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The Three Biggest Mistakes Authors Make On Their Covers

Updated: 4 days ago

In the world of self-publishing, your book cover is your first impression. It's the visual handshake that invites readers to pick up your book. A well-designed cover can attract your target audience and make your book stand out in a crowded marketplace. However, many self-published authors make critical mistakes when it comes to their book covers. Here are the three biggest mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. Doing the Cover Themselves

One of the most common mistakes self-published authors make is attempting to design their covers themselves. While it might seem like a cost-saving measure, it often results in a cover that looks amateurish and unprofessional. Readers can usually spot a self-published book by its cover, and a poorly designed cover can deter them from picking up your book.

Solution: If you don’t have a background in graphic design or art, invest in a professional cover designer. Look for someone with experience in book covers, who understands the nuances of design that can make your book look polished and market-ready. Remember, a professional cover is an investment in your book’s success.

2. Not Being On-Genre

Another major mistake is creating a cover that doesn't accurately represent the book's genre. Your cover needs to instantly convey the genre and attract the right audience. If a reader can't tell what genre your book is from the cover, you risk losing potential readers right from the start.

Solution: Research and study the covers of bestsellers in your genre. Notice the common elements, colors, fonts, and images used. Work with a cover designer who has experience in your genre and can incorporate these elements into your cover. Ensuring your cover aligns with genre expectations will help attract the right readers and set the right tone for your book.

3. Hiring the Wrong People

Choosing the wrong cover artist can lead to a host of problems, from missed deadlines to subpar designs. In the worst-case scenario, you might end up with a cover that uses pirated material, putting you at risk of legal trouble.

Solution: Work exclusively with reputable cover artists who have positive reviews from other authors. Check their portfolios, ask for references, and ensure they have a track record of delivering quality work on time. If you know a talented and trustworthy friend, they can be an option, but professional reliability is crucial. Protect yourself by having clear contracts that outline deadlines, expectations, and ownership of the artwork.

By avoiding these three major mistakes, you can create a compelling and professional book cover that attracts readers and accurately represents your work. Remember, your cover is more than just a picture; it's a marketing tool that plays a crucial role in your book's success.


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