Bookcoverzone Blog - Covers Makes Books

Book Cover Zone is growing!

We've just reached the 1000 milestone in our catalogue! That means 1000 readily usable, professional and passionate book cover designs that are ready to embrace your novel, poetry book or scientific work.

undefined

Yes, we are aware that some other similar services offer a larger selection but if you browse through our catalogue and do a simple comparison you will see that we value quality more than quantity. We try to cover (ie include) as many ideas and design approaches as possible; however each of our covers must reflect our basic principles of design. That is why we prefer a more cautious and careful approach when expanding our catalogue. We also carefully evaluate each of the design or our site and constantly keep working on them and update them accordingly, to reach a level of perfection unparalleled in other sites.

On the technical side, we still have a lot more to do. Our book cover creation engine is a work-in-progress so we offer free, unlimited revision services for all our clients for the time being. This means that as soon as you purchase a premade cover one of our designers are also at your service, doing everything he or she can to obtain the perfect typographical layout on your book. But remember, this is just a temporary service; as soon as our book cover creation engine starts working in full, our manual services will be paid.

We are also striving to reach a web site that is more practical and easy to use. You do not have to be a geek or a designer to find and use the right cover. 

Until then, keep following us on this section of our blog for new or improved updates on our service. 

How to choose the right cover for your book?

 

Books with good graphics, eye-catching font and good quality covers sell more copies than those without. It's as simple as that. But designing (and choosing) the right cover for your book might be trickier than you think. It's not just about what YOU think reflects the content of your book - in fact, whether the covers reflects the content, might not be as important as you think.

 

undefined

The book cover is only package, nothing more, nothing less. And every package tries its best to stand out from other packages. If your book is set around a beautiful lake and there's an old man, this does not mean that you should put a lake and an old man on your cover. There will be thousands of covers like this. Forget your creative writing skills for a second and instead focus on creative marketing. What would make this story stand out visually? In what way would it differentiate itself from the other millions of covers on the market? What would your target market expect to see? If it's a romance novel you're writing, the cover SHOULD be romantic, but it SHOULDN'T be dreary and bum-numbing . If it's a political thriller it should be suspenseful, but it shouldn't be cliche. 

So in short, yes, your target market does matter. You should keep them in mind when seeking the right book cover design; all readers have subconscious design, color and even typographical expectations when they're in the market searching for a book to read. Pay respect to these aspects. On the other hand, give them something new as well. That's why, whenever we design a book cover, we try to strike the right balance between what is "familiar" and what is "bold and innovative." That is the essence of a good, working book design. Happy searching! 

What's the Marketing Rule of 7

Today we're going to talk some about the art of marketing. Remember your book is the product, the book cover is the package. And before people start using your product (ie reading your book) they will judge everything by the package. But what makes an unforgettable package? 

undefined

Of course obtaining a catchy and interesting cover for your book is important. (That's what we are here for.) However no matter how good your cover is, it won't matter if no one is there to admire it. Marketing is not about selling stuff – not directly. It’s for making your book so familiar to consumers that they will decide they need whatever it is you’re selling. The Marketing Rule of 7 is the basic idea that for someone to finally purchase your book, they will need to see it for at least 7 times. Every experienced marketing expert knows that it takes seven contacts with a potential customer before any results will come. In other words, one single view (or ad) will not make you sell your book (unless it's directly a topic that the buyer is after). Two-three "views" will only carve a small place in the memoryç But the golden number of 7 is when the consumer starts getting interested in your book. After having "bumped into" your novel 7 times, you just might have a customer.

However the number 7 is disputed and has been disputed for quit some time now. In 1885 Thomas Smith wrote a book called Successful Advertising in which he claimed it takes 20 views of an ad before it makes a difference. According to Smith the phases were as follows (credits to Lynne Cantwell):

  • The first time people look at any given ad, they don’t even see it.
  • The second time, they don’t notice it.
  • The third time, they are aware that it is there.
  • The fourth time, they have a fleeting sense that they’ve seen it somewhere before.
  • The fifth time, they actually read the ad.
  • The sixth time they thumb their nose at it.
  • The seventh time, they start to get a little irritated with it.
  • The eighth time, they start to think, “Here’s that confounded ad again.”
  • The ninth time, they start to wonder if they’re missing out on something.
  • The tenth time, they ask their friends and neighbors if they’ve tried it.
  • The eleventh time, they wonder how the company is paying for all these ads.
  • The twelfth time, they start to think that it must be a good product.
  • The thirteenth time, they start to feel the product has value.
  • The fourteenth time, they start to remember wanting a product exactly like this for a long time.
  • The fifteenth time, they start to yearn for it because they can’t afford to buy it.
  • The sixteenth time, they accept the fact that they will buy it sometime in the future.
  • The seventeenth time, they make a note to buy the product.
  • The eighteenth time, they curse their poverty for not allowing them to buy this terrific product.
  • The nineteenth time, they count their money very carefully.
  • The twentieth time prospects see the ad, they buy what is offering.

