You only have one chance to make a first impression is a worthy caveat in book cover design. If a cover has a haphazard appearance, it affects the impression readers have about the story inside. An inferior cover jeopardizes sales and future success. The end consumers, both faithful and new readers, expect professional looking covers and they do judge a book by its cover.
I’ve been judging covers via the cover contest since 2002 and one of my pet peeves is the placement of titles, authors’ names, and those pesky marketing blurbs. This year Jessi, one of our new committee members, sent me a link to a blog post by Courtney Milan on typography. Courtney has excellent tips on how to create quality book cover typography.
Here are a few recent 2014 “don’t” covers that I’ve discovered on Amazon.
And a few book covers that caught my attention because of their balanced typography. The ability to read the title and/or author’s name via the thumbprint is a big plus, especially for readers who purchase their books via the internet. A balanced layout between the illustration, the title, author’s name or marketing blurbs is another winning strategy.
Update 9/29/14 9:35 pm : Amy Raby’s website lists Ravven as the cover designer for her self published release, The Fire Seer. Ravven has a helpful link page on her site with some great tips and advice on cover creation. I also corrected my typo…I had typed “topography” instead of “typography” in my original post. Sigh…success is in the details for cover designers and bloggers.
OK, I have to admit that the handsome rancher on the Harlequin cover captured my attention before the typography but it was the second thing I noticed.
How do you feel about haphazard cover layouts? If a cover is cluttered and unprofessional looking, will you pass up purchasing the book, unless it’s a favorite author? I hate to admit it, but yes, I skip over covers that miss the mark unless I know and love the author.