and makes the decision to purchase.

Keep in mind that there is an entire psychology behind it all. Understanding how your audience looks at design is just as crucial as creating the cover itself. Color psychology allows you to portray a particular meaning with your book cover. For instance, the color black offers the perception of power, authority, mystery, intrigue, villains, and death.

Believe it or not, appearance accounts for 93% of consumer purchase considerations. It is in your best interest to appeal to the visual psychology of the consumer if you want them to buy your book. Make sure to work in close collaboration with a creative designer who understands the importance of your book cover’s design.

Covers Optimized for Digital Platforms Increase Exposure

Do not focus solely on a physical book cover. It is just as crucial for you to provide book cover designs for books sold on digital platforms. If you have not entertained the thought of selling your book online, you should. Of course, there are still readers who enjoy the comfort of physically holding a book in their hands. However, digital readers now enable people to store thousands of books on one device.

Digital book sales can help improve the number of books you sell, so make sure your book cover looks good in thumbnail format, too. Minimize the picture of your book cover to determine what it looks like on a digital platform, like Amazon. If it does not look appealing or seems too confusing, try making changes to the design elements.

The goal is to ensure that the book cover captivates potential buyers at thumbnail size. A customer is not likely going to click on your book unless they find themselves fascinated by your book cover. Since you only have a small picture to work with, you must make the best of it. Talk with your designer and explain that the book cover must be visually appealing both physically and digitally.


Damon Freeman is the founder and creative director behind Damonza, an international book cover design company that has provided authors with both physical and digital covers since 2012. Damon has over 18 years of experience in the advertising and design industries, and has worked for everyone from first-time authors to New York Times Best Sellers. Contact: Damon@Damonza.com. Site: https://damonza.com