Book Cover Designs That Sell (How-To Guide, Examples)

Did you know that one of the main reasons your book suffers from low sales is its cover?

Starting off with the right cover (or redesigning a bad one) is the quickest route to getting your books sold faster.

Here’s how to get your covers grabbing attention so you can make your books fly off of shelves (and the internet) faster.

How To Craft Book Cover Designs That Sell Your Books:

To create a book cover design that sells keep this in mind:

  1. Make it pop
  2. Make it attention-grabbing
  3. Don’t be too busy
  4. Match the genre
  5. Look professional
  6. Capture emotion
  7. Make it yours
  8. Make it easy to read
  9. Avoid spelling errors
  10. Add a review

We’ll go into each one in more detail now…

Make it pop

When browsing in a bookshop (or Amazon) we can’t help but notice the books that stand out and “POP” on a shelf, books that are different from the rest. 

When designing a book cover, you want something that is going to pop. 

The best way to do this is to use contrast. Contrasting colors, images, themes, or text, all draw immediate attention to your book. You want the main object to be highlighted as you want the reader’s attention to immediately go to the main image.

Make it attention-grabbing

Another crucial element to book covers that sell is having an attention-grabbing cover. This goes hand in hand with making the cover pop.

You want a cover that people are drawn to. Something that, when on a shelf, is different from all the other book covers and makes people want to pick it up to see what it is about because it has gotten their attention.

Don’t be too busy

Make sure your cover isn’t too busy and overwhelming.

You want your book cover to get the message across in a simple manner without the reader having to search for a title.

Overly busy covers give an impression of desperation. 

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Match the genre

Something to keep in mind when designing a book cover is to make sure it matches the genre or niche you’re writing for. 

You don’t want to confuse readers into thinking they are getting something they are not. 

For example, if you have a non-fiction book you should make it obvious that it is non-fiction by using photos of the person the book is about or a cover design that is very relevant to your subject.

The example above clearly shows it’s about interval training for athletes.

When it comes to the genre, you have to fit in, then stand out.

Look professional

You want your book cover to look professional and not look like it was put together last minute by someone with no experience. In the example above you can immediately tell a professional cover designer made this cover.

What are you saying with a less-than-professional cover?

You’re saying you’ve written a less-than-professional book. This may not be true, but it’s still what readers will think before buying.

Make sure you use a reputable cover art designer.

Capture emotion

Certain images evoke certain emotions from people.

In the example above the designer has used many elements to evoke emotion in the viewer.

The expression on the face which stares straight at you is somewhere between curious and afraid. Are the subtle droplets tears, or blood? We can’t quite tell. And the beauty of the painting itself conveys emotion all by itself as well.

Use images that elicit emotions from readers and potential buyers as this may entice them to buy the book.

Make it yours

Something very important to keep in mind when designing a book cover or coming up with book cover ideas is to make sure that the cover is unique to you and your style. 

You don’t want something that is exactly the same as every other book on the shelf. 

Make sure that your cover matches your style and personality.

It’s also a good idea to have a central theme in your cover designs if you have a series of books. That way it’s immediately obvious that the books form a series. You can use color, text, imagery, etc. to make this series unique and your own.

Make it easy to read

Make sure your cover is easy to read. Something so simple can make all the difference between being picked up or clicked on, and being ignored.

Remember, if your title and text aren’t instantly readable they aren’t going to pick up on your title, read your name, and aren’t going to read the catchy one-liner blurb you included that helps sell the book.

You want to make sure that the text is clear and bold and doesn’t blend into the background as this causes confusion and can ultimately make or break the sale of your book. 

Avoid spelling errors

This may seem obvious but again it’s important to make sure that all grammar and spelling is correct as this can put a buyer off the book as it makes them feel that the writing inside may also have errors.

You naturally want your entire book to not have spelling or grammar errors, but on your cover, it’s that much worse.

Add a review

Adding a shining review can be the extra social proof that nudges someone to give your book a chance.

Make sure the review is from someone or a company that is well known and has a good reputation.

Reviews that carry the most weight are from prominent personalities like other authors in the genre, relevant influencers in your niche, and anyone, or any brand, whose opinion is highly respected by your audience.

This suggests to readers that people have read and enjoyed the book and this can often pursuade them to buy your book.

There you have it, our how-to guide to get your book cover design to sell your books

May you now go forth and design a knockout cover for your next best-seller!

Beyond the book cover…

If you want an author website that makes your author brand shine and builds your online presence, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.

If you’re looking to learn more about book marketing, our next suggested read is to get some tips on how to write an engaging author bio to make sure you sell yourself as well as you sell your books.

We’d also suggest checking out our mega-post on author websites, with 67 examples, how-to guide, and general advice.

Want help with your author marketing? Get our FREE ebook and cheat sheet: 6 Steps To Getting More Readers.

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