Your Questions About Book Cover Art

Susan asks…

How important is the cover art to get you to read a book?

I was wondering if anyone has published a book and had a lot of success based on the cover of their book? I think my cover art for my book is pretty nice, but can it really get someone to buy it simply because of the look?

Also, do any of you actually read the synopsis before buying? Does it sway you at all? Or is it just the pretty colors? ‘)

Marketing Snark answers:

Cover art has to be not only visually pleasing but also appropriate to the content of the book. The old saying might go, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” however, people do. The publishing industry knows this and designs covers accordingly. The cover of a thriller, for example, looks nothing like the cover of a sweet teen romance.

There are people who are more visual than others and who will buy a book solely because it has a pleasing and beautiful cover. The main reason for appropriate cover design, though, is to attract the *right* people to the your book.

For example, if your tough detective thriller looks like a sweet teen romance, no fan of hard-nose detective fiction will ever pick it up. And if a teen girl does pick it up, she will put it right back down again as soon as she realizes what it is.

Also, poorly done art reflects badly on the book. There is a subliminal sense that if the art is amateurish, the writing will be, too. Unfair, I know, to beginning writers with small, low-budget publishers—but it is still true.

The synopsis is also very important. I, personally, always read the synopsis before actually purchasing a book. It has to be intriguing, pull the reader in, yet not give away too much of the plot, to keep the reader interested enough to buy the book to find out what happens.

Another important aspect is the opening sentence or paragraph in your book. Many people open the book and read the first few pages to see if it engages them. If it does, they will probably buy it. If not, they walk away. So having a good opening sentence to hook the reader is a MUST, too.

Personally this is the order in which I consider a book to buy: Genre (I love fantasy, so I’m not going to read a genre that I am not interested in), Synopsis, Hook (first sentence), and then cover art.

Could I ask what type of book you are looking to publish? What genre?

Good luck! =D

ETA: I looked at your site. It’s a great cover, and the synopsis is pretty intriguing. Good luck with this.

Betty asks…

how do you find out who the illustrators of book cover art is?


Marketing Snark answers:

The illustrator is often named in the fine print in the beginning pages of a book, or in the back pages.

Sharon asks…

can I use clip art for a book cover?

I don’t like the covers my publisher offers, can I use clip art from word to use as a cover design for my book?

Marketing Snark answers:

That might beg the question of whether or not you’ll have to pay Microsoft to use their clipart. If you’re not going to profit off of it, then Microsoft probably isn’t going to care how you use it. But you’re looking at having your book published so they might see the use of their clipart in a book your having published as profiting off their work. At which point they’ll probably want you to start paying for the artwork even though you got it for free when you either purchased the computer or the Word software.

The other issue is that the clip art is probably not of high enough resolution for book publishing. Are you self-publishing, paying to publish your book? If so, you really should hire a graphic designer to design your book cover. The additional sales should more than justify the investment.

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