book cover as marketing tool

How to Brand Your Book Covers

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Family-Ties

See Danielle Steel’s numerous books, a great example of cover branding

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During a recent brainstorming session with a multi-book author, I was searching for images of trade-published book covers to show her some that readers easily could recognize – belonging to a certain writer: Similarities throughout the titles, at least in the same genre.

Readers need to know at a glance what your books look like.  The book cover is most important when people are browsing titles online.  It must stand out on online retailer search results, even when the cover is the size of a postage stamp.  The same is true for print books at stores.
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‘Visual Identity’ and Brand
You want your readers to identify your books by their covers. You need to decide how you want to brand your author name.  Use the same font families for the same genres, as you will want your readers to identify your work as quickly as possible.  But font is not only important for your books, your website also should tell a consistent story – even your entire author platform.  Your aim is to be instantly recognizable.
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A brand is a name or logo with which consumers identify certain attributes.  The goal of the cover is to evoke some coded message for the reader.  Sometimes covers now have even cult status.  Align your book covers, create a consistent message for different books you wrote.
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Brand identity looks at the aesthetics you create for your author platform. It focuses on:

  • Colours
  • Fonts
  • Logos
  • Images
  • Layout
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First Important Step:
Take your time and research as many bestsellers in your genre – online, in bookstores and in libraries.  Study at least a hundred or more.  Great examples of book cover branding can be found at Rocking Book Covers.  Read also their article “12 Things to Expect from Your Book Designer”.

You have the power to create your own brand identity, and a clever book cover can help.  You want readers to recognize your titles straight away.  This is how you stand out from the crowd at bookstores and online retailers.  Your book covers can help your author platform.  You can separate it from the process, or make it part of it.  Think about the big picture.  You don’t need to change your coves totally, but maybe altering the font, or changing one of the colours, or adding a simple touch of something to bring it all together.  Package them all in the same style.
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Discuss These Points With Your Designer:

  • Bold or complementary colors?
  • Light on dark for dramatic effects (if it fits to your book content)
  • Test the cover in thumbnail size to make sure it looks good on online page
  • Not more than two different fonts in total
  • Not too wide vertical spaces between lines of text
  • Use few shadow, bevel, gradient or glow – keep it subtle
  • Align the cover text – centre, left or right
  • Place text on plain background to stand out
  • Use the same fonts for all your books, so readers will be able to identify them easily
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People read left to right, top to bottom.  Position your elements in appropriate levels of importance.
Never, ever, use a white background for your book!  White on white is barely visible and on websites your book will not stick out, as the sites’ background are almost always white.
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Once you have a mock-up of your book cover, visit a bookstore, place your book on the first table where the NY Times bestsellers are placed.  Does your book cover really stand out?
How consistent is your brand?  Is it the same on your book covers, your website, on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest etc?

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More reading about book covers:

https://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2014/03/23/the-best-and-the-worst-book-covers/

https://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/12/22/book-cover-you-never-get-a-second-chance/

http://www.rockingbookcovers.com/book-cover-design/different-ways-to-brand-book-covers-for-series/

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If you would like to get a mentor and our support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer for three months all this and more for only $179 – or less than $2 per day!  Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting / Book Marketing for your success: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

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“Book Marketing on a Shoestring”
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UAVL3LE

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The Best and the Worst Book Covers

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Interesting book covers are getting more exposure on shelf-displays, both online and off-line. We are a very visual culture, which influences our book-buying habits. A stunning book cover is one of the best marketing tools for any writer!  And you will never have a second chance to make a first good impression with your book – online and offline!  In the last weeks I have seen so many ugly and boring book covers and lots of beginner errors on self-published books, I just had to write this reminder.
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Chris Robley wrote recently in a blog for BookBaby:

  1. Before someone buys your book, they will probably read your book description, blurbs, bio, and maybe even skim a few pages from chapter one.
  2. Before they can do any of that reading, they will have to pick the book off a shelf, or perhaps click to the book’s page on Amazon, B&N, etc.
  3. And before they are compelled to click a link or pick up a book, they will have to be attracted to your book’s cover (or thumbnail image).

From the moment a person picks up your book, you have about 6 seconds to convince them to buy it. This includes the time they take to look at the back cover and the spine.

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Front Cover Tips
E-books are bought online, usually displayed on a page with many other books. Therefore clarity, simplicity, brightness and information must jump off the screen. Use simple, yet stunning graphic elements and bold clear text for the title and the authors’ name, both must be easy to read on the tiny online image.
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BookCover_last-last-chance

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And Never, Ever:
use the word “by” before your author name. Using the word ”by” screams DIY self-published.
use a white background for your book! White on white is barely visible and on websites your
book will not stick out, as the sites’ background are almost always white.
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BookCover_eat-pray-love-elizabeth-gilbert
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Back Cover Design
Book Layout Designer Joel Friedlaender posted in a great blog 7 Secrets to Writing Persuasive
Back Cover Sales Copy http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2013/05/casey-demchak-back-cover-copy
“If your cover is good enough to grab readers, your back cover copy needs to convince them to
buy. For authors who self publish this can be a challenge because writing promotional copy
many not be their area of expertise. Plus, for many authors it’s never easy to “brag” about
themselves and their own work.”
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BookCover_valkyrie-book-cover-design-think

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Visit a Bookstore
Check out all the books that are similar to yours. Place your book (or a mock-up) between these.
Does it look better? Is the spine eye-catching? Ask other patrons what they think about every
book, but don’t tell which one is yours. Listen to their opinion. Place your book on the first table in
the bookstore where the NY Times bestsellers are placed. Does your book cover really stand
out?  Has any of the bestsellers the word “by …. author name” on the front cover? For sure not!
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BookCover

