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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Judging a Book by it's Cover with @TabithaBlake of Safari Heat Book Tours #RB4U #Romance

We have all heard don’t judge a book by its cover and it’s a quaint notion but not very realistic. Your cover is the first impression of your story. And we all know we don’t get a second chance for a first impression. So no matter how great your book is if the cover is bad then readers assume the writing probably will be too. Not really fair I know…but most things in life aren’t. So let's talk about what can be done to avoid this and make readers buy your book faster than they can blink an eye. Remember this…a cover is the window to the soul of your book.

Your cover should flow seamlessly and provoke some kind of emotion from the reader. Maybe it’s the sexy couple on the cover that elicits a reaction…or the very odd or unique design that catches their eye. Whether the cover warms their hearts or makes them sweat with one glance, doesn’t really matter but make sure something jumps off that cover that makes readers take notice. You need to make the reader want to know more…they should feel the need to read your blurb. That is the hook or at least the first one. The second is a good blurb but that is a blog for another time. It’s just worth mentioning.

A cover needs to convey the feel and theme of your book.  If you write sweet romances then light colors and a romantic fade over the cover will portray this mood. In just a glance the reader gets the basic idea of the story. The feel good and lighthearted mood resonates with the reader. If you write on the darker side I suggest darker colors and racier couples show this isn’t going to be a sweet fairytale. Darker colors and sexy couples give the book a sexier, more erotic feel to titillate the reader.

One thing that is very important is to never confuse the reader. If you have a sweet cover it better be a sweet story or vise-versa. This will come back to haunt you…usually in a review that says they were confused by what the cover portrayed and what the story was actually about. Yes I know there are blurbs and in a perfect world readers would stop and read them but this isn’t always the case. Most shop visually. So an eye-catching cover is key to getting their attention. The way I see it, as a cover artist, is I hook them for you and you keep them hooked with an amazing story.

A visually stunning cover will have your books flying off the shelve. What makes a stunning cover? Well like any art form the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But there are a few things to keep in mind when designing a cover. These are basic ideas that have come from readers I polled. It was quite interesting to find out what they like. After all isn’t that what we are always wondering? Please the reader and sell more books. Let's take a look and see.

The first thing readers said was that a cover is very important in their purchasing decisions.

What readers liked:
Easy to Read Fonts
Bold Colors
Characters that Fits Author’s Description
Clean and Simple Design

What they didn’t like:
Fancy, Hard to Read Fonts
Light Colors that Fade in Thumbnail
Hard to See Pics in Thumbnail
Characters on the Cover Don’t Match the Author’s Description

Now please don’t panic and think you need to run out and change your cover. If it is selling then the cover is working for your. Remember even readers break their own rules when a cover is well done. Now if you are having trouble with sales I recommend asking others for an honest opinion on your cover. If it gets good reviews I would leave it just as it is. Now if it gets negative reactions or unsure reactions then I would rethink the cover.

The cover is the lifeblood of your book. A cover can make or break a book. Be sure and get the best and most accurate cover you can for your story. Not every cover is created equally. And something else to think about…you don’t need to spend a fortune to get an amazing cover.

I will mention one thing to watch out for…premade covers that are sold multiple times. I make premades but once they sell then they are taken down and not sold again. It is already bad enough that there is no guarantee that another author won’t have the same stock photo on their cover. But at least guarantee someone won’t have the same exact design. Too many authors buy covers that will be sold thousands of times. Don’t fall into this trap. It will get you looked over. And that is never a good thing.

Remember when working with a cover artist they can’t read your mind. Be very descriptive on what you want and don’t want. You can never give too much info in my opinion. Be sure your cover artist is listening to what you want. But also listen to your cover artist. We generally know what is selling and what isn’t going to work. And don’t be afraid to go a different direction than you first thought. Be open-minded and let your designer use their creativity to make your cover shine. It is a give and take relationship with your cover artist. I respect all my authors and listen to their thoughts and ideas. No one knows your story better than you. But hire a great cover artist and watch as they make your thoughts and dreams come to life before your very eyes.

Don’t forget to let your cover artist know up front about any deadline. They get very busy and have clients ahead of you. So make sure they can meet your timeframe. This will take a lot of stress off of you and your cover artist. They know what is expected and you know they will have the cover to you on time. And I recommend you don’t ask for the cover the day you publish it. Things happen and sometimes things just don’t go the way we want them to. So I would have to cover at least a week before your release if at all possible. This just gives you a safety net.

Finally you need to love the final product. Not like it or it’s okay. That shouldn’t be satisfactory with you or your cover artist. You should feel like you can’t share it with others fast enough. You know that feeling you got when you found the right wedding gown or had your first child? It should feel similar. Some would say like the first child? Yes this is your baby. You created it and edited it and put blood, sweat and tears into it…so yeah its very similar. Now it is time to release it into the world and hope everyone loves it as much as you do.

Hope this helped with some of the cover dilemmas we all face as authors. I am open to questions on anything cover related. Even if I didn’t cover the topic here.

Don’t forget to check out my cover sale going on right now. Scroll down for more info and a link to my site.

A huge thanks goes out to Marianne for having me. It was a lot of fun ladies. Always is. Hope to do it again soon.

Website: Safari Heat Book Tours and Author Services

Bio: Carey Abbott/Cover Artist/Owner of Safari Heat
Carey Abbott is a freelance graphic designer, paranormal erotic suspense writer, blogger and mother. She embraces every aspect of the writing world. Whether reading, writing, blogging or making covers she strives to be the best she can be.

Carey has had a cover in lights in Time Square.  A screenplay cover that will be a movies soon. Been nominated for a Rone Award for one of her covers. Plus many of her authors have gone on the make the bestsellers list.

She owns and runs Safari Heat Book Tours and Author Services. Find out more about Safari or Carey Abbott at her website or through her social media accounts. She loves to hear from authors and readers.

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Melissa Keir said...

I've purchased some of your covers and loved them! Thanks for the advice!

Cara Marsi said...

Thanks for the advice. Something I'll definitely keep in mind.

Carey Abbott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vicki Batman, sassy writer of sexy and funny fiction, blogger at Handbags, Books...Whatever said...

Thank you so much for the information, especially what confuses readers. I write romantic comedy and have cartoon style covers. Some like; some don't. But I think it conveys my work and me best.

Carey Abbott said...

Thanks Cara. I'm glad my advice was helpful. I think we should all be helping each other in any way we can.

Carey Abbott said...

Thanks Vikki. It is important that your cover fit your work. It doesn't matter what that is. As long as it works that is what really matters. I've seen your cover and I agree. I was very interested to hear from readers. They are our lifeblood.

Carey Abbott said...

Thanks Melissa. I have really enjoyed working with you. It been a pleasure. I'm so glad you love your covers.

Marianne Stephens said...

Lots of great information. I agree with what readers want/don't want on too!

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