We’ve all heard the age-old adage concerning the woes of judging any piece of literature by the trappings of it’s cover, but if the book series Animorphs has taught us anything, it’s that no wise, young adult can resist an artful representation of a boy gradually transforming into a house cat.
Of course, that might not be exactly what you’re aiming for, but in a world where the average attention span for any website is three seconds, an eye-catching binding can go a long way in convincing a reader to go along for the ride.
The Easy Way
Many of the current self-publishing companies seek to lend a helping hand by making book cover creating as easy as possible. Easy, however, comes at a variety of prices. This is either monetarily for the cost of hiring a professional designer, or monetarily for the price of having a bland copy-and-paste cover that draws few readers. CreateSpace, Kindle Direct Publishing, and Advantage, offer a variety of pre-made covers to choose from.
These drag-and-drop options have the advantage of easy accessibility, however, each of them can leave entire bookshelves, digital or otherwise, with a sprawling number of identical book copies covered by a drab stock-image along with a general font.
Then again, there is always the option of hiring one of the provided professionals to handle the design for you. This is another costly investment, but if the distrust of your own design choices causes you to lose sleep it might be a worthy place to put your money. That is of course if you don’t have any friends or designers in your rolodex that could lend you a helping hand. Convincing the professionals at your disposal could be as easy as simply offering them a front page by-line, a lesser fee for services, or just the experience to add to their portfolio.
Or Do It Yourself
For the writers out there who are just so happen to be design inclined, the option is of course available to make your own, a process that isn’t necessarily easy. The pdf-ready template for most self-publishing sites isn’t necessarily scientific on what may or may not be cut-off, off-set, or changed in printing.
With each physical proof for approval serving as a cost to you, it could be a lengthy investment in both time and money. Even taking a blind trust in the process by approving the copy before it first arrives for official approval could result in an even higher cost in publishing with the added fees involved with republishing the work with a new cover after it officially goes on the market.
Make it Pick-up Worthy
The ultimate goal is to give any reader who might be browsing for their next entertaining investment a valuable reason to pick up a copy of your own work. A quality cover is more than enough reason to do just this. The initial incentive of a captivating cover should reflect the quality of the book itself from the inside out. As prepared as you were to write a novel, you should tap into that enterprising effort to make a cover as enrapturing as the content you created. Take a page, or rather a cover, from those Animorphs and start transforming your work into a must pick-up masterpiece.