And the Survey says … Design Your Book Cover with Confidence

Feature Release: Side-by-Side Book Cover Compare and Social Media Sharing

A few months ago I wrote a post about three valuable elements of great book cover design. Those elements included:

  1. Create a title that evokes curiosity
  2. Create a compelling visual
  3. Design with the reduced visibility of your cover in mind

Sometimes as authors we can get so close to crafting our book that we forget we’re not the audience for our book. For example, we might design our book cover based on the colors and visual elements we like instead of thinking about what our audience might like. In a former life as an ad executive for JWT, I found we often needed to remind our clients, “It’s not about you; it’s about your customers.” In your case, as an author, sometimes you need to remember, “It’s not about you; it’s about the people who will read your book and tell their friends about it.”

There are times when you know in your gut what your audience wants in a book cover. There are other times when it would be ideal if you could solicit feedback from prospective readers and allow their feedback to guide your design. 

Today at Booktango we’ve made this easier than ever before with enhanced features to our DIY Cover Designer. Now you can enlist your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus and Pinterest friends and followers to help you design a cover with confidence. Our robust set of tools allows you to design and compare up to 10 different covers for your e-book, share them with your social networks and solicit feedback. 

Now, you can post your sample book cover designs to social media — Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus and Pinteret — and get valuable feedback from your audience.

The fact is people do judge a book by its cover. So why not enlist prospective readers to help ensure that your cover includes creative elements that will help your book stand out in bookstores. Designing a compelling cover that helps your book stand out in online bookstores can be a daunting task. Our social sharing features help remove the guess work and ensure that you are creating a cover that will get the attention of prospective readers. 

Booktango is the free, fast and easy way to publish an e-book. You make the most from sales, get your book on all e-readers, and now you can design your book cover with confidence.

So now it’s your turn. When you share your cover with prospective readers you reap the rewards. And when you share your ideas on great cover design you make us all better.

So tell us, what do you think are key things authors need to think about when designing a cover?

77 thoughts on “And the Survey says … Design Your Book Cover with Confidence

  1. I had tried to have a few friends look at the ONE cover I designed for feedback. It’s great to be able to show several. Now, rather than yes or no answers, I’ll receive true feedback!

  2. The book-cover is the most importanr element of getting the consumer to buy a book like looking into the 3D Camera its pop out you want it you got to read it mystery book- bite Puts smiles whole book cover our Godly light. Telling a nation love book- mark keepsake lifts your spirit cover design how its worded so artistic .Vision we are gifted that front page talks out lifted .How our eyes open book cover how its created highly love rated.. What the cover brings make it happy-enlightning and inviting… Stay focused on the book cover whats inside it comes alive Our eyes looking foward straight at the book eyes hypnotic trance you are so in..Meditation front picture of the book all about the color draws you in a perfect design of a win..E-book got me to look..

  3. Waoo! Do not tell me that this idea of sending cover designs to friends and contacts were there when I did my last two jobs and I was not aware of it! This is one of the most exciting innovations any publisher can come up with and would have wished I was aware of it before I had done my first two works. I will like to get further details of this I cant wait to exploit this astonishing feature. Bravo BOOK TANGO!

  4. Yes a good cover design should make someone stop and at least pause long enough to at least read the title. This is hard since their are thousands of new releases every week and you are just a minnow in a sea of sharks. Your only hope to survive is to make your cover really stand out from the crowd. And keep in mind that the first and only view most people will get of that cover will be a thumbnail sized version of it on a vendor’s website. So when designing your cover check how it looks at a smaller size. Full sized it may look great but smaller it may look muddled and unreadable.
    And I find it interesting that even though e-books are digital, no one is making use of this new technology when designing covers. You are no longer limited to static pictures that once printed on your cover remain the same and never change or move. With an e-book you could make a cover that is animated and could even show part of the story. I am not a computer or internet expert so I am sure there is a good reason this isn’t done but I still say that its a shame that it isn’t.

