Thanks to Wendy at Fabulosity Reads for this great question: Are Book Covers that Important?
My answer to this question might surprise you… Nowadays, if you’re an Indie author, I don’t think they are that important.
Wait! Wait! Don’t leave! Hear me out.
Yes, it’s important that you have a professional cover, that it not look as though you cut out images from a magazine and pasted them on a page with ‘comic sans’ font.
But let’s face it
…if you’re here, you are a reader who
probably buys the majority of your books online or an Indie author who
publishes your books online. The days of looking beautiful on the front table
at Barnes & Noble are nonexistent for most of us, so that’s not what’s
going to sell your book. And isn't that what a great cover is supposed to do?
Look at the top twenty bestsellers on Amazon. What do you see? Yes, there are a few newbies, but the majority of authors, who hold those precious spots for more than a week or so at a time,
aren’t there because of
their book covers. They’re there because of ‘branding’. And branding, my
friends, is more important than a half-naked hunky guy that you put on the
cover. In fact, if you look at the top twenty bestsellers, there isn’t one
half-naked couple on the front. Heck, even 50SOG didn’t do it. Did you notice
what they did, though? Did you know that book two was a sequel, book three…?
When J.D Robb, Dan Brown, and Nicholas Sparks publish a new novel, you know
immediately it’s them. Even if you’ve never read one of their books, if you are
in this market, you recognize their covers: BRANDING!
When I published my first five novels, I loved the covers. The designs I’d thought up were perfect for each novel, and my designer was able to pull the images right out of my head. But, I screwed up. No one knew the books were connected, no one knew the genre simply by looking at them. Since I redesigned my covers, my sales have quadrupled. No, the designs aren’t prettier; in fact, they’re rather simple. But now when someone has read one of the books in my Southern Romantic-Suspense Collection, they immediately recognize the other four books when Amazon emails them a special.
But, back to the beautiful ones… Yes, I do love beautiful covers that paint a story without the reader even looking at the blurb. So when I was ready to design the covers for my Creatus Series, I did both. All the covers are scenes from the books, and I had my son design the Creatus seal and title, so I could use it for all my promotional needs. Now, I’m branded, and I meet lovely readers like Wendy who fell in love with my cover.
So, my advice… Yes, a beautiful cover is like icing on a cake, but make sure the reader knows who created that delicious masterpiece.
Thank you for stopping by my place and reading my musings. Remember these are just my opinions and shouldn’t be taken too seriously. If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section, and I promise you I will answer. If you’re curious about what I write, please visit one of my author pages, where you can read all about my novels and short stories. And hey, I’ll even give you a free book just for stopping by.