I received an email inquiry from an author for my book-cover design service. Jeff’s book had originally been published by CreateSpace. “The covers were made a while ago when it was common for authors to use CreateSpace’s Covercreator,” he explained.“These covers need an update. So, I’m contacting designers who might be the best fit for this project…”
Jeff suggested that I check out his book on Amazon.
I promptly investigated Jeff’s book. At first glance, I thought it was a cozy mystery. Then, I read the book description. Huh?! the title and the book description were inconsistent. And, the cover definitely needed to be redesigned, which is the reason Jeff contacted me. He asked me several questions including the cost of designing his cover.
I replied to Jeff with the information he had asked for and ended my message with, “Your title is misleading. When I saw your cover on Amazon and read your book description, I was confused. What is your genre? I waited for his reply.
A few days later, Jeff sent another message. “I’ve decided to go with someone else who appears to be a better match for my current needs. PS: Cozy mystery 🙂 That in itself was helpful. While it has mysterious elements, it’s far from that.”
Although I didn’t get this book design project, it occurred to me that a book can be compared to a three-legged stool. The legs are the:
3) book description (or blurb)
If these three “legs” are inconsistent, the reader will be confused by the mixed messages. In essence, the stool will fall over.
I certainly was confused. Even after I read the description and looked at the book, I still did not know what category it belonged in. Confusion leads to few book sales. Readers will not take a chance on a book with contradictory messages. And, good luck getting any book reviews.
You can avoid falling in the same trap Jeff did by following these seven steps:
1) Determine your genre.
2) Do your homework, and research other books in your genre.
3) Identify the top-selling books in your category.
4) Get honest feedback on your title.
5) Read this article by Judith Briles: How to Create Titles to Hook Your Readers
6) Write an excellent book description. (Read this book)
7) Hire a book designer for your cover.
I wished Jeff good luck with his book. I would have liked to ask him why he chose the designer he did. The more I know about a client’s needs, the better able I will be to meet them.