Designing Perfect Book Covers

How Kindle Book Cover Templates Can Boost Your Sales

You’ve devoted months (or even years) to conceive, research, outline, write, and edit the best book you’ve ever written.

Its content is to die for. You’re proud of it. 

And you’ve published it on the Kindle platform.

book cover art

This masterpiece of yours is filled to the brim with captivating, actionable insights and is meant to transform the lives of many and change lean bank accounts into obese storehouses. Or maybe it’s one of the most tantalizing tales ever told.

There’s just one problem: it’s not flying off the shelves. Truth be told, sales have been dismal.

You’re shocked because you thought it’d become a bestseller. After all, you gave it all you’ve got.

What could be the problem?

It may not be the content. In some cases, it’s simply the package.

The book cover may be the constraint that’s limiting sales. In fact, many new authors make the same basic mistakes with their books and book cover ideas.

In this post, I’ll cover how books are judged, why book cover art is so critical, tests performed to determine their potency, and insights you can glean from the tests.

Your Book Will Be Judged

every kindle book cover is judged

You might have already invested a lot of resources in getting your book ready, but an invaluable resource you need is a Kindle book cover template. It could help you design a book cover that’ll skyrocket your sales.

How can you improve your book listing? What’s the nexus between a book cover and sales?

You need only remind yourself of how you go about selecting books.

We like saying that we don’t (or shouldn’t), but we almost always judge books by their covers. And that’s what your prospective readers do, too.

In truth, this is actually a smart way to go. We’re constantly bombarded by too much information, so we’ve developed a fast way to protect ourselves and prioritize what’s deserving of our attention. We simply leverage our first impressions.

To be able to craft compelling “first impressions,” a Kindle book cover template can be your friend.

Even if you’re not a professional book cover designer, you can still have great book covers.

Why are Book Covers so Critical?

a bad cover leaves your book on life support

Good book covers make readers “feel.” They do not merely speak to our intellect. And, as you know, we buy with our emotions and only justify with logic.

In a few seconds, readers are deciding whether to buy or move on simply based on their impression of your book cover.

You’ve got an extremely short window of time to attract or repel a prospective reader.

Especially when you know that about one million books are published each year. Readers have so many options that your book covers have to stand out.

These are some of the main reasons why book covers are vital:

  1. They encapsulate a book’s essence
  2. They’re an advertisement for the book
  3. Images speak to us on an emotional level
  4. We’re wired for beauty and repelled by what’s ugly

The Power of Book Cover Artwork

1. Book covers are so potent because they seem to encapsulate a book’s essence. At least, that’s the visceral reaction we have when we look at them. If the cover is excellent, we’re drawn to the book and assume the content is also awesome.

2. They’re an advertisement for the content. We buy when we’re sold on the ad, or we walk away if we think the ad reeks of mediocrity.

Book covers are a vital promotional tool. They’re meant to sell readers on picking up the book and reading its blurb. If your book is not being picked up, nothing else matters.

3. Book covers are mainly comprised of images, which speak to us on a deep, emotional level. We process most information using visual frames. It’s a cliché, but it’s true: a picture is worth a thousand words. Images help us process content faster.

4. Lastly, one could say that we’re wired for beauty and repelled by what’s ugly. You can imagine how most prospective readers would react to a book with an ugly or mediocre cover. They’d probably assume there’s a correlation between the quality of the book cover and its content.

We know on an intuitive level that a product’s package (such as a Kindle book cover) is a vital factor in our decision to buy or not to buy the product (a book).

Now let’s explore what a few A/B tests reveal – the impact on sales and the key things you can learn.

Test on How Potent Book Covers Are

split test book cover designs

Reedsy conducted a test to determine how book covers impact marketability. In the test, they worked with four authors who agreed that their book covers be redesigned. Other elements such as the title, target audience, and copy remained constant.

Each book benefitted from improved clicks and sales. The result was stunning: 12 to 53 percent more clicks.

In another test conducted, there was a 35 percent increase in the sales of books that had professional covers. On average, 12.5 to 50 percent click-through rate higher than those with non-professional designs.

One of the most effective ways to boost your sales is simply to change your book cover.

Another test by 99designs shows a similar result: improved book covers boost sales by 50 percent or more.

Build a Beautiful Book Cover

book cover artwork ideas

The following are some key lessons from the tests:

  • Consider genre 
  • Make it legible
  • Use professional designs
  • Don’t ignore branding
  • Small is beautiful

Consider Genre 

There’s a need to telegraph the genre in the book cover. This is because readers fall into different groups based on the kind of subjects and stories they’re interested in.

They browse with this expectation in mind, and they’ve come to associate certain images, colors, and fonts with certain genres. So, it’s smart to study what’s expected in your genre and use fitting covers.

But trying to meet genre expectations is not about copying everything others do. There’s a need to also have visuals that make your cover stand out.

It’s a delicate balance since you want those who love the genre to instantly recognize your book as being for them, but at the same time, you want to avoid clichés. It’s a tough act. This is one of the reasons you need professional designs.

Make it Legible

This seems like something even a child would know and abide by. Still, now and then, we come across books whose covers are a bit too dark, or the fonts are so arty we have to squint to make out what it’s really about.

No one has the patience to start trying to decipher what a book cover is about. Your cover’s lettering should be simple, bold, and clear.

Use Professional Designs

Know your limits. You’re probably a good writer. Don’t delude yourself you’re also a great designer. You know that writing is hard work, so don’t kid yourself that designing a book cover is something you can easily slap together.

Don’t Ignore Branding

Think several books ahead and try to create a consistent brand. Each book can affect the other books’ sales. Think of a series like Harry Potter or even James Altucher’s recent Choose Yourself brand.

Selling a book is a lot of work, and having a brand helps. If you’ve sold one good book, and you are a brand, this will make future sales a lot easier. The brand, in this case, is a promise you’ve fulfilled before, so readers are more likely to buy.

Small is Beautiful

On many platforms, you’d need to think of how your book cover will look like as a thumbnail. This is because most people use smartphones and tablets to access these platforms.

It’s vital to ensure that the book cover designs still look good in that highly reduced size. Bright images that have high contrasts are more alluring and show up well in thumbnails. Check out more strategies here.

Final Thoughts on Book Cover Design

We have explored why book covers are critical to book sales, and we looked at tests that confirm this and insights you can glean from them.

Most probably, you’re not a designer, and you may not be able to afford a professional designer. Fortunately, there are awesome book cover generators you can use to create stunning book covers.

Well – what do you think?  Have you loved a book with a terrible cover?  Has a bad cover held you back?  Let us know in the comments below.

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