|A simple yet effective book cover|
I've spent some time looking for stock photos and today I found one that I love. At first I was going to use a photo that I took in India but none of the shots represented what I wanted to convey. A stock photo is a small price to pay to make a book look polished. I'm convinced that the cover art for Knitting by Faith has helped it sell so well. Of course the inside had to be good too but in order to get people to look on the inside, the outside must beckon them in.
Think of your cover art as a store window display. The window should display a sampling of what a shopper can expect to see inside. It doesn't have to show all of it, just a teaser. The display should also be eye catching and clean so that a passerby will want to come in. It's really worth the extra effort to make the cover look good.
This is especially important for ebook authors. A thumbnail picture of your book cover may be all a potential reader may see. Scale down your cover art to the size of a thumbnail image and see what it looks like. Is it clear what the book is about? Does it create an odd image you didn't intend to make? Is the title or subject clearly shown?
Most ebook readers won't see the full size cover art more than a handful of times. When they open a book on their ereader, most of the time the book opens to the first chapter. They have to deliberately look for the cover art. And if they are reading on an eink screen, it'll be in black and white. So although the full size cover is important the thumbnail can be more important in the long run.
The best thing to do to start is look at other top selling books in your genre and get ideas. From there, play around with name and title placement, color and other things. Don't forget to check the size guidelines on your cover too. When in doubt, get the opinion of others or hire someone to do it for you.
Book cover work is also a great way to spend an afternoon if you don't feel like editing. Just sayin'.