Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?

Henry Ward Beecher

This week I’m featured on IndieReader and Huffington Post with my article on book cover design and why it really does matter. Turns out, we do judge a book by its cover, and those first impressions can make or break a sales opportunity.

Yes, We Really Do Judge Books by Their Covers [Excerpt]

With self-publishing settling into the mainstream, fierce competition has upped the ante for indie authors. The finest books boast strong, well-written stories. But to rise to the top, to gain traction with readers, even the best book needs a dynamic cover. Recognizing this, savvy indies invest time and energy into creating striking cover designs. As a result, it’s becoming nearly impossible to differentiate between self- and traditionally published books.

“I’m blown away by the great covers on books by indie authors,” says Smashwords founder Mark Coker. “The quality of cover design today is head and shoulders above what it was just a few years ago.”

A book’s cover is the first thing a potential reader sees and it can make a lasting impression. “Our brains are wired to process images faster than words,” Coker explains. “When we see an image, it makes us feel something.” A great cover, he says, can “help the reader instantly recognize that this book is for them.”

If a great design has gut-level emotional appeal and the power to entice readers, a poorly designed cover can be a real turn-off. A book’s description is the “first and foremost concern” of the blogger and book reviewer known as “The Picky Girl.” Still, she thinks twice before accepting or buying a book with a bad (or cheap looking) cover. “I wonder what other areas lack quality and refinement,” she says.

[Read the full post at IndieReader]

Readers’ Gallery

What makes a cover stand out for you? Do you have a favorite cover or one that really stands out? Let me know and I’ll display a readers’ gallery of favorites later in the week!