Thursday, May 1, 2014
What Readers Want in a Cover
Ever wonder what will catch a readers eye? Well it all starts with the cover. I know we aren't supposed to judge a book by it's cover but with all the books on sites like Amazon readers don't have time to read each blurb. So they go by covers and decide if they want to read the blurb. Your cover needs to jump off the page and grab the reader's attention. A dull boring cover will get passed over while the cover with rich colors and stand out font will have the reader clicking on the link to your book. I did a survey with some readers and here is a rundown of what readers want.
How important is a cover to readers?
100% said that it is very important. This means that readers are judging the book by it's cover. So make sure you have a cover that will stand out. If you don't then it may be time the think about getting a new cover for your book.
Should the author's name or title be bigger?
80% said that the title should be bigger. Now when it comes to the name or title being bigger this all comes down to how big your following is. Nora Roberts' name would be bigger because readers will pick up her books just because she wrote them. Now face it... we aren't all big names like Nora. So what should the smaller authors do? Make your title larger and make sure the title will grab the reader's attention. Make it something that sounds unique and interesting but most of all the title needs to go with the story.
Fancy or simple design?
75% said less is more. Most readers like simpler covers because they come across in thumbnail better. Always remember that what looks good in a larger size may look cluttered and hard to see in thumbnail. So be sure and shrink your design down to see if anything gets lost in the process. This will leave you with a cover that is hard to read and looks blurred.
How important is it for the people on the cover to match the characters?
100% said it is very important. Nothing throws a reader off more than a blond on a cover that should be a brunette. Be sure that characters match. Hair color and eye color are very important. But in my experience I have come to realize readers like it better when the cover leaves something to the imagination. Like covers that are just torsos or covers that don't show the full face. This gives the reader the opportunity to decide what the characters look like. Remember what you find sexy someone else might not.
Pictures of people or a design?
67% said they like people on the cover but remember what I said in the question above. People on your cover can make or break your book so be careful with this one. My best advice is to listen to your cover artist. They know what is selling and what isn't. They know the key to grabbing a reader's attention. If you have a great cover artist you will do fine.
Fancy font or plain font?
This one was divided down the middle 50/50. The biggest thing to remember with font is how it will look in thumbnail size. But we are just talking about the title and author name. Subtitle, etc are going to disappear in thumbnail size that is the norm with all books. Just look at Amazon with books in thumbnails size and you will see they all do this.
100% said they like dark rich colors. Dark rich colors are relaxing so they appeal to readers. Most readers read to relax so these colors seem to grab the reader's attention before the bright and florescent colors will. Dark reds, blues and greens mixed with black do the trick and readers love them.
I hope this blog helped authors with the question we have been asking ourselves over and over. What do readers want? This was a great way for me as a cover artist to find out what readers are looking for. Knowing your audience is the beginning to a successful career as an author.
Have a question? Don't hesitate to leave a comment and I will try my best to answer any question about covers you might have.
I will be posting a blog every Thursday on a writing related topic. Hope you will join the blog and leave a comment. Please feel free to share this blog with others.
Next Thursday I will talk about social media. Hope you will join me!
Until Next Time,