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Book Covers for Self Published authors

Posted by in Self Publishing on May 4, 2011

You have written your book and now you need to design a cover. How important is the cover today? Where do you start?

Before web based online book stores, book covers were key to attracting buyers.  Display space was purchased in shops by publishers to promote their books which had to compete alongside other books, so eye catching was essential. Sometimes this was done using powerful or striking images and colours and sometimes by a ‘brand’ – think Penguin Books for example.

Today with more and more books purchased over the Internet, the cover is perhaps less important, with sales coming from the ‘social scene’ as a result of reviews and recommendations. The music industry has set the example here. I am old enough to remember (and still own!) many great Vinyl records where album cover art was an integral part of the whole record buying experience. Today you might be lucky to get a tiny image with your MP3 download which you probably never look at.

However I think there is still a need for a good cover, even with eBooks, to help set your own book apart from the growing choice of titles. I found this ‘retired’ blog ‘The Book Design Review’ – which lists the writers Favourite Book Covers from 2005 to 2009 a useful resource for ideas to start from.

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  • Now isn’t this odd? I don’t like any of those covers on that blog link at all. But, that was a side show really, the main point of the mod’s blog post here, I agree with entirely; the cover needs to be as good as it can be made. For self publishers’ on a tight budget, then it is quite easy to do a good, tidy basic cover for nowt on any one ore more of the powerful yet free image programmes, such as Irfanview or Photofiltre, Gimp etc. Better again, get a pro to do it, but being realistic, that is hard for struggling writers / self publishers.