Insider’s Take: Book Covers

They say, Don’t judge a book by it’s cover, but sometimes all we talk about at my writers group is the opposite of that saying.

There’s always a huge debate on how artistically designed book covers will sell more copies on Amazon than a poorly designed one and if you don’t hire a graphic designer for hundreds of dollars you’re really missing the boat!

Common questions that usually come up are How much does cover design cost?  or Can I design my book cover on my own?  and after a while you feel stumped and are left thinking people don’t read, they just look at the pretty pictures.

Well there’s some truth to all that because recently I talked to a local writer, Caitlin Berve, and she had something to say about book cover design.  You see, Caitlin used to work in a chain bookstore and she’s seen lots of books fly off the shelves based on just the covers.

“It was basically… where the cover’s kind of art in itself,” she told me.  “It doesn’t just have the name on it or it doesn’t just have a picture that’s only for people who read that genre, but it’s kind of more than that… It’s really one’s that have images.”

The Raven King’s book cover was one she said stood out above the rest.

“Everyone who walked by it picked it up, even the people who I knew who only read non-fiction because they were regular customers.”

She also noticed more sales from the The Mortal Instruments book series and from Hollow City: The Second Book of Ms. Peregrine’s Peculiar Children.

“I’ve been involved in a couple of Facebook groups that are for writers,” she added, “and font makes a huge difference… There have a been a couple of covers where you put it up there and it’s like the person describes the book and I’m like, ‘Because of the font you chose this looks more like a romance and it’s really an action adventure story!’”

Eventually she made her own list and put it up on Pinterest.