Chances are that whether you are at the bookstore, supermarket or airport the books that catch your attention first will be the ones with the most unique, eye-catching or interesting covers. In short, appearance matters!

A great book cover is a crucial part of advertising and marketing your work. It lets the public know instantly the genre of the book and who its target market is and is the first step to making sure readers pick it up. Without capturing their interest they are far less likely to read the book description on the cover flap or the back of the jacket, let alone browse the pages, download it or make a purchase. Finally, a great cover stays in people’s minds making finding or recommending your book a lot easier.

Creating a killer cover can be as simple or complex, monochromatic or multicoloured as you like but it all basically comes down to good research as to what is selling. For example, if you are writing a book on business then check out the best sellers in that line and look at what those covers display. It is no good producing excellent work on today’s corporate culture if the cover looks like it is crime fiction or a historical biography. Your book needs to fit in for the right reasons not stand out for the wrong ones.  

Cost is often a concern for new writers but creating an amazing and genre-appropriate book cover does not have to be expensive. Again do your research – look at fonts, colours, wording, layouts etc. Find out what is selling. If you are in creative mode and decide to do it yourself then there is a wealth of images online that are available for free. Others need permission before they can be used. Alternatively, use a professional designer (like Toronto print consultant PPS). Your book cover design need not cost a fortune but could be one of the most valuable investments you make in your writing career.

Your book cover is the first impression so make it a lasting one.

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Mary Vaux-ClarkMary Vaux-Clark is a freelance editor, proof-reader and writer. Her areas of interest include current affairs, travel, history and sport. She has travelled widely and worked in Hong Kong as an editor and ESL teacher for over ten years.