We all know the phrases “Don’t judge a book by its cover” but in reality, you most likely should.

We are all drawn to products that are attractive. The cover of a book works as a salesman to its audience, and the cover needs to be recognised as an important tool – not just to service its original purpose, which is to protect and bind the pages of a book (you can read more about the evolution of the book cover in our blog here).

We are living in an age where the competition for authors is startlingly high, and even more so now that self-publishing authors are starting to take the spotlight. No longer do you need a shiny and big publishing house to get your book out there, neither do you need their services to get the cover of your dreams.

With the help of self-publishing platforms such as Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) self-publishing authors can have their book for sale on big platforms such as Amazon Books, right next to best sellers. Consumers are browsing thumbnails of book covers the same way they would browse through a bookshelf. This gives your cover the ability to stand out and also be seen front-facing as opposed to the spine, so why not make the most out of your allocated ‘five minutes seconds of fame’ image space by using a cover that’s bold and innovative whilst also capturing the brilliance of the writing inside of it.

As the majority of book covers online are also viewed at thumbnail size, its important to keep this in mind as a cover that is too busy with elements, or the title is small, it may not stand out.

This statement is reflective of the difference between physical bookshops and online retailers. There has been a perception that books covers were less important for eBooks, however this appears to not be the case as the rules of a bookshop are true of online retailers too. The first part of information you are provided with online about a book – whether it be via email newsletter, or on an author’s Twitter account – you are still presented with a cover, or series of covers, before you read the blurb.

A book cover is the book’s billboard, and even without the reader or author knowing, it causes expectation. If a reader sees a book with an amateur cover, they’re going to believe that it’s also poorly written.

The book cover’s purpose has evolved from protection to promotion, which highlights its importance to be designed well in order to fill its purpose – draw more readers in.

Now you’ve read this blog you may be interested in What are the best fonts to use for a book cover design?