  5. Its unfortunately true that consumers DO judge a book by it’s cover. Whilst browsing the many shelves at a bookstore, our eyes automatically pass up a book just because the cover is boring, or unappealing for whatever reason. Plus color is a huge draw, certain colors evoke certain natural responses from the subconscious. A book with a well designed, well thought out cover is proven to be picked up and purchased more. And Booktango covers are well done- kudos to the design team!

  6. My next title is on the essence of leadership, leadership is in high demand and the call and the cause is to get everyone back on track, so now I have a better idea as to how to work in better designs to draw more attention

  7. This feature was just released this week, so don’t worry – you didn’t miss it with your last two books! Do you have another e-book you want to publish?

  8. Author’s should consider the contents of their book. What’s the message in their story? How will the cover reflect the message? Will the cover represent the story and message properly or will it turn the reader off. These are the things an Author should consider when choosing a cover.

  9. Innovative idea! I’m currently working on the cover of my book about learning a new language, so, yes, this feature is a very interesting option. Suggestion: more choices!

  10. A book cover is the first thing a person sees. A book cover must stimulate the customer into reading and buying your books. There are great visual effects that can be added to a book cover to increase interest in a book, such as graphics, font selections, colors, holograms, just to name a few. The cover is what sets your book apart from other books within the same genre.

  11. Thanks BookTango !

    1- It’s free.
    2- It’s a kind of free promotion on the different Social Media sites before publishing the e book.
    3- The most important two factors in the reader’s decision to buy the e book are:
    a- The Title
    b- The cover
    4- The reader’s participation in choosing the cover will create a kind of friendship between the reader and the author. I expect that the reader will promote the e book himself.
    5- The readers may see what the author can’t see.

  12. Being a once staunch traditionalist, I never seriously considered Ebooks as a legitimate writers venue. I disdainfully dismissed the cocept in all its entirety. Wasn’t trying to hear none of it. OK… I was wrong. Sorry. I’m listening now. Kindly procede with your good work, if you will. The new cover formating tools…empowering, to say the very least.

  13. Though it is true that customers may first be attracted to a flash/alluring cover we must also remember they are, above all other things, readers. An important part of a cover is your book’s title (teasing, mysterious, provocative…) and some indication of the connection between the book’s contents & the cover. Thus the blurb cover relationship becomes paramount.

  14. putting a eye pleasing and book relevant cover is one of the most important steps in getting your book noticed. The folks at booktango have a wide variety of covers to choose from. I chose the picture which most defined my book “The Great American Cash Crunch” I then used the color accents to offset against the greyish cover.
    It gave the book a very appealing look.
    Keeping the lettering within 1 line boundaries is very important. if they are too big this is very confusing and looks like clutter.I personally used 2 separate colors for titles and author.
    The comment received were very positive by the public
    I learned at a young age that anyone can sell a hotdog, but the person that makes it look more appetizing will sell more than the others.Make sure your title and subtitle are informative as well as your cover art relevant.
    The people at booktango have been there for me and they will be there for you. .

  15. I could soooo use a social media publicist! The hardest part of writing is getting people to know about and sample your work. Really hope I win!!

  16. Sometimes it’s hard to imagine a cover that gives a visual taste of what’s inside the book. Sometimes the cover of a book can be really off-putting even when the book itself is great. For an author to know what appeals to their market sector before publishing would be incredibly useful!

  17. Just because it is the first sight attraction in an in cased content,the motivating interest that beckons even on passers by to look in,the book cover design is a necessity providing interest to the readers as consumers in creation of a book.Its a sight reaching desire for the mind to uphold first before reading the in closed contents.So it should be the first and best of the authors focus in considering a crowd pulling audience to read and purchase the book for keeps

  18. An excellent idea. Although your friends may not share your taste, creative flair or acumen in design it can’t hurt to listen to their opinions and take careful note of them. The more the merrier. In the end it’s your call but having more heads in on the deal means you gain a wider spectrum of viewpoints and could hit on exactly the right cover.

  19. Cover page is the best welcoming selling interest induced by good cover design.As professionals book cover created by booktango should be adjudged by authors as marketable piece hence, a standard that can make a book move on marketing.

