Cover Design Choices
Hey everyone! Hope your new year is still treating you well! Wanted to get on here and talk a little about book cover design. You would think you would want to be as unique as possible, right? Maybe stand out a little amongst the competition? Well, this is not always the case, and maybe not at all when it comes to new authors trying to get themselves out there.
Here's my cover for my first book, for example:
I dig it, as I am sure you might as well - at least I hope so, haha. But it is not really about what we as authors are looking for, it is about the reader. To tell you the truth, I may go ahead and rerelease my books down the road with this cover, and two similar covers, for the first three books in my saga, but for now, I have learned a lesson with the release of my first book, and I will be revamping and rereleasing it soon with a new look. This is a good thing, I can assure you. Allow me to explain.
Truthfully, I actually did a bunch of research before releasing my first book, so that I could go with a marketable design (this article is by far my favorite on the subject: Why You Should Be Using Cliches In Your Book Cover Design by Derek Murphy). And I appreciate what is being said about the matter, I really do. I even intended to go with a design that mimicked others, I really did! But, alas, in the end, my super hard head and a rather large ego convinced me otherwise. And so, you get the above design.
Sure, my design is clean, intriguing, and I would hope you all agree that it looks professionally done. But that is simply not enough in terms of marketing to a specific crowd; in my case, the fantasy genre crowd.
If you clicked on the above article by Derek Murphy, you will see that most readers appreciate certain aspects of their genre to be represented on the cover. Adhering to such banality will actually, in the end, make your potential reader feel more comfortable about buying your book. And if your potential audience feels comfortable, and feels you are "adhering to their genre" on the cover, they will likely assume that you will adhere to other aspects that should be given their proper respect within the genre. Basically, they will assume you can write fantasy if you can represent it. And so, they may just click the "BUY" button on your Amazon, Bookbub, or whatever listing you have going on!
So, taking a look at my cover again:
Not too bad, right. But does it scream fantasy? That is the ultimate question.
Do I have a fantasy character on the cover? Whether that be a magical character, an otherworldly character, or a character that looks like they can kick some butt in a fantasy world? No, I do not.
I do have an enchanted item on the cover, this works. But how well does it work? Does anyone know that it is enchanted? Does the title lend to this fact? Not so much.
Probably questions I should have asked myself before releasing, right? Well, yeah, if you recall, I did; hard head, remember.
Either way, I have learned a lesson that I kind of already knew, and now demonstrated it in such a way that will hopefully help you out, if you are reading this and are an author trying to get out there with your first book.
On that note, and circling around to the beginning of this post, I will most certainly be releasing this current version of my first three books in the Gate Key Chronicles saga, maybe just after I have a following and the fans might appreciate some artistic collectors set? I think that is historically how it is done. I mean, look at the latest Harry Potter book covers, or some of the many Lord of the Rings releases throughout the years, and their more ambiguous covers. But these series have a fan base now, and their fans might appreciate a collectors edition release. So, down the road stuff, huh. In the meantime...
I have been toying with some ideas for a saga title/logo; something that can be with every book, so you know immediately within a search that you have found one of the Gate Key Chronicles saga books!. I would love your feedback if you could comment, tell me which number you like best:
Be brutally honest, I mean it. Leave a comment and let me know what you think, or if you have any suggestions! I am totally open to what my fans and friends think, and would love to throw you a thank you in my book ;)
And I hope you found this article helpful if you are an aspiring author. Until next time...