The quickest and fastest way to become an authority in your field is to write a book. It’s the common denominator and everyone I’m sure has read one at one point in their life. I’m getting ready to release my first book later on this year called “Success Leaves Traces”. In future articles I’ll elaborate on the book and the concept which I’ve taught to people all over the world. In getting ready for this book, I did a lot of thinking on presentation. Specifically the first initial impression it will leave with the person thinking of buying it.
We have all heard the cardinal rule — don’t judge a book by its cover. Unfortunately, that is a lot of bull, because people DO judge books by their covers all the time.
It’s the same way when you see a person, I don’t care how great of a person you think you are, and how non-judgmental you feel you are, you judge people when you see them — that’s human nature. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person.
You judge them, and then decide whether your initial judgment was right or wrong. That’s how it works. As much as we’d like to think it’s the other way around, it’s not. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, then it must be a duck.
Image is everything. The first image of your book that people will see, whether online, offline or wherever it is, will be the cover. Your cover must portray the rest of the book in the fashion that you want to be portrayed.
I am talking about perception. Your book’s cover has to allow the potential readers to perceive your book to be of great value. The greatest information in the world will be left sitting on the self at the bookstore if the cover fails to grab the wandering eyes of the customer.
Depending on how impressive that cover is will also determine, at least online, how much you can charge for the book. Believe it or not, the cover is going to become a big factor in how much money you are going to charge for your book. It’s also going to determine how many sales you are going to get — that’s the bottom line.
The whole point is, your book will be judged by its cover.
Here’s how I come up with my cover designs. I go to Amazon.com, but you could go to BarnesAndNoble.com or whichever online bookstore you prefer, to research book covers. Not all of us are design savvy or creative geniuses. We may know what we like, but in order to be successful, we have to know what the market likes. So, I use online bookstores to see what BEST SELLING authors, who have written books on similar topics to mine, have come out with.
I am not looking to steal cover designs, but I am looking to borrow great concepts. I am specifically looking for the types of design elements that they use to capture the market’s attention. I look at things like:
- Title and Sub-title – Look for the kinds of words used to convey their message; look for placement, fonts, size and how it relates to the rest of the design.
- Graphics – Are there specific graphics or images that are used to represent your title’s topic? How are they being used on the covers? Again, size, placement and interaction with the rest of the design are crucial.
- Author’s Name – Notice how the name of the author is displayed on the cover. Is it pretty standard, or does it vary from cover to cover? Do the authors generally use their full names, including middle initials, or do they use shortened names, such as Bill instead of William? Do they typically use pre-fixes or suffixes to show any credentials, such as Dr., MBA, PhD, etc.
- Colors – Are there certain colors that are used to represent your topic? Look at the colors they use in backgrounds, notice the color in fonts and graphics. Are there certain color combinations that are used that work well in your market.
There is nothing that creates a favorable perception like a strong, positive first impression. Since the first image of your book that the customer sees is the cover, you have to have an incredible cover designed if you want your book to be successful. Taking the time to research what others have done to be successful, and using that to spark ideas for your books’ covers will help you quickly and effectively create a cover that sells, and allow you to say, “Go ahead, judge my book by its cover!”