How to set up and optimize your book cover
A book cover can be an effective marketing strategy to help you sell your books. If you take the time to learn how to set up your book covers and optimize your titles by using strong keywords, you could watch the potential onlookers become committed buyers of your books.
"If you can connect with a room full of people, then you can also connect with an audience of one."
~Heather W. Ellis Strategies To Help You Reach Your Target Audience As A Writer
In this article, I'll share with you what I have learned about what to put on a book cover, things to consider when setting it up, and how to optimize your book cover for potentially increased sales.
Okay, so you're probably wondering, how do you set up an attractive book cover that'll magnetize your customers to buy it?
Most likely, the very first thing your prospective reader sees are the images on your book cover. According to research, about 65 percent of Americans are visual learners. As visual people, they depend on their sight and imagination to make sense of the world.
So, you want to grab your prospective reader's attention and usher them into your story through an uncluttered beautiful scenery with a fantastic human element in the foreground.
Think of it like this. You want your book cover to create a promise to your readers imagining themselves inside the scene of your book cover so they can see themselves inside your story.
Imagine your prospective reader is greeted warmly by the humanizing element on your cover, wondering if the book promises to be a good read and is worth buying.
You start to draw her into the scene of the potential story she's considering. As she pours over the scene running her fingers across the title, she's trying to figure out what emotions to feel.
She steps inside for a moment, the possibility of reading your story. If she doesn't connect with a good feeling, she will drop the book and move on.
But, you don't want to lose her!
So, by taking the time to catch her eye with your beautiful glossy book cover, you keep your promise to her.
The image of your book cover can be a photo or some graphics. As you choose your graphics, you want to keep in mind not to overwhelm your reader with a cover design appearing cluttered.
Having an object or a person as the central focus of the cover is all that you need. The visuals you choose for her can elicit a feeling of romance, adventure, horror, comical, etc.
As you ponder on the images, ask yourself, "What is it that I want her to feel, and did I execute
that to the best of my ability?"
You want your book to look like the ones she likes to read. You don't necessarily want to stick out like a sore thumb. What colors is she used to seeing in her genre? What sort of emotions do you evoke in your cover design?
Color psychology is the study of how our brains perceive what it visualizes. It aims to determine how color affects our daily decision in the purchases we make as consumers. You can study color meanings to help you better attract and connect with your ideal reader.
Color persuades our visual world and becomes part of our intuitive decision making to pick out a book and go deeper beyond the front cover, which is the entry point of bringing your readers into experiencing your story and wanting to buy it.
You also want to consider the contrast of darks and lights as you blend colors with your central theme, whether it being your protagonist or an object.
Where to find images?
There are other sites you can find fantastic photographs and graphics to help you design your book cover too.
Crafting Your Title
Back to impress your reader. Beyond the shadow of a doubt, is your book fitting in with the genre of her desire?
How do you do that? By crafting an appropriate title with the appropriate fonts for that genre.
When you do this, try to keep your title five words or less, especially in fiction writing. Any longer, you could end up hurting your chances of increased sales.
A title for a nonfiction book may be longer than five words. It's okay. Don't get hung up on the number of words. These are just guidelines to help you craft your perfect title.
According to a study by Microsoft, the average human being now has an attention span of 8 seconds. Hmm? That's not a lot of time to hook your reader to show them what you got. So, pick your words wisely.
You could add a subtitle after your title, but again, keep it short and straightforward.
The placement of your name
Next, the placement of your name. As to where to put it and how large should the font be? And do you put it in big, bold text that supersedes your titles, or should it be smaller? These are the right questions to ask.
Based on what I have learned, unless you are like a mega super successful author, like James Pattern, it's a good idea to have your name in a smaller font than your book title. Your book title will be a better selling point for her, especially since she doesn't know you yet.
And finally, how do you optimize your book cover for increased sales?
One way to do this is by using keywords. Skip being cutesy with your title. Instead, do a keyword search within your genre on the theme of your book.
There are numerous ways to find keywords for your title. I'll share a few with you now.
What is a keyword anyway?
The definition of a keyword is a word to classify or organize digital content or facilitate an online search for information.
One way I optimize my book cover title is by finding keywords on Ubersuggest. I want to use the most optimized words I can see in my genre so that google can point readers to my books and my website.
I also use a search database called Answer the Public. It's a great place to find questions people are asking.
Another way I search for keywords is by using Amazon. Now think of Amazon as a search engine like Google, Bing, or Yahoo- not a bookstore.
So, where do you find these keywords so people can find your book?
According to the Amazon search engine, the categories and search terms help readers find your books more easily.
By browsing through this in your genre, you can pick up some valuable keywords to help you optimize your book title.
Your potential readers will pursue a search through what's called a "browse path." It could look something like this:
Browse> Literature and fiction> Women's fiction> Single women's literature.
Amazon allows up to 5 categories of different search terms that can help your book appear more often in your reader's searches. Take a look at the drop-down menu and notice what words people are typing in for their search. It can be a very lucrative optimizing tool for you as you choose your title for your book cover.
If you want to get a deeper grasp on the subject, I highly recommend you check out Nick Stephenson and take a listen to his program.
I guarantee you'll learn a lot!
Brave new writers, let's listen to the masters and hone our craft of writing to be a successful business.
For Further Reading, check out the following articles:
If you want to read deeper on this topic, take a look at my book: