Why Your Book Cover Matters for Self Published Authors

In addition to crafting a well thought-out story, a great book cover photo will truly prove to be your Achilles heel when it comes to making a best-seller book! Ever heard that saying, “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”? It’s a complete non-sense! People are judgemental creatures whether or not we would like to admit it, and often times readers make decisions simply after looking at the cover art. What this means for you, as the author, is that you have to make sure your cover photo is able to communicate the main message of your book in their minds within a few split seconds. Investing in author photography is highly beneficial if you want to create beautiful attention-grabbing book covers.

Firstly, spend some time brainstorming all the different themes that the content of your book entails so you gain clarity on the overall message. If you do this for a couple of days, you should be able to summarize the meaning behind your book in one simple sentence (that’s how you know you’re on the right track). The best book covers have a message that is easy to understand at first-glance.

Experimenting with different cover art concepts is a great idea. You will most likely require the help of a professional photographer and graphic design artist who can further develop your creative vision in an eloquent manner so that it becomes ready to be used as cover art. There are many tools that photographers can use to help bring your vision to life and some of them include: the setting of the image, lighting and your body language. For example: If you’re trying to sell a book about business your photographer might instruct you to demonstrate a power-pose that makes you come across as a professional, trustworthy leader. On the other hand, if you’re a comedian your photographer might ask you to make a funny face instead.

Finally, before attending your headshot or portrait session, make sure you are clear about the demographics of your audience. The better you are able to understand the psychology of your ideal consumers, the more likely they will be to purchase your book. Your cover must appeal to your consumers’ desires and match their predefined interests. Let’s say for instance, you’re trying to sell a book on city life in America: The setting of your cover photo could potentially be situated in New York City because people who live in the state of New York (including areas such as Time Square, Queens, The Bronx, Manhattan etc.) might be interested in reading about your perspective on city culture. You might also need to consult a graphic designer so you can add extra graphics as well as text (which could follow a particular color-scheme, but this is optional) to your cover. At Hazel Studio we offer on-location shoots too, so if this pertains to your liking, feel free to contact us for more specific estimate!

Unfortunately, there is no way to guarantee that people will always like your book cover, but hiring professional photographers is definitely a good choice. A good starting point would be to first plan out what type of cover you need. If your book is a self-help book, a headshot or personal portrait is highly recommended, however for novels you might want to consider more out-of-the-box portrait concepts that represent locations or objects with symbolical meaning (black and white covers often give off a classic feel to the book). For the sole purposes of this article, we decided to compile some examples of pathetic book covers that we came across:
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Although the concept behind this cover was brilliant, what makes this a poor example is the fact that the face of the people on the boat is not visible enough.
good book covers, author photography, product photography, book cover photography, book design, book covers for sale, commercial photography, custom book covers, design your own book cover, best book covers
The dramatic lighting definitely looks cool, but other than that, there’s absolutely no information in this picture whatsoever that tells us what his book is about. Maybe his book is about watching Netflix?
good book covers, author photography, product photography, book cover photography, book design, book covers for sale, commercial photography, custom book covers, design your own book cover, best book covers
This Albert Einstein replica is the worst example on this list (according to our opinion), because his cover photo honestly looks like a selfie! Would you buy his book if you saw this cover?
The bottom line is know what you want to say to what audience, and make sure you communicate it properly and ask yourself these two important questions. What am I trying to say with my picture? and who am I trying to say it to?
We are located in Mississauga ON, and we can help you design your own book cover with images that market your way onto the best seller list without spending a fortune or time to do it. If you have any further questions about professional headshot or portrait photography, feel free to contact us at: 647-787-6761 or email us at info@hazelstudio.ca.
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