They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but let’s be honest, we all do it. We may never give book a chance if it doesn’t catch our eye. But what makes a book cover truly stand out? Is it a vivid title, bestseller stamp, or engaging blurb?
In this article, we’ll explore 10 things you can put on a book cover to attract the target audience and increase sales. Let’s start.
How to use essential book cover elements?
You certainly know that a book, especially a paper one, cannot do without a title, author’s name, or story blurb. But have you ever considered these elements’ role in attracting readers? Now we will look at how their size, color, and other characteristics affect sales.
1. Title and author’s name
The font size and color for the title and author’s name depend on the recognition level. Here’s how it works.
If you’re writing a debut novel, make sure that the book’s title is the first thing that catches the readers’ eye. Your name won’t hold any significance yet, so the title should be attention-grabbing. Conversely, if you are a well-known author, you can make your name stand out on the cover, enabling your fans to spot your book on the shelf quickly.
For example, if we take Stephen King’s book covers, his name is written in capital letters and bright colors. Everyone knows the King of Horror.
However, speaking about Richard Mirabella’s debut book, we will notice that the title attracts all the attention.
2. Author’s bio
A bio is especially relevant for aspiring and unknown authors. However, this does not mean that the book cover should contain everything, from school and university to a detailed description of your career and family.
Here are some tips on how to write a killer author’s bio:
- Keep it short to fit in 3–4 lines
- Write in the third person
- Include some intriguing facts.
You can add a photo to increase recognition and a website address.
The blurb entices readers to pick up the book and start reading. But you must do more than retell your story to make your audience buy it. Use the following tips to write a marketable blurb:
- Start with a hook: a thought-provoking question or a gripping opening line.
- Keep the blurb brief to save readers’ time.
- Think about formatting to provide excellent readability.
- Avoid spoilers, and don’t reveal all the cards.
- End with an intriguing statement.
Book cover design by MiblArt
3. Eye-catching spine
If you are planning a paper book, do you pay enough attention to the design of its spine? It’s not just the front and back covers that matter.
An eye-catching spine significantly increases the chances that the target audience will notice your novel on the shelf. So make sure that:
- This element fits the overall design of the cover.
- The text is large enough to be readable.
- There are no elements that interfere with or clutter up the small space.
If the title of your book is too long, you can opt out of the author’s name on the spine. You can also brand this part of the book with your author’s logo.
Book cover design by MiblArt
How to use optional book cover elements?
When we look at book covers, we often see additional elements, such as various stamps and inscriptions. Let’s see what their role is and how to use them properly.
Remember that you don’t have to include them all, or you can even use none. It’s also essential to avoid using optional elements if your book cover already includes many details. Your book cover shouldn’t look too busy, as it can become unreadable and confuse potential readers.
Learn more about book cover design mistakes in our blog.
1. Bestseller stamp
It is a bit overused today. Today, we see this stamp or inscription so often that it is no surprise to anyone.
But what about its practical significance? If you sell your book online, there is no reason to put it on, as your book already has a rating on the page. If you sell your book offline, remember that this stamp doesn’t reflect the current status. By the time the book is published, you may have received other awards or have given the position to another writer.
What is wrong with bestseller lists?
Bestseller lists have been a popular way to identify high-demand books. However, the methodology used to create these lists is not always transparent, leading to questions about their accuracy and reliability.
Moreover, these lists tend to focus on a narrow set of criteria, such as sales figures and book ratings, which may not accurately reflect a book’s literary quality. While bestseller lists may provide helpful information for readers, we should consider their limitations.
Award stamps on books can be a great way to catch a reader’s attention, especially if the award is well-known and prestigious. A reputable award can lend credibility to a book, making it more likely that readers will take notice and consider purchasing it.
However, it’s vital not to go overboard and include every award a book has received. Too many stamps can become overwhelming and detract from the book’s overall appearance. Not everyone may be familiar with a particular award, so it may not carry the same weight with every potential reader.
3. Copies sold stamp
A copies sold stamp on a book can be an effective marketing tool for authors. It can signal to potential readers that the book is popular and successful, piquing their interest and encouraging them to purchase.
However, it’s essential to recognize that the number of copies sold is not the only factor readers consider when deciding what to read. While high sales figures can be impressive, readers may be more interested in other factors, such as the book’s genre, author, or reviews.
4. Book club stamp
This stamp can increase the book’s visibility and reach a wider audience. However, the seal may not carry much weight if the book club is relatively unknown or has a limited reach.
But, if the book club is well-respected or has a large following, it could be a powerful endorsement for the book. One example is the Oprah effect, where books selected for Oprah’s Book Club have significantly increased sales and popularity. If a book is chosen by a book club with a similar level of influence, it could have a similar impact on its success.
If your book has received a highly positive review from a reputable author, you may add it to your cover. However, choose short and catchy reviews rather than lengthy ones. Readers like inscriptions that are quick and easy to read and that capture the essence of the book in just a few words.
If you really want readers to see all your reviews, you can add them to your foreword.
6. QR code
It’s an innovative and convenient way to immediately bring your audience to your website to get more information about you and your novel. A QR code can also open a book trailer, interactively telling the plot.
Honestly, you can add anything you want your potential readers to know as a link by QR code.
A book cover is a crucial marketing tool that can make or break a book’s success. Adding the right elements, such as reviews, bestseller stamps, QR codes, and awards, can attract more readers. However, you should not overuse these parts as they may confuse readers and make your book cover unappealing.
Which of these book cover elements do you usually use? Tell us in the comments below.
The QR code idea sounds great but I saw no mention of a barcode with ISBN.
Thank you for your comment! In this article, we focused on cover elements that can be used to attract more readers’ attention. A barcode with ISBN is a more technical thing.