Growing Your Readership -
Tip #1 Create a Great Cover
Truthfully tip one should be a great story but let's assume you've already got that part handled. You're ready to post your story on Booknet. Now what? How do you attract readers to your book?
Well, what's the first thing any reader sees when searching for a good book? That's right! Your cover!
Think of the Law of Attraction, the ability to use the power of the mind to translate whatever is in our thoughts and materialize them into reality. This is a good law to follow when creating a cover.
Take time to visualize what you want. What it is you would like your readers to see when they look at your book. What message are you trying to convey? Does it have the right kind of energy for the genre your book is written in? What font style did you use? Is it easy to read? What is the title of the book? Does it relate well to the story within?
All good questions and worth taking the time to answer when designing a great looking cover, but first let’s take a look at how to physically make your cover.
Now I personally use Photoshop to create my own covers but I have an unfair advantage as I have access to that software being a Graphic Designer with my husband in his business for over 10 years. Photoshop and InDesign are awesome choices if you have the money and the knowledge on how to use the tools offered in these programs.
You looking at me now saying, “Yeah Ruechari that’s not me.” I hear you so I’m going to list 3 FREE programs that are intuitive and user-friendly that can help you create a great cover for your story.
Now this of course only applies to the DIYers (do it yourselfers out there who do not have the funds to have someone else to create a cover for them which is probably most of us)
Canva – If you are looking for a design tool but do not have a lot of design experience Canva is a good place to start because it is ridiculously easy to use. It offers a wide variety of templates and free stock photography you can use to create your cover. You can even customize the templates with your own photography, fonts, etc if you so choose. The program is rather intuitive so it’s not hard to figure out what you should do to create the cover of your dreams.
PlaceIt- Again offers a variety of templates and customizable tools but what sets this one apart from Canva is it allows you to pick your template according to the genre, which gives you a head start to creating the right vibe for your particular book right off the bat. Another cool thing is this program allows you to make a 3D mock-up of your cover to use for promoting your book, but these mock-up templates do come with a fee.
GIMP- Now if you have more skill, Gimp is the way to go, because you can design more freely than with a simple template-based program and make a cover that far more custom. It is very similar to Photoshop as it allows you more features like layering, cloning, and special brushes, but unless you have a background in design or enjoying learning the features to a program this may not be the program for you as there will be a learning curve.
The best place to find inspirations when building your cover would be online or in a bookstore. Bring a notebook or open a journal and take a look at novels currently being sold in your genre. Which ones grab your attention? Make notes as to why? What font did they choose? What graphic was it? A dramatic photo? A silhouette? A stunning illustration? Whatever it was that drew you to that book and made you want to pick you should write it up down in your notebook or journal so when you start to create your own cover you know what moves you.
The basic anatomy of an e-book cover should be as follows…
Authors Name – There are so many stories I’ve seen here on Booknet where the author's name is either unreadable, way too small or worst of all not on the book. This cover is your calling card. It’s the equivalent of handing someone a business card with all the information about your business but not your name. How do you expect your reader to remember you? You are, in fact, the most important information on that cover.
Now you may argue the point with me that no one knows who you are so why should it matter? However, if you don’t make an effort to get your name known they never will know who you are. So get your name on your book and make it prominent if you can.
TITLE- Creating a catchy title is another great way to draw attention to your book. Try to contemplate what your book is about and what best captures the books feel. Don’t be afraid to play with font styles, colors, and placement.
Illustration or Photo- This is important even if you are just using words to find a way to do so that is creative and captivating. Photos and illustrations are tricky because of rights management. You have to be certain your photo or illustration is royalty-free. Royalty-Free doesn’t always necessarily mean the image won’t cost you anything to download but that you can use the image as many times as you would like without having to pay the owner a royalty fee for doing so.
Cover size: 500 x 725 pixels
Great sites to find images that are both royalty-free and free to download:
Life of Pix
Your book cover is meant to convey a message to your reader about what your book is about. Whatever feeling you are trying to portray, every element of your cover should support this sentiment, from the colors to the image, and the typeface that you choose.
Remember your cover has only one purpose to visually sell your book by intriguing readers, so try your best to make sure your cover is doing its job well.