You have to love your cover. I don’t care how left-brained you are, work with your cover designer to absolutely love your cover. Sit down with a professional book cover designer and create your product. (Please, don't use just anyone who calls themselves a graphic artist but has no training in book cover design, and not your cousin's brother's best friend's wife who "has software on their computer") This is a critical stage of your product development stages. It’s the packaging.Go to the health products aisle of the grocery store to see how much color, typeface, placement of photos, etc. affect your image of the product. It’s the same thing in book packaging. Try different photos. Try different fonts. Ask bookie people in your book's audience if they find the cover appealing. Talk to the booksellers. They are often quite truthful (caution: Sometimes they are just employees that don’t really know anything about books – be sure you get someone who cares about books).
And be sure to stand in front of the section where your book would be shelved and compare your proposed cover to those already on the shelves.
Is yours appealing? Blah? Or does it pop? You want to pop.
We have done countless makeovers on books whose covers are embarrassing because the author’s photo is too large. Or the type font is hard to read. Or the spine type is too small. Some of these things can be fixed on a second print run, if you get that luxury.
TIP: Shrink down the cover on your computer screen. If the cover has a white background, you’ll have to put an edge on it for online catalogs like Amazon. Can you still read the title when the book cover is little? If you are in the newspaper, your book isn’t likely to be shown at 100%, so make sure you can read the title even if your book is an inch or so tall.
And remember, if you ask 10 different people for their opinion, you’ll get 10 different opinions. Learn how to weigh them to get the best results for yourself.
Lisa Pelto, President
Concierge Marketing and Publishing Services