Covers that sell

You may have heard the old saw – Don’t judge a book by its cover. Unfortunately, in today’s world of multiple books on almost every topic, buyers frequently make their choices based on the look of the cover of the book – front, back, and inside.

Part of what they are looking at is the appearance:

  • Any pictures or drawings.
  • The size, color, and style of the font.
  • The overall mood set by the layout.
  • Hardcover or softcover.
  • The size – 6 ½” x 5”, 7 ¼” x 5”, 8” x 5 ¼”, 9 ⅜” x 6 ¼”, 11” x 8 ½” or many others.


They also look at the words:

  • The title and sub-title.
  • Any hints given about the content of the book.
  • A mini-bio of the author.
  • Any testimonials.


How do you decide what your cover should look like and feel like? An easy way to start is to take a field trip to a local bookstore. While there are fewer brick and mortar bookstores around, many communities still have a Barnes and Noble or Books-A-Million within driving distance. If you are lucky you have a locally owned bookstore you can haunt.

And there is always the local library, although our branches keep cutting their hours so their availability is more limited.

Locate the section you would want your new book to be in. Look at how the books are displayed. Pick up a book that catches your attention. Turn it over. Read the cover. Think about the physicality of the book. Look at the words used to describe it.

Think about your ideal reader.

  • Will your topic be easy to read on the run?
  • Or is it something she will be taking time to reflect on after reading each section or chapter?
  • Where will she be reading your book? – A comfy chair? – The doctor’s waiting room? – On the beach? – At her desk or a table?
  • Does the book need to be small enough to tuck into a purse or a bag?
  • Does it include worksheets for her to fill out?


Your answers to the above questions will impact on the size and shape of your book as well as the type of binding you want to use.

Take notes on the things you like and dislike about the book. Use your camera phone to take shots of covers or pages that clearly illustrate your preferences.

Look at several books, making notes as you go.

These will give you ideas for when you talk with your designer and marketing team member about your cover.

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Not sure how to get started? If you would like some help with this I’d love to partner with you as your Book Enchantress. It’s time to share your powerful gift with the Universe.

Give me a call at 843-593-0045 or use this link to schedule a call to talk about what is involved.

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