Think About When Thinking About Your Cover
1) What is the feeling you want to evoke? Examples: scary, poignant, edgy, fun.
Your cover is packaging for the product inside. If your cover is about a murder mystery set in the past, does your cover speak of that? Does it feel historical and mysterious? A word of advice – do not try to insist on showing a scene from the book on the cover, or specific details based on your story (for example exact character likeness – this is a trap as the reader may disagree with what is portrayed on cover). Let your artist be the lead in showing you how less is more. The best covers are lean, mean, and pack a punch!
(Example cover: GHOSTORIA
Speaking of packaging, think of your back cover as advertising space. Use it to promote your book with reviews, images of your other book covers in the series, your author photo, bio and contact info such as website URL. Don’t let that space go to waste!
2) Who is your reader? Know what grabs your reader. If it is YA, then research YA covers.
Know what is trending in the genre. Do your homework so you can be the savvy author who is co-pilot with your cover artist. And don’t be afraid to challenge your artist. Sometimes a little push takes a good cover to WOW!
3) Where does the story take place? Season? Time of day?
This information is important to your cover artist to help set the tone for the cover.
(Example cover: FDR’s TREASURE
4) How does the cover art work with the title?
Has your cover artist simply slapped an overused font on top of a stock image? The font needs to be an integral art element the cover. Sometimes a cover IS just type used in a creative way. If your artist is not using fonts creatively, then try using another cover artist.
5) Finally, make sure the cover is attention grabbing and legible, even at thumbnail size.
Think of your cover as a mini billboard. How often have you driven by a billboard and asked yourself, “what was being advertised?” You can’t afford to make that mistake with your cover. Think of all the traffic on Amazon and other book sites. Don’t let readers pass your book by – make sure your cover is eye-catching, legible, and intriguing.
(Example cover: FOCUSED ON MURDER