Think about the last thing you bought. What convinced you to buy it? Were you satisfied with it?
In my own purchasing experience, I’ve found that my satisfaction with a product, e-book or service depends on whether my perceived value of the item exceeds the price that I paid.
I’m usually happy with my purchase if the following conditional statement applies:
If Price Paid < Chris’ Perceived Value of the Product Purchased, then Chris is a satisfied customer and will likely recommend the product
There are many ways that we derive value from e-books, including: the cover, the book’s content, friends’ opinions of the e-book, the price, and the enjoyment or learning potential. As an author you want to increase a reader’s perceived value from the first moment they see it.
When I’m initially browsing e-books, a cover can immediately put the book in a category and help me understand whether or not it’s something I’m interested in. Sorry to say it’s true – I do at times judge an unknown book by its cover. Frankly, it helps me reduce the time it takes to make a purchase decision. In conversations with friends and acquaintances, I’ve found that my behavior is not an anomaly.
The clearer a cover speaks to me, the more likely I am to look deeper into the content to see if it’s really a book for me. There may be people who like a more complex cover – and I appreciate that – but I’m also reminded of my advertising background and a colleague who always advocated for “one ad, one idea.” A book cover serves as much as an ad for the book as it does as a cover, especially when it comes to e-books. Experienced designers will certainly understand this concept, but for most authors, cover creation can be a daunting task. But it doesn’t have to be.
At Booktango we recently launched our DIY Online Cover Designer, which makes it simple for authors to quickly and easily create custom cover art for their e-books with drag-and-drop simplicity. Keep these three valuable elements of e-book cover design in mind to create a marketable cover:
- Create a title that evokes curiosity
We don’t often think of the book’s title when talking about cover design. But your title, after all, is a main aspect to the cover – think of it as the headline on a billboard. A descriptive and interesting title can help entice prospective readers to take action and explore your e-book further.
- Create a compelling visual
Think about what interests your prospective readers today. Pinterest, Google +, Facebook and other social sites are moving in the direction of compelling visual content. In February of this year, comScore reported that video ads reach half of the U.S. population. A compelling visual that relates to the subject matter you’ve written about can be the difference between a quick glance and capturing a prospective reader’s attention.
- Design with the reduced visibility of your cover in mind
Take a look at the Booktango bookstore. Be conscious of how prospective readers are browsing new e-book titles and design with the reduced visibility of your cover and competition in mind. Do some research on your book’s genre, bestsellers and other self-published titles. You’ll see some really great covers and some that you might think aren’t as good as others. Consider how your book will stand out among the competition.
When you design and craft your book with a prospective audience in mind you increase the likelihood that they will have higher value perceptions of your book than competitive titles. In my experience as a consumer and marketer, higher value perceptions typically equate to a higher retail price and a satisfied customer who will recommend your e-book to their friends and acquaintances. And what’s the value of a recommendation? Priceless.
What is your take on the importance of cover design? Do you have any other cover design tips to share?