According to a survey carried out in 2010, 80% of the people survey stated that the book cover played a critical role in the decision to purchase a book.
What they said:
“The cover tells me how highly the publisher thought of the book and how much effort they went to make the book stand out to me, the buyer. If it’s a truly awful cover, I won’t want to buy it unless I’ve actually heard great things about that book. I know that the artistic value of the cover isn’t really connected to the value of the novel, but I will be persuaded to buy a book I’ve never heard of by how much personality the cover has.” “As a bookseller, there’s no question about whether or not customers judge books by their covers, but what’s almost more important is the spine as that’s the bit that will be seen on the shelf for the majority of the book’s life.” “I’m a School Librarian and have a lot of avid teenaged readers who are very swayed by the cover – my heart breaks when a book I love has an unappealing cover – they will not read it no matter how much I try to push it! To them the initial appearance is even more important than the blurb.” “I love a good cover, a good cover will get me to pick a book up. But a bad cover has never ever kept me from buying a book that I’ve heard good things about. A bad cover will keep me from looking at a book I’ve never heard of, usually. There are a few exceptions, I wish I could recall titles for you, but there have been some covers so bad I just had to read the blurb to see if it was as bad as the cover.”
What they said:
“When I’m walking through the Barn (B&N), hunting for a new book because I have stumbled upon 20 bucks, I pick up the covers that check my eye. I take everything into account, the coloring, the cropping, the typeface and placement of the title. These things make me pick up the book and ﬂip it over to read the blurb. If the blurb is good, I buy or settle in to peak at the ﬁrst chapter. On more than one occasion I have not bought a highly recommended book because of its cover. I’ll wait for the paperback or hunt for a different printing online. Books are beautiful. The craft of the story, how words create worlds, even the layout of the text. Why should a gorgeous story be given such a disadvantage by being published with a horrendous cover? Poorly done covers make me think the publishing house didn’t care enough about the story to put for any effort on having an artist construct a ﬁtting advert. It’s all propaganda, baby. SELL me the book. If it looks like it was slapped together in MS Paint, it will not be displayed on my bookshelves.”
... So, book covers really matter that much to the buyer!
Why should your book cover matter so much? Serendipity: Especially for unknown writers, it is very crucial to have a catchy, well-designed book cover. Your book needs to stand out and look good to get the attention of perusers, who frequent bookstores on and ofﬂine, looking to bump into an unexpected piece of new literature. This usually boils down to “The Battle of the Book Covers”. Get people to pick up your book, and you’re half way through convincing them to buy it.
It is a given that good writers signed on by publishing houses can afford beautifully designed covers. So, if your book cover looks great, it is assumed that your book is great material. The reader who is not yet acquainted with you, subconsciously categorizes you in his or her mind under the great writers that they have come to know and love, and are more willing to place a bet on you and your book, other than those with the badly designed covers.
Identity: A well-designed cover visually connects a prospective reader with its content, subject matter and genre. Books can pique the interest of those who are subscribed to a particular genre, because of the elements of sameness in the visual representation of their book covers, and also stir up curiosity by their unique differences. The cover has the propensity to give both the book and the author a trustworthy identity that can become a marketable brand. ... Plus, people just love to buy beautiful things!
How do I make you a beautiful book cover? I read your book... I do market and design research for your book’s genre stlyes... We brainstorm together on design direction... I iterate and test options... I execute the ﬁnal design... You pay me, you make a lot of money, and we’re both happy.
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