Take My Breath Away: The Importance of Your Book’s Cover

This is a guest post by author Ana Stone

In her day job, Ana Stone is Syneca of Original Syn. Syneca is a graphic artist and has been designing book covers for twenty years. As Ana, she pens Romantic Suspense and Suspense Thrillers and spends as much time as she can reading all the wonderful tales other writers have penned. She is married with two children, four grandchildren, two cats and a passion for coffee, riding her Half Bike and laughter.
We all remember the idiom “Don’t judge a book by its cover” and while that might be true, in today’s competitive marketplace a lot of readers use the cover as deciding factor in whether to purchase a book.
And we’ve all seen that cover  – the one that takes our breath away and inspires us to click buy before we’ve even read the blurb.
Imagery has power, and book covers are the visual equivalent of a sales pitch.  If it’s not interesting, eye-catching, sensual or striking enough to capture a reader’s attention then it may be passed over in favor of one more visually arresting.
The cover is a billboard that announces a lot of information about a book.  It can tell us whether it’s a frightening or romantic tale, if it is a science fiction or a young adult story. With the right imagery, a cover can evoke emotions that made a reader want to delve into the book.
A well designed cover is worth the expense of paying for a professional design.  Bad covers with pixelated artwork, unattractive or badly formatted and ill-aligned text send the message, “here is a sloppy book”.  And no one wants that.
Not only does a bad cover turn a reader off, but it can also trigger a critical attitude, so that even if they choose to give the book a try, they will subconsciously be far more unforgiving of mistakes in grammar or spelling.  They are also more apt to leave a negative review.
Because of that and a lot more than there is space here to cover, a writer who wants his or her book to be competitive will give it the most profession and attractive cover within their budget.  Let that cover do what it is intended to do – grab a reader’s attention and interest them enough to inspire them to read the blurb and potentially purchase the book.
Then it’s all up to the writer’s imagination and ability to weave a tale.