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  • Writer's pictureKevin Grover

Judging a Book by the Cover

Updated: Jul 13, 2023

In publishing, it's very true that most people will judge a book by the cover. If it looks cheap and amateur, the potential buyer is likely to avoid, assuming the content is the same. This is why you shouldn't go cheap when you come to the cover design of your book. Why months of work, sometimes years, and let it down with a poor cover?

There are a couple of options for book covers and I'm going to discuss them in this blog. The first is a premade cover and the second is a designed cover. Choose which one works for you. I've used both methods, but highly recommend getting a designed cover if you can afford it.

Premade Covers

There are a number of sites out there who offer premade cover designs that can be customised with your book title, name and blurb.

This is what I did for the cover of Dead Again and I found a perfect match for the tone of the book. However, it can take a long time scrolling through hundreds of covers and you still might not find one that fits. There are also extra charges if you want a full wrap design done for paperback releases.

Pros: It's cheaper than a designer, simple to customise

Cons: it's hit and miss finding something that matches, there are extra costs for further services, no support if there are issues uploading your cover to Amazon, further edits may not be possible, limited customisation.

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Cover Designer

For The Water Voices, I went for a book cover designer to take care of everything. All I had to do was give the designer a description of the book and an idea of the tone and style of the book.

Possible design ideas were then discussed. The designer went away and produced a draft of the cover which I instantly loved. After agreeing the draft, the final product was created. This was a lot simpler than using a premade as I didn't need to scroll through hundreds of designs in the hope of finding something to fit. It was fully customised and changes could be made wherever I needed them at no extra costs. What I also loved was how it fits in with the style of my previous book so there's a design element running between the two.

There was also support for uploading the final design to Amazon and a few marketing pictures included with the design at no extra cost.

Pros: Very easy, fully customised, full support, changes at no extra cost, marketing materials added as a bonus, can fit with the theme of the book perfectly, can match to your last book design.

Cons: can be expensive depending on your designer, you will have to wait on the designer to finish your cover - lengths of time vary.

In summary, go for a designer if you've the money to afford one as they are worth every penny. The premade is cheaper, but beware of hidden costs which can bump your cover up. I found the simple ebook cover price was around $80 but if I wanted it as a paperback full wrap, it bumped it up to around $180.

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