  20. Part 2 of my book, Soul Passage, will be available later this year. Need to find time to write it in between staving off going bust and raising three children. Still, it’s in the pipeline.

  21. I can only agree that the cover is of vital importance: one needs something which the clients can (in some way) relate to and find appealing enough to buy. I have personally struggled to get that balance as I have also fallen into the trap of what I like as to what the clients find pleasing.

  22. A book cover design is like a person standing at the entrance door of his apartment beckoning to passersby and specifics to come in and take a look at his interior components as contents of his book creations. The appearance tells whether more interest will come in or feel disillusioned. How welcoming his designed invitational approach is in inducing a moving interest upon buyers, informs how creative informing the designs of the book cover page is well done. So book cover design initiates the informing notes of buying at first instance. Authors should view my project on the Book ‘THE EQUANIMITY KNOWLEDGE’ and tell me what the cover page looks like on marketing valuations. I will be very pleased if you consider to pass a comment (for my consideration relative to publishing it) as to marketers and buyers interest.

  23. Crowdsourcing is a great way to get feedback on all sorts of visual elements. I use it before I use a new advertisement, and for other purposes as well. I typically offer 3 alternatives (too many choices limits the responses), and ask for friends to tell me their favorites. In this way, I’m split-testing my designs before I ever put them into actual use, at the same time as letting my network feel a sense of ownership in the process. Wins all the way around! Great idea to work with BookTango! Thanks for giving your users this opportunity.

  24. Some of history’s most famous voices began their creative journey with self-publishing. From cover to publishing, Booktango paves the way with innovative ideas and creative solutions for emerging authors.

  25. Clean lines and a short title help. I think that keeping a cover clutter-free helps. It is important to have the design reflect a concept of the book… For example, my novel, Dancing Naked in Dixie, (on Booktango) has a girl’s bare legs on the cover, a suitcase, which reflects that the main character is a travel writer, and then the title and my name. I plan to use similar concepts for my future books…. One manuscript almost ready to publish!!!

    What a fabulous prize package….I would love to win!

  26. Designing book covers is about my favorite part of the publishing process. The selfish side of me goes nuts when I receive too much differing feedback on the look I’ve created. You’re not going to please everyone, and certainly not even everyone in your target demo. But everyone has an opinion, and as a designer you need to know how to sift through the good, the bad and the ugly – and trust your instincts.

    When a cover is out there on a published book, people take the look for granted (and they’re either attracted to it or they’re not). When you involve people in the process of design, however, it’s wild how everyone’s minds (including my own) can pick every little aspect apart – color, font size, font, attitude, element placement, geometrics, tone, and on and on and on…

    Give people too much power, and they’ll go to town – leaving you, the designer, sometimes at a loss for what to do next and even doubting that you’ll ever come up with the right look. Feedback is vital, of course, so for me, it takes a practiced discipline to whittle down the inevitable contradictory suggestions and learn how to incorporate what I feel is right for a particular book and what just isn’t.

    Feedback serves to reinforce my own design instincts as I absorb the impressions of others, even when I don’t agree.

  27. I appreciate Booktango’s ease of use. I like to do graphics so I like designing my own
    covers but I think it’s a wonderful idea for those who don’t dabble in the visual arts.

  28. A good cover leads to readership. I have found out the hard way. I had to fix my book cover to something more relevant.

  29. To catch the eye is a hard thing to do in today’s ever-changing market. Yet, the cover of a book has the potential to draw the reader in. Booktango has paved the way the draw the reader into a book, through the journey. With Booktango’s creative team, you’re able to design and implement a gorgeous cover that reflects the writer’s ideal imagination!

  30. The cover may be the last step an author takes in a book’s production – after making sure to have written the best text possible. For the reader, it’s the first step, so I think you want to give some clue as to the mood of the book and what it might be about, without being too literal about it. Great to see booktango offering great tools for e-book design and publicity.

  31. What a good idea. I am sure this will appeal to so many authors, and getting the opinion of the social network should prove invaluable.

