The “New” Importance of the Book Cover


If you’ve been following our blog over the past year or so, you’ll remember our post Your Spine Is Your Cover.

Yes, that’s still true for those authors who aspire to brick and mortar stores and traditional retailers.

But in the eight months since we posted that blog, the publishing environment has continued to change.

Small publishers’ interest in testing the market by just making their books available online (their own websites,, etc.) or as eBooks has continued to increase. POD programs offered by a variety of different companies have drawn a large group of publishers who are willing to save money on big offset print runs, warehousing and fulfillment and who say let’s “throw it up online” and see what happens.

Publisher’s beware. “Throwing it up online” does not mean cutting corners on quality. If you just make your book available online, your number one marketing tool has changed. Your book cover just increased in importance over just about any other single piece of the publishing process.

For those of you who have been there, you understand. Search Insides, excerpts, and sample chapters for downloads are great. But, you’ve got to get the consumer to commit to taking that step.

How so?

A dynamic, professionally designed, top-notch book cover.

If your budget demands that you only make your book available online, take the time to do your research. Look carefully at other book covers in your category – both online and in stores. See what’s working.

Is there a particular font, photo treatment, author treatment, color, design that’s consistent across your category? If so, make sure your cover stacks up against the best of the best.

Budget might drive your decision to start online, but budget can’t drive your decision to put up a mediocre cover and hope for the best.

Trust us, it won’t work.


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