written by Rachael Storey (guest writer)
“Don’t judge a book by its cover” is a popular English idiom and while the advice is positive and should be followed, the fact is people do judge books by their covers. There are certain colors, images, and fonts that attract more attention. You will also want to choose a font that is legible and easy to read from a short distance. I am guilty of looking at a book and if the cover is boring or the title is difficult to read, then I don’t even make the effort to pick it up and open it.
A Business to Community article by Brian Morris lists the top 10 most popular colors for marketing materials and the emotions they evoke. Surprise! Red is at the top of the list because it demands attention.
The type of font you use is also vital to the sale success of your novel. Your font should be easy to read, yet also reflect the theme of your book and be appropriate for the audience you are trying to capture. Blog writer Joel Friedlander offers a for instance, “if you’re writing about a topic considered masculine and aimed at a male audience, does it help you to have an overly-embellished or feminine typeface that’s barely readable on your book cover? No, I don’t think so either. Or for a historical romance, you wouldn’t want a modern clean sans serif typeface like Helvetica for your cover. It would simply look dangerously out of place.” Read the rest of his article for more thoughts and ideas on font typefaces for book covers.
Another thing to keep in mind is that it is in your best interest to use a professional designer to put together your cover. Do what you do best and write. Unless you are a professional designer you should designate the design of your cover to someone who is. A seasoned graphic designer will know which layout, colors, images and fonts will be the most effective for your book. Have the designer create several different options and then you should reveal those samples to your reading audience and conduct a poll to see which ones are favored. Joanna Penn released a list of graphic designers that she would recommend on her blog, The Creative Penn. You can read through that list here.
Your cover is the first thing people will see, design it carefully and people will be more likely to look at your book and say, “I want to read that, it looks interesting.”