So remember this when you're planning a marketing strategy for your book. Showing in one time to a million people won't matter, but showing it 20 times in a row to a focused group might make the big difference.

 

Unprofessional Covers Won't Sell Your Book

You have worked for many years on the manuscript, spending considerable time to get every paragraph, every word, every punctuation mark precisely the way you want. Congrats! Now it's time to send your book out into the world. Naturally you'll need a book cover. Where most authors takes the wrong step is by asking a friend, or sometimes "honoring" one friend to make the cover for them. But is that friend a graphic designer? If so, is he or she specifically a book cover designer? Designing pamphlets for a local store or menus for a restaurant or even movie posters is not the same thing as designing book covers. Book cover design is a form of design that has its own unwritten rules, developed through centuries. True, there are local, contemporary aspects to every design but the basics are always there and only a true book cover designer will know about them. Bridging the story with the audience and pleasing the author at the same time can be a challenging task! That is why a professonial book cover designer is needed - not just a designer.

 

undefined

 

Why choosing a premade book cover might be what you need

So how does premade book covers fit into this picture? First of all, in case you have a found a competent design studio, a premade book cover is a "professionaly made book cover design" done by a professional cover designer. That is not to say that all premade book covers you find on the internet are made by professional. Quite on the contrary, unfortunately most sites offering premade covers seems to lack either professional designers or knows very little about book cover designing. Knowing your way around Photoshop, Illustrator or Indesign is not the same thing as being a designer. A lot of aspects comes into play when designing a book cover. First of all, nowadays thumbnail sizes matter, so does black & white renderings of the cover. As e-book readers are still basically black and white and many of your readers will prefer to read your novel on an e-book reader, your cover must look captivating not just in color, but in grayscale as well. 

 

Typography in book cover design

Typography is a whole different dimension in the cover design process. Just because a font looks fancy doesn't mean it should be included in the composition. Each genre of literature requires a set of carefully selected fonts. (It's perfectly valid to be experimental but experimentation on book cover designs should be done with care and attention.) So before working on the cover the designer needs to know basically what the book is about.Next to being content conscious, the designer also need to analyze the basic form of the visuals that are used in the cover. This called form analysis. Analyzing the methods used in the illustration or the general texture of the photography used on the cover is a vital step in selecting and implementing typography.

 

undefined

The secret ingredients of a great book cover

No book cover is perfect. But all great covers are great for different reasons. Some captures the essence of the story, some are marvels of design and some lay the foundation for thousands of future book covers (think of Da Vinci Code). But certain elements are true for every cover. In the next posts we'll focus on what makes great covers, great! A book cover is a compostion of typographical elements, imagery and imagination. Just like any design, the art is getting the right balance. A book cover is not a painting to hang on the wall; it's not an indepent work-of-art where the artist's imagination is on a free ride. A book cover is a realistic design project with a clear aim. To get people to buy the book. 

That is why so many great designers fail, when it comes to creating a book cover. Either they're too abstarct, to conceptual or they simply don't know that designing a book cover is basically the same as designing a bottle of wine or a good cereals package. It's a commercial business. A great book design is the one that stands out from the rest; or the one that consciously focuses on a specific target market and one that isn't after being grandoise or time-less. It's pragmatic. It's an advertisement.

In our next post we'll start focusing on the many different elements of a good book cover design.  Until then, enjoy! 

Before sending a book to the publishers, this is what you should do

Welcome to our blog. Our first post will not be about book cover designs (we'll have plenty of time for them in the future!), but laying out to aspiring authors, a successful road map to getting published.

How to send a book proposal

 

Your book might be the next great American novel, but no publisher will have the time to read it when you send it to them. To the established publisher your manuscript is just a manuscript - and they receive hundreds of them every month. So writing a book proposal is a fundamental step to the path to get published. Your book proposal is your opportunity to sell your book to the publisher. They will expect you to have done some research into your genre and your target audience. You need to tell them why your book will appeal to them, and why people will buy it.

Ironically this step is a good practice for you too. Try asking yourself the following question:
Why is my book important? Be not just objective, but also self-critical. Not just readers, but agents and publishers too, need to be convinced. Imagine someone looking at you, shrugging and saying ‘so what? who cares?’ That’s what you are up against. You need to get attention! Typically, your proposal should also include a synopsis and sample chapters from your manuscript. 

Secondly, think strategic and be organised when sending your manuscript. Make a list of all the publishers that are right for your manuscript. Sending a childrens book to a publisher that focuses on scientific papers is not going to be the best approach. Keep in mind it will take them many months to get back to you, so be patient. You don't need to send to one publisher at a time though. Send it to a group of publishers to begin with; if it turns out negative, try another group of publishers.

And when one of them gets back to you, just don't forget, you only have one chance to impress. If necessary, have a professional editor read the manuscript before sending the entire work. After that, if the publisher asks for amendments, keep an open mind.