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  • Writer's pictureLori DiAnni

Should You Judge a Book by its Cover?

Updated: Mar 11, 2021

As I near the end of my first novel, I'm realizing there's a lot to do to self-publish a book and one of the tasks is creating a book cover. It's not an easy decision to make. As an author, we want to sell lots of books and make money, right? Well, the old adage "don't judge a book by it's cover", is probably not going to work, unless it's a book written by some well-known author, such as Nora Roberts-it wouldn't matter what was on her cover, she'd sell books. But, for most of us, especially for those of us who are just starting out, it's important we have a cover that appeals to our readers. The cover needs to fit in with our genre and appeal to the eye.

Book covers are the most powerful selling feature of your book. How many times have you gone into a book store and found yourself going for the book in which the cover really intrigued you? It could be the colors; the imagery; the font--all of those things make us reach for that book. If the cover appeals to us, then we flip it over and read the blurb. And, if that appeals to us, we buy the book. I'll be honest, as a writer, I was only thinking of writing the book and making it perfect. I never thought about covers until it was time to make one for my completed book. I'm at that point now and I want the best cover for my book. And I'm realizing how important a cover really is.

I'm also on a budget and thought the best way to get a cover and stay in my budget was to create my own. I played around on Canva and created several mock covers that I really liked, and I'll be honest, some of them looked good enough to publish. I put my mock covers side by side with published books and they were very similar. When I looked at other DIY book covers, I found they were lacking, in so many things. But, even though I like my covers and think they'll do well, I'm still nagged by the feeling that I should hire a book cover designer. After all, this is what they do for a living and they know all the nuances that I could easily miss. Plus to really make a cover look professional with a back cover wrap, I needed a more complex program. And that cost money as well.

Out of curiosity, I polled some writer and author friends and asked for their opinions. Almost unanimously, they all replied that I should hire a book designer. Because, after all, readers do 'judge a book by its cover'. I am one of those readers. If the cover doesn't appeal to me, I usually don't even read the blurb! It's human nature that we judge by outward appearances. It's not always right, but it just is.

So, I bit the bullet and hired a designer that I've had my eye on for several months now. Actually, I had two designers in mind, and after I researched their covers, I decided on one who I believe can make my book cover everything I want it to be. We'll see what happens down the road. I do know that although most of us judge a book by its cover, the ultimate test of a good book is the quality of the story. That's another post though.

**NOTE: The cover below is a mock up I created because I wanted to see what I could do on my own. I will do a book cover reveal soon. . . .

As always, thanks for reading!


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