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? Bad book cover design will confuse your target readers, making them think the book is not for them.

Or worse they won’t even notice your book at all.

Starting with the right cover (or redesigning a bad one) is the quickest route to improving your book sales. So, keep reading if you want to find out how to grab readers’ attention with good book cover design.

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

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 will 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 go to the main image immediately.

Make it attention-grabbing

Another crucial element to book cover designs that sell is having an element that makes readers stop in their tracks.

You want a cover that people are drawn to. Something that, when on a shelf, stands out from all the other book covers and urges people to pick it up to see what it is about.

Don’t be too busy

A book cover design with too many elements, hard-to-read font, and misplaced designs will be overwhelming for the reader.

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 off the impression that the content of your book is as messy as the cover. 

Match the genre

Something to keep in mind for book cover designs 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’re not. 

For example, if you have a non-fiction book about losing weight you can’t magic wands and twirly borders. You should make it obvious that it is non-fiction with a cover design that is very relevant to your subject.

In the example above, the stopwatch and person running all clearly point towards interval training for athletes.

When it comes to the genre, you have to fit in, and 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 there is a clear focus on the center strip on the cover.

Although it may seem a bit cluttered, it is well-designed making you want to enjoy each element of the book cover.

But 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 emotions from people.

In the example above the designer has used cleverly placed elements on top of the main focus of the cover to evoke emotion from the reader.

The expression on the face that stares straight at you is somewhere between curious and afraid. There are subtle droplets and what looks like little creatures crawling on her face. This adds dimension to the already stunning design.

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 the reader can’t understand your title and text immediately, they probably won’t pick up your book to find out what it’s about.

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 are correct as this can put a buyer off the book as it makes them feel that the writing inside may also have errors. You can use book writing software in the early stages to catch mistakes.

You naturally want your entire book not to 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 persuade them to buy your book.

Beyond the book cover…

Once you’ve published your beautifully designed book, it needs a home online. An author website is a great place to display your newly released books and all of your other works for readers and publishing professionals to find easily.

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

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

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