How Important Is Your Cover?

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"Don't judge a book by its cover."

This old adage goes back who knows how long. Yeah, I get it, a book might have a boring cover but the story within is what counts. Well the days for this saying have long since passed. When someone says this to me I reply:

"Make sure your book doesn't have a shitty cover."

I'll have to agree with Konrath on this point as having a great, eye-catching cover is second only to writing a fantastic, well-edited book. Your cover is what draws a reader in, especially in this day and age of the digital revolution. If your cover says DULL across the front, what exactly are your potential readers going to think about the content? You might have the next great American novel written on the inside, but no one's going to know because they won't be pulled in long enough to find out.

Not to toot my own horn (but what the hell, this is my blog, right?) but I'm very proud of my covers and here's a few examples of them:

Now just to point out a few features that I think are critical in a great cover.

  • The cover must convey your content. You have to have a cover that speaks to your audience. Don't have two lovers embracing in a field if your book is a science fiction. 
  • The colors and arrangement must be eye-catching but also eye-pleasing. Which brings me to my next point.
  • Hire a professional. I hear some indie authors say they design their own covers but typically they don't have to tell anyone, it's apparent. If you're not a whiz at design, don't attempt it. Hire it out, it's definitely worth the money. My cover artist is the very talented Kealan Patrick Burke. You can contact him about his services here.
So that's about it folks, don't chintz on your cover. You wouldn't sacrifice anything on the inside of the book, why would you do so on the outside?