  32. It makes sense to me and I’m always running different covers for my books and comparing sales reports. And I understand that what I like makes little difference. I’ve experimented with titles too and that can make world of difference.I have found that Great Britian responds differently to art and titles the the USA customers.

  33. Too long have we lived with the idea that one does not judge a book by its cover. The fact is that we do judge a book by its cover. The proof of this can be tested by anyone wmo writes. For instance, write a beautiful, compelling story’ Have a ‘plain jane’ for the cover (just author’s name and title of book. Then, have the same book with a well designed cover. Place them both on the bookstand.The one that would attract would be the one with the designed cove. Why? Creative art demands a second glance, and , whether we admit to this or not, we have a built-in sence of curiousity. The cover can , should, and would tell us all we want to know about a boo. I have been drawn to many books by merely looking at the cover/

  34. Booktango is very good at giving us writers advice and support in creating our book and book cover. This blog just shows how much they care in helping us out even more! I believe this new idea will make it easier for a book cover as well as being more confident in what I choose as my book cover. Thank you for this great opportunity. I will share with my fellow writers and friends most certainly.

  35. I have my cover already designed, and when I used your cover tool it forced me to add another layer for the title and author. Now both are duplicated and it looks silly. You need to provide an option for those of who who already have a cover design.

  36. i really forgot to included something that would be appreciated by the people for my book cover.

  37. I have tried the new cover feature and for me being an artist, the feature is great and it gives me more features as well as choices especially for upcoming titles

  38. While we designed our own cover this forum is certainly enlightening and provides tips for the “right way” to design a book cover! As our book continues to sell and grow we hope to be able to use a professional source for book cover design on our next endeavor!

  39. As a music recording artist I know how important it is to have a great jacket. I always ask for input from impartial parties (definitely not my mother, for example). Little things like spelling errors and poor color registration come to light with a fresh pair of eyes.

  40. Hi Kathie,
    Good news – We have that option in place. When you open up the Cover Designer, you have the option of uploading your completed cover instead of going through our cover design process. If you want to update your cover to remove the duplicate text, just unlock it in your dashboard. Let us know if you have any questions!

  41. Never judging a book by it’s cover is only after it’s read. The cover is what gets our attention. All covers should be “attention getters” How else would we sell? Take advantage of the opportunity to sell, sell, sell!

  42. I believe a good gripping title and a remarkable book cover really do increase your chances of getting your book to be noticed out of the millions that are out there and coming out everyday!

  43. I agree that feedback is very important, and it is a great idea that BookTango has come up with. I have designed four of my own covers and it is a lot of work. Theirs seems to always look just a little better, so on my next book, Alien Girl, I hope to pay BookTango the $159. and let them do all the work. I will sit back and give feedback. I have already bought my author’s website and am looking foreward to seeing it in action.They are the greatest in what they do and have been very patient with me, and that has not been easy.

  44. Who doesn’t love “getting attention”, and that is clearly what the book cover should be automatically publicizing. With such an abundance of books in a wide assortment of subjects, I certainly want my books to stand out:

    “Hey, look over here, your curiosity is peaked, so buy & read me! You know you want to!”

    When I’m hiking in the wilderness, and come upon a vibrant wildflower or upon massive boulders reflecting a rough pallet of color, my interest is inspired and my energy is renewed. My book covers need to evoke a similar visceral emotion.

    The cover should also be subject-representative or theme-supportive and relevant while portraying an artistic and pleasing portrait of what will be found inside, through the readers imagination.

    I am most excitedly looking forward to using this tool for Wilderness Training 3!

  45. Great article. The first thing a writer should look for in a cover is if the title is readable when displayed as a thumbnail. No-one will pick it out from the crowd if they can’t read it.
    Second wherever you get you cover from be sure you are not using copyrighted images.
    Third, don’t make it too busy. Even if your title is readable make sure the images/graphics are not going to turn into something that is confusing when once again it is viewed as a thumbnail.

