How important is the book cover? (Guest Post)…

After trying to find answers to so many other questions, I tried to find out, how important the book cover is for a book.

Considering the common saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” I was told that this might apply to people, clothes, situations – and whatever else, but doesn’t apply to books in general!

How do we buy books? Let’s say, we’re trying to find a new author we heard of but don’t know yet. We read a book review we liked; we were told he/she was a good writer, his/her name isn’t generally known. What is next we will do?

Check out his/her books, right?

From what I imagined, the eye does have an influence on our decision. It’s a little bit like with meals:

Let me ask you: Which plate would you prefer eating?


Picture courtesy of:

I read that a book cover has to be well designed. It is, in a way the first page the reader sees. The cover has to be high quality, in as well content as also design. If a customer discovers “blown up,” ‘pixeled’ images, watermarks, a badly formatted text, a badly aligned title, the reader might think the inside of the book might be just as sloppy.

I surfed through the internet and found quite a few Websites presenting really bad book covers. But then: Do I want to be the judge?

I saw what was wrong with many of the presented covers. But I don’t feel comfortable being the one saying: “This cover is really bad.”

But please, judge for yourself:


I think, except with one of them… please forgive me, I couldn’t resist:


Picture courtesy of:

I imagine that some book covers might be either great or mediocre in the reader’s or buyer’s eyes.

I read: Don’t try to start doing graphic design just because you can buy a program. Designing a great book cover is an art – and hiring an experienced and well-named book cover designer with an impressive cover gallery on his Website is often going to be better than to draw it yourself. (Unless you’re a genius in drawing and studied design for a few years.)

There are many book cover designers online. You can find lists with cover designers. But how do you find yours?

Bryan Hutchinson has created an amazing and very helpful list of tips, hints, and tricks to ask the right questions:

1) Hire someone who has a proven track record. This could mean:

a) Visiting several different designers and comparing their portfolios or

b) Hiring a designer who created a cover that impressed you (maybe you saw it on Amazon, or it was a cover of a fellow writer’s book).

2) Testimonials.

 I recommend sending inquiries to authors who had book covers designed by the designer you are considering. Visit the designer’s portfolio, get a couple of author names, visit their websites and send inquiries. Who doesn’t want to talk about their book? You’ll want to know if the designer is easy to work with, open to ideas, reliable (responsive and meets deadlines) and are the authors happy with the services rendered and final product?

3) Is the designer’s website professionally designed?

If the website doesn’t look professional then how can you trust that the book covers will?

The website should detail in an easy to read manner what all is included in the design, what factors could increase costs during the project and what type of files you will receive at completion. (.PSD,EPS,PDF, .JPG. etc.) Is a 3d cover included for display on your website? Also available on the site should be a portfolio of completed projects. It always makes me cautious when there are only one or two book covers in the portfolio.

To read his entire article, check out:


I think his entire article is very helpful and gives us excellent advice.

And don’t forget: A professional book cover will cost something. The cheapest isn’t always the best. You might want to save up for a decent book cover. But still: It is the first thing, your readers will see. And it is the cover they judge the book by!

Good Luck!

Aurora Jean Alexander



41 thoughts on “How important is the book cover? (Guest Post)…

  1. I agree a book cover is the first chance to catch a reader’s attention. I’ve been drawn to a cover across the room. Quality IS important.Best to make a good impression first time around, though updating a cover isn’t a terrible thing. Is it?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank very much for reading and sharing your opinion. It means a lot. I too have been checking out books because the cover caught my attention first. There is only one chance for a first impression. As for updating a cover… I still need to get there. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Unless I read a blurb or see that it is Epic/Urban Fantasy, etc, I’ll choose the book on it’s cover.

    I was with fed with a disturbingly poor read, but the cover was still great.
    I’ve written reviews of the same thing.

    I’m not shy to post this on my Amazon Reviews.


    Liked by 3 people

    • I absolutely agree, Jassie. Doing all the research about these things has opened my eyes for some of the expenses a new author faces.
      I’ve been seeing ads telling me: “Publish your book absolutely free.” It seems to me, publishing ‘a book’ might be free. But publishing a professionally edited and marketing-ready book does cost. And like many others I too have to carefully consider how much I spend.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I might look at covers but if I’m not interested in the story or the writer I wouldn’t get the book. But anything that grabs initial attention might be good. If we’re talking mostly about e-books, though, unless for some reason we’re geared to the page, we’re never going to see the cover or read the description in the first instance. The fact is that Amazon and similar places are not bookshops with the covers neatly on display for everybody to see. They are search engines. Unless a book is high up in a ranking or comes up in “other people also bought”, for the reader to get to see the cover there has to be a focus on directing readers to the book page (be it through ads, social media, blogs, interviews…). Thanks for the tips.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Aurora Jean Alexander as a guest on The Story Reading Ape asks – How important is the book cover.. perhaps you might like to head over and answer yourself. For me the book is like any product and the cover and the back blurb are the advertisement and the marketing – It has to catch both the eye and the attention.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I am always surprised when I see that the cover is important.
    In France there is a publisher whose covers are all the same and they contain no images, stripped down simple covers are generally quite common, especially once the price of the book rises. Cheap editions will take pictures of the time period when the book was written but they are not important.
    In Germany children’s books will have colourful covers, but many publishers here too go without a cover image. If there is one it is often simple or at times the photograph of he author this is a bit different for some genres such as crime or scifi and by books that are translations from English.
    I might have a thorough look through my bookshelf and those at my parents house as well as a bookseller here and there to provide some more info.
    Great idea for a “research” blog post 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I believe that the book cover is the first most important thing. The second most important thing is the book blurb. Without those two enticing me to read the book, I will never discover the author’s writing. I have passed up several books that may have been award winning writing, but was turned off by the cover.

    Liked by 2 people


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s