The book cover is one of the most important elements of your book. If you think of it in terms of your business, if you owned a car dealership and you didn’t have a sign out front or the sign was broken, chances are people would drive right by. The book cover is one of the most important pieces of real estate in a book.
By real estate, I mean that there are five specific locations that you want to maximize when creating and publishing a book. In real estate, you may have heard investors or real estate professionals say location location location. That means no matter what home you decide to choose or what property you invest in, it’s all about location. You could choose the most beautiful home in a rundown neighborhood and lose your investment. Location is everything. On a book, there are five locations of real estate that are critical to selling and marketing books even before someone opens it to read it.
You know the old saying you can’t judge a book by its cover? Well, you actually can. If the cover is bad, that means the book is probably bad too. When I see a bad book cover or something really really odd that the author has done, it makes me realize that if the quality of the cover doesn’t grab me and if the quality is poor, and if the title is not full of clarity and overflowing with Hope and the promise of what I will learn, then the inside isn’t going to be any better. You actually can judge a book by its cover. In fact, publishing experts like ourselves will tell you that book sales are 90% determined by the cover. That’s the sale.
So, the first piece of real estate is your front cover. If you compare it to a house, the front cover is actually what real estate agents call curb appeal. It has to be welcoming, it has to be bright or eye-catching or fit the audience. It has to have all of those elements, not just one. The cover title has to provide clarity and the subtitle cannot be confusing. You must tell your reader what they will learn or what they will find inside. When it comes to title and subtitle, we got you. This is our expertise at OnFire Books.
We help others navigate titles and subtitles that draw in readers and sell millions of books.
So the first area of real estate on a book is the front cover. The second is the back cover, the third is the inside flaps copy (if you have a hardback with a dust jacket), the fourth is the introduction and the fifth is the content itself. Notice that the front cover comes first because there is a specific order to things.
I prefer doing the front cover early on. Creating a vision for the author that helps them to achieve two things. The first is the visual allows you to see the path ahead, the dream. The second is the cover is a living vision board that you can post on your website, that you can print and post over your computer at your desk. The cover is something that you can put on the website and offer pre-orders from. Celia Swanson, who we wrote the book Gracious and Strong for, was a Walmart executive who reported to the CEO she was the first female Executive VP. Here is her book cover below. It’s one of my favorite covers.