Book Covers — Who Cares About Them?

Readers do.  That’s who cares about book covers.  While the cover doesn’t make the book, a captivating design on a book’s cover helps sell the book.  What a cover says to the potential reader is especially important in a printed version, perhaps not quite so crucial in an ebook, but more about this in a minute.

Picture yourself walking into Barnes and Noble.  As you wander down the aisles past the new best sellers and the latest paperback releases, what catches your eye?  Is it a color?  A photo image?  An unusual title?  Something that indicates your favorite genre?  Or your favorite author’s name?  When you stop and pick up a book, it will definitely be for one of these reasons.   Now picture yourself scrolling through possible titles online, trying to decide what you might like to read—the same reasons will influence which book(s) you select.  A book cover that is non-descript is less likely to be your choice.  Yet, passing it by may be a lost opportunity to read the best novel you’ve read in years!

If you’re an author, you’d be wise to keep this in mind.  In today’s world of indie publishing, many authors have learned to create their own interior files; and many are also designing their own book covers.  I say beware.  The interior format is not too difficult, using a template; I learned by following the steps CreateSpace used to format my first two novels.  But just because you can format your file, unless you’re a graphic artist or designer, you probably don’t have the skills to create a book cover that will call out to readers. Of course there are ways to get help; many websites are vying for your business—all of them oh-so-eager to be of assistance, so be careful.  I recommend CreateSpace or one of the other biggies, or shop around for a more personal approach.  Another cautionary note—a book cover that looks terrific on the front of a printed book may be sadly lacking when uploaded as a thumbnail version on your Amazon or KDP sales page.  Best to make sure the title and image will remain attractive when reduced in size.

For Turn on No-Bridge Road I used the services of a graphic artist I learned about through the CreateSpace community help page.  He was kind enough to spend time helping me (at no charge) find a template for my interior file that would work on Mac’s Pages program.  When I learned he offered cover design, among other services, I decided to take a chance.  The cover image you see in the sidebar is his creation.  His name is R. C. Butler and you can find him at Bulldog Press <info@bulldogpress.ca> or online at www. bulldog press.ca.  The full cover, front and back, is a combination of a painting done by my son, Michael Semsch, and this stock photo image.  It’s a perfect cover for my newest title, Turn on No-Bridge Road, a book cover I can be proud of and that will, hopefully, help with sales of both printed and ebook versions.  For the full image of the book cover click on My Books in menu choices across top of this page; use drop-down to choose Turn on No-Bridge Road.  You can also read the revised book synopsis there.

You know the old adage: You can’t tell a book by its cover.  Well, maybe not, but a book cover can certainly influence whether or not someone will buy and read that book.

Watch for Turn on No-Bridge Road to become available soon.  I hope you’ll read it!