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Book Cover Size:
Check if there are specific or popular sizes in the genre your book is in. And do all these
BEFORE your book is ready to print. Later changes only confuse readers and they are very
costly.
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Discuss these Points with Your Cover Designer:

  • Use bold or complementary colors
  • Use light on dark for dramatic effects (if it fits to your book content)
  • Test the cover in thumbnail size to make sure it looks good at Amazon’s website
  • Use not more than different two fonts in total
  • Use not too wide vertical spaces between lines of text
  • Use few shadow, bevel, gradient or glow – keep it subtle
  • Align the cover text – centre, left or right
  • Place text on plain background to stand out
  • Let the front cover design flow into the book’s spine
  • Use the same fonts for all your books and readers will be able to identify them easily
  • People read left to right, top to bottom. Position your elements in appropriate levels of importance

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Read more:

Lousy Book Covers
http://lousybookcovers.tumblr.com/
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Inside Random House: The Journey from Manuscript to Book
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFUcWguqr7U
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Inside Random House: “The Art of Cover Design”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2Z86L25v30
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“23 Creative Book Cover Designs and their Story” is a showcase of creative book cover designs,
indicating the typefaces used for the title or text:
http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/inspiration/creative-book-cover-story
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Front and Back Cover Copy for Book Covers
http://www.coverdesignstudio.com/book-cover-copy/
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Joel Friedlander wrote a great blog about brilliant book titles in one of his blogs:
http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2010/06/how-to-write-book-titles-for-people-robotsJoel
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Book Design and Production
http://www.amazon.com/Book-Design-Production-Pete-Masterson/dp/0966981901
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Basics Design Layout, 2nd edition
http://www.amazon.com/Basics-Design-02-Layout-Second/dp/2940411492/
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“40 Extraordinary Photoshop Text Effects”, it shows detailed tutorials, how to create amazing book title effects, step by step and is using lots of screen shots.
http://www.problogdesign.com/resources/40-extraordinary-photoshop-text-effects

Fonts for book titles:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typeface
http://www.dafont.com/themes.php
http://www.1001freefonts.com
http://www.identifont.com

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Tagged: back cover, book cover as marketing tool, book cover design, Book Design and Production, Book Layout, Cover art, e-book cover, font for book cover, front cover, how to create amazing book title effects, Joel Friedlaender, top to bottom



Book Cover: You Never Get a Second Chance …

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… for a first good impression!  Always remember : 
Your books’ title and its appearance is the first, and perhaps only impression you make on a prospective reader.  A great image on your book cover will undoubtedly catch your reader’s imagination, wondering what lies beyond it. A fantastic opportunity to draw readers in.

Not that an appealing cover means automatically a great book, but a book that is accurately and even interestingly represented by its cover, is more likely to catch the eye of someone who is going to enjoy reading it.  Interesting covers are going to get more time on shelf-displays, online and off-line.  We are a visual culture; naturally that is going to influence our book-buying habits.
A stunning book cover is one of the best marketing tools for any writer!
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Bali Rai wrote in one of his blogs:  ”In 2002, as one of the judges on the Guardian’s Teenage prize, I remember a book called Thursday’s Child by Sonya Hartnett.  It’s a simple yet wonderful story of 1930′s Depression-era Australia, and it went on to win the award. However, it was not my choice for winner, simply because I thought the cover illustration would deter people from reading it. It was drab and old-fashioned in my opinion and had I not been reading and judging the book, it would have put me off completely.”
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Here are some points you should discuss with your designer.

  • Use bold or complementary colors
  • Use light on dark for dramatic effects (if it fits to your book content)
  • Test the cover in thumbnail size to make sure it looks good at Amazon’s website
  • Use not more than different two fonts in total
  • Use not too wide vertical spaces between lines of text
  • Use few shadow, bevel, gradient or glow – keep it subtle
  • Align the cover text – centre, left or right
  • Place text on plain background to stand out
  • Use the same fonts for all your books and readers will be able to identify them easily
  • People read left to right, top to bottom. Position your elements in appropriate levels of importance.
  • Never, ever, use a white background for your book! White on white is barely visible and on websites your book will not stick out, as the sites’ background are almost always white.

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E-books are bought online, usually displayed on a page with many other books. Therefore clarity, simplicity, brightness and information must jump off the screen.  A simple and arresting graphic element and bold clear text for the title and the authors’ name must be easy to read on the tiny online image.
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A book that is brilliantly written, but lacks a good quality cover design will remain unnoticed and undiscovered.  It is absolutely crucial to have a book cover that grabs the attention of readers and book buyers and shows the heart and the soul of the book in one single image

Read more:

Lousy Book Covers
http://lousybookcovers.tumblr.com/

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“23 Creative Book Cover Designs and their Story” is a showcase of creative book cover designs, indicating the typefaces used for the title or text:
http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/inspiration/creative-book-cover-story
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Joel Friedlander wrote a great blog about brilliant book titles in one of his blogs:
http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2010/06/how-to-write-book-titles-for-people-robotsJoel
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“40 Extraordinary Photoshop Text Effects” shows detailed tutorials, how to create amazing book title effects, step by step and using lots of screen shots.
http://www.problogdesign.com/resources/40-extraordinary-photoshop-text-effects

Fonts for book titles:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typeface
http://www.dafont.com/themes.php
http://www.1001freefonts.com
http://www.identifont.com

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $159 for three months! Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars
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Tagged: book cover as marketing tool, book cover design, Book Layout, book shelves, Cover art, e-book cover, font for book cover, front cover, People read left to right, top to bottom, You never get a second chance, Your title and its appearance


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