Can Your Book Stand Next to a Bestseller, Or Is It Just Puke on a Page?
I am stunned at how many writers who publish their own books spend months, maybe even years, writing and editing their "masterpiece" and then slap on an amateurish cover and publish it. We're a society of impatience, with no sense of delayed gratification. Or maybe just no sense.
You have ONE chance to impress a reader with your cover. After that, if you haven't left them with a positive impression, they'll dismiss your book EVERY time they see the cover somewhere. If your cover is bestseller-worthy, readers will be drawn to it, and they'll buy as a result of many factors—the cover definitely being one of them.
Readers are a fickle bunch. And why shouldn't they be? There are millions of works out there for them to choose from. If your book doesn't stand out from the crowd or make a bold statement and get noticed, then it'll slide into the slush pile of crap that's out there. And believe me, there's more crap than not.
Most readers DO judge a book by its cover, so if yours isn't as good as what the big houses are selling, you're not doing yourself any favors. If you truly believe your book has what it takes to compete, then INVEST in it and spend money on a professional cover designer, someone who understands the industry, what is selling and your genre. Don't just slap a couple of faces and a background on a page and call it a cover. I call that "Puke on a Page." And puke doesn't sell.
Your book cover should be designed similarly to the New York Times bestsellers (or any other major list) in YOUR genre. Study them. Have your cover artist study them. Get other opinions from other authors who have had success with sales. If their books are selling, guaranteed they've got decent covers. Get input from others once you have a first draft of your cover.
Once you have a first draft, ask yourself: What is my first impression of this cover? Can I determine the genre from the cover? Can I determine anything about the plot from the cover? Is the title bold enough and does it grab me? Is there at least one review blurb on the front cover from a prominent reviewer or major author to add clout? These are the same questions I ask myself with every cover my designer creates for me.
For authors, having crappy covers can be the END of your dream—and your career as a writer. So before you publish your book, make sure you have a cover designed by a professional, and make sure it demands attention and isn't just puke on a page. Your book deserves better than that. Doesn't it?
Cheryl Kaye Tardif is an international bestselling Canadian author, who is best known for Submerged, a psychological thriller that had over 49,000 downloads on Amazon in March 2013, Children of the Fog, a supernatural suspense thriller that has sold over 50,000 copies (Sept 2012) and made Amazon’s Top 100 bestsellers list (overall list) multiple times out of nearly 2 million ebooks; and Whale Song, a much-loved, inspiring family tale with a hint of mystery, which is now available in its third edition–plus a school edition with a discussion guide.
Cheryl has not only held hundreds of book signings, she has organized multi-author signings, held a virtual book tour and taught others how to do their own, and she has presented at conferences in Canada and the US. Cheryl is known amongst her peers for her creativity and knowledge regarding book marketing, and has worked as a Book Marketing Coach. She is a member of various social networks, including Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Goodreads, Shelfari, LibraryThing, AmazonConnect and Chapters Online Community.
Cheryl has been interviewed by numerous TV and radio stations in Canada and the US, and she has been featured in a variety of newspapers and magazines in both countries. According to photojournalist, Heather Andrews Miller, who interviewed the author for a Real Estate Weeklyarticle, Cheryl is a “gem in the literary world”. And according to Graham Hicks of the Edmonton Sun, “Cheryl Kaye Tardif specializes in mile-a-minute pot-boiler mysteries, usually set in Western Canadian locales.”
Cheryl is also the publisher at Imajin Books, a venture that is dear to her heart. Imajin Books publishes quality international fiction at affordable prices, with a focus on ebooks.
Born in Vancouver, BC, Cheryl Kaye Tardif was a “military brat” and a “military wife” who has lived all across Canada and in Bermuda. She now resides in Edmonton, AB, with her husband Marc and the family dog.