Judge An Ebook By Its Cover...Wait, What?

  • Dec 12th, 2014
  • by Patrick

We're Saying It--Go Ahead, Judge Ebooks By Their Covers


The saying, "Never judge a book by its cover," is old and fanciful, but it is certainly not applicable from a practical standpoint anymore.  Let's just consider the plethora of ebooks that exist on Amazon alone at this point.  Over 500,000!  Or, let's consider what have become microcosms for how people consume these days.  The front page of most news websites have 25+ links to stories on them.  Facebook is an endless stream of short consumption videos and posts.  Social apps like Tinder literally rely only on pictures.  You may not like it (we may not like it), but it's largely about snap judgments based upon visual asthetics.  


In that environment, are you really going to skimp on your ebook cover?


All That Work, And You're Skimping On Your Cover?


You've just taken months if not years of your life to get a story down, to edit it exhaustively, to have an editor review it, to get beta readers to review it, to perform more edits, and finally to try to get it published or publish it yourself.  And, it doesn't stop there, by any means.  You have to market now, develop a presence on social media, and build your brand.  Are you really (really, really) going to skimp on the ebook's cover?  


We certainly don't mean to be insensitive to people that may not have the means to pay $300-$500 to have a top notch cover done, but consider these options.  (1) Start putting $10 per paycheck away for your ebook cover as soon as you start writing.  In twelve months, you'd have $240 saved, which is half if not most of what you would need.  (2) Start a Kickstarter fundraising campaign.  Your friends and family would be glad to donate $5 each to the campaign, and get something fun in return.  (If you really need help with a fundraising campaign for an ebook cover, contact us and we will try to help by posting your campaign to social media).


Make Your Cover Stand Out


Your cover is the ONLY visual representation of the quality of your story that a reader will have.  Based upon how webpages are laid out on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo, the book cover is also the first thing your potential readers will see.  Put it this way, if you were trying to secure a date or a relationship on a website like Match.com, would you put a bad profile picture up?  


Make Sure Your Cover Artist Enjoys Your Genre


If you're a professional contemporary romance author, could you write a horror novel if someone paid you to do it?  Probably.  But, do you think you'd really use your skills and passion to create the best horror novel possible?  Probably not.  Even if you wanted to, it's outside of the scope of your interests and knowledge.


Same thing with a cover artist.  Some have done hundreds of thriller or action and adventure covers.  They know what details work.  They know what fonts stand out to readers of that genre.  Most importantly, they love working in that particular genre.  That love translates to a stand out cover for you.  So, make sure to ask a potential cover artist if they have experience working in your genre, and if it's something they really enjoy doing!


Wrapping It Up


The entire reason we started eBookHounds was because we want authors to succeed.  And, not just a select group of authors--the widest swath of authors possible.  To compete with any other author toe-to-toe for sales, however, means getting the best ebook cover possible.  Good luck!

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