  46. Getting extra input on the first thing a prospective customer might buy is a great idea!

  47. Design of a book cover that promotes the content, is an essential piece of armour for the modern author.

  48. Well Book Tango what can I say to express my excitement. Even when I did my first two works I was highly exciting using your already made back cover images. Your thoughtful additions to the original provisions are simply tantalizing and I am looking forward to experiencing it in my next publication. The possibility of having ten different designs is too good to be true, having the opportunity to send it to contacts for them to voice their opinion and acceptability and the winning opinion chosen is simply a vote to economic and marketing sense, I simply believe that that will in great measure improve sales of Book Tango Books’ profile and improve the over all take home of numerous authors of book Tango. I am looking forward to experience this excitements. Igwegbe Lawrence

  49. Authors once had to upload their own cover then booktango provided pictures/means to help Authors design their book covers. It was nice but I found it difficult to use. Cover design was my only problem in all my publishing process that I always needed help in that aspect so the new improved option will solve my problem in that I can now easily work with friends or other experts to get the cover design I want for my books. Moreover, I have the option of sharing such covers with my fans and work with them in the process of designing and selecting a book cover. We can choose to carry our fans or friends along in the publication process especially in the aspect of book cover design. We have the option not to work alone.

  50. Thank you Book Tango for everything the editing page and the cover page all of you made it so easy for a first time to get an e-book ready to publish I hope to have the 3rd one out soon and i will have some fun playing with the cover design page that part was fun can can’t wait to do it again.
    thanks Book Tango.
    Paulette and Art

  51. Bold and helpfull
    O is for often
    O is for organizaition
    K is kind and friendly support
    T taking it to the next level
    A achieve your best
    N never give up
    G goal oreinted
    O optimism to achieve
    That is what Booktango means to my future goals!!!!!!

  52. I really struggled with four designs – all very different from each other. I did a Facebook poll and narrowed it down to two. From there, I enlisted a finals rounds and went with the majority vote (which, fortunately, was my favorite of the two).

    Final answer for self-publishers everywhere: Do your market research! …and good luck!

  53. Thank you Chris. What a great idea – testing out alternative covers. Given your third valuable element of book cover design – “Design with the reduced visibility of your cover in mind* – this could be great way to assess possible covers at thumbnail size as well as at full size.

  54. Pingback: Announcing New E-book Publishing Packages from Booktango | Booktango Blog

  55. I have been thinking of revising my book covers to a more apt image which supports the theme of my books. However it has been hard finding the right pic that I like. Many come close to what I want, but as of now, it’s still a search. I do agree that many a sale is determined by the book’s cover and that’s where many writers fail to live up to a good marketing plan with their cover despite all the hard work in having written the book.

    Cheers to Booktango with yet another interesting post. It does make me wonder if I am covering by bases well with all these helpful tips. Yet again, something new learned.

  56. I sometimes start designing a book cover during the writing process and find a theme and image that focuses some of the storytelling for me. I have learned to run these covers through Facebook and let my friends comment and sometimes try to figure out the genre. I haven’t opened this up to social media, but it is a great idea, especially as it builds excitement and a foundation for the project as it gears towards a launch.

  57. Interestingly, booktango has emerged as an insightful enabler of the independent content creator. By providing do-it-yourself tools, support resourses and individual advisors to aid the process of online publishing, booktango has upped the ante, giving the answer “how”, to the question of, “why not publish?”. Booktango makes it generously simple and easy to proceed in global distribution. With the social media marketing buzz ablaze, booktago has created a way to allow potential customers to interact with authors by voting on cover designs of pending title releases. The future of the independent content creator is made brighter by the free and cost effective publishing tools and services of booktango.

  58. Congratulations to our winners, Tara R. Alemany and Marybeth Haydon. Both authors will receive a free Social Media Publicist service from Booktango. Thanks to everyone who participated in the giveaway contest.

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  60. Pingback: The Do’s and Don’ts of E-book Cover Design | Booktango Blog

  61. Your work is very interesting and i quite appreciates but i am yet to collect proceeds of my earlier work as creative book,hence only when i am paid as my contractual rights provides that i will have the convenience to embark on a new process of book writing..Thanks for your good work as book cover designs.

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