Judging Book Covers

“Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

Well, can we be honest with ourselves for a minute? That’s exactly what we do, especially in the publishing world. Your book cover is your defining feature. It’s the reason someone shopping at Barnes & Nobles stops to pick it up from the shelf and read the back cover to see what your story’s about.

Your book cover needs to look clean, professional, and enticing. Otherwise, it’s going to take a lot of marketing to get it out there and even then, that’s not a guarantee it’ll make an impression. There have been some magnificently written works that fell short all because those words were hidden behind bad photoshop.

Now, let me tell you. I also fell prey to this when I decided that making or paying for a professional book cover was out of my reach. So, when my debut novel, Witch Trials: Secrets of Loudun, came out in 2016 on Amazon I tried the cheap route. I had a friend help me create the book cover that was completely and utterly awful. But hey, I was a broke college kid so what did everyone expect?

Bitch Witch Trials circa 2016

And this was the result. Go ahead and take it all in. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and ask myself what was going on in my head back in 2016 when I released Bitch Witch Trials. It’s covers like these that people walk right past even though I thought my story was pretty decent. Recently, I decided to update the cover.

And now it looks like this. Look at that font, the colors, the contrast. Now that looks like a professional book and I’d be proud to have this on any shelf in Barnes & Nobles. At least I wouldn’t feel the need to duck my head in shame.

Witch Trials circa 2021

I’m not saying that everyone feels the same about their self-made book covers like I did. But according to the numbers of those best-selling authors, they’re not putting out anything that’s not professionally done. Take a look at what their covers look like and decide for yourself if you want to try it on your own or maybe get a second opinion.

There are some affordable companies out there that do a really good job like the one I work with called GetCovers. They’ve done all my book covers, including another book I created in 2016 that just got a facelift. Kingdom of Angels is set to relaunch by the end of this year so be on the lookout when the time comes!

Kingdom of Angels circa 2016
Kingdom of Angels circa 2021

Published by Lauren Eason

Author of Dark Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. Podcaster. Book Reviewer. Catmom.

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