Books Front Matter

You Shouldn’t Judge a Book by Its Cover — But Your Audience Will Anyway

Of course, you can judge a book by its cover. People do it all the time. When searching through the rows of books in a library or bookstore or even browsing online, the book cover provides that critical first impression to entice you to look a little closer. It’s the first point of contact for your audience. If it doesn’t draw them in, they’ll never discover the wonder of its contents. So how can you be sure your book’s cover is sending the right message to tempt a reader to open it?

First impressions are important

Your book’s cover is the face it presents to the world. It sets the tone for the prospective reader. Well-chosen text and graphics could reveal the genre or theme of the book, and set the tone for the prospective reader, either intriguing them to the point of flipping the book over to read the summary and dig a little deeper, or moving on to the next book on the shelf. As important as a book cover is to engage new readers, it shouldn’t interfere with readability. You have limited space to convey what your book is about and if you crowd the elements, your readers won’t be able to pick out what’s important.

Elements speak volumes

Typography is a great way to create drama and attract attention to your book. Elements such as typeface, font, and color can convey your book’s message as well as make it stand out. Get a little creative. You may, for example, opt for serif fonts or script for romance titles or solid, impactful fonts for action and adventure books. Also, use color to connect to the story. For example, you may choose a blue and green color scheme for ocean settings, or deep reds for fantasy vampire or murder mysteries.

Another way to make your book cover stand out is to use laminations and embellishments. There are many types of laminations that will not only protect your cover, but make it shine. Also, embellishments like a foil stamping, embossing (raising), or debossing (recessing) certain areas on the cover can create a visual pop and three-dimensional effect that will capture the attention of your audience.

eBook covers are important, too

There used to be a general impression that eBook covers weren’t that important because they weren’t physical books. Not true. In fact, eBook readership has seen a notable spike in 2020, due in large part to the changes brought on by COVID-19. The lesson? Don’t ignore your eBook cover. Clicking on a digital book cover is the same as picking up a physical book in many ways. So just as you focus on a printed cover design to entice a ready to pick up the physical book, you should employ the same priority to an eBook cover design to entice a reader to click. And make sure your cover’s font is easily readable as a thumbnail online. If you lack design skills, hire a professional. It will be worth the money.

Whether you are publishing a physical book or an eBook, your cover is essential to its success. Check out the myriad of options that Sheridan can bring to your book to help it end up in a reader’s library.

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