The main mission of your book cover is to help your book ‘pass’ as a traditionally published book. It doesn’t have to be pretty or have your favorite colors in it. An amateurish cover that’s pretty and has nice colors, but that can’t ‘pass’ as a professional book cover screams ‘self-published.’ You don’t want your readers to know you are self-published (if you are) until they have finished your book and ordered another of your books!
Below (at the bottom) you will find some examples of book covers from writers I know online. Some may be great covers, some not so great. What do the covers signal to you? Would it warn you off making a purchase, or attract you? NOTE: I have no idea whether these covers are professional or built at home in someone’s basement. I judge them just by how they look right now.
The books are:
- Deus Vult by Declan Finn
- A Warrior’s Journey by Mar McKeown
- Living in Times of Dragons by John A. Pretorius (from Pretoria, South Africa)
- The Red Rider by Randall Allen Dunn
- Blood Song by Robert Mullin
Now, look at the book covers. Do one or more stand out by being more professional-looking than others? Do one or more stand out by being less professional-looking? Do any of the book covers make you more or less likely to want to buy the book involved? Would they make you look twice at the book lest it be too badly written to finish, or do they reassure you, making you think the author must be writing at a professional level to afford a book cover like that.
Please express your opinion in a comment. Be kind— some of the authors involved may read this post and the comments— but tell what you really feel about the book cover. (I will add my own opinion in a comment when I have generated a few comments.)