3 Reasons Your Book Cover Isn’t Attracting the Right Readers

Almost everyone has heard the adage about not judging a book by its cover, but that advice ignores exactly what a book cover is intended to do. Book covers draw attention to the book and give readers an idea of what is inside. If the cover of a book is wrong, it may draw the wrong audience.

Writers may think that any book sale is a good sale, and even if the book doesn’t match the reader’s taste, their exemplary writing skills will win the reader over. Rarely are they right. More often, selling books to the wrong readers eliminates series read-through, results in poor reviews on sales pages, and keeps books out of the hands of readers who will truly enjoy the book and recommend it to others.

How does a self-publishing author make sure their cover attracts the right readers? An excellent place to start is by avoiding these three cover mistakes.

1. The Cover Doesn’t Match the Genre and Sub-genre

A reader should be able to tell what genre a book is simply by looking at the cover. All genres and sub-genres offer a sort of shorthand that indicates to readers what sort of book is inside. This shorthand can change with the times, and self-publishing authors should research to keep up to date on the latest trends in their genre. This is especially important in a nuanced genre such as mystery.

A collection of books displayed to show the cover images.

2. The Colors Don’t Match the Tone

Colors are an at-a-glance indicator to the reader of what the tone of the book will be. Lighter cover colors such as pinks and yellows or books with pastel-colored covers often indicate a book that will be lighthearted. The book may have some serious scenes, but most of it will be light in tone, with comedy and/or romance at the center.

Dark colors typically indicate a book that will be suspenseful, mysterious, or dangerous.

If a reader buys a book with a pretty pastel painting of a landscape on the front, they will not be expecting horrors and murders within the book. Therefore, authors need to be sure the colors on their cover give readers the right impression of the themes and tones held within the pages.

3. Gratuitous Images

Book covers should tell readers about the book’s content, but covers with gratuitous images can go too far and turn off potential readers. A horror book with a dark cover and ominous images will gain new readers better than a gory cover where the monster within the book is wreaking violent havoc.

Similarly, images with extremely sensual cover images may turn off potential readers even if those readers don’t mind descriptions of such content on the pages of their book.

In addition to turning off potential readers, covers containing gratuitous violence or sensual images will have limited opportunities for marketing. Many ad sites will refuse to sell ads for books with covers that might be offensive to a large segment of readers.

When it comes to covers, less is more. Suggestions of sensuality or violence are more effective for covers than detailed images. No matter how extreme the book’s content, the cover should be fit to sit on public bookshelves in a bookstore.

Selecting the right cover for a book is one of the most critical decisions that self-publishing authors make. The first impression readers get of a book is the cover. A good cover will cause the potential reader to pick up the book and read the description or skim through the book’s first page. An unappealing cover will cause a book to sit unread on a shelf even if the book’s content is compelling.

InstantPublisher has all the tools writers need to self-publish their books. This includes cover art templates and options to purchase custom cover art. Call us today at 1800  259 2592 to learn more about the wide range of exceptional services InstantPublisher offers.


6 Easy Steps to Create a Classroom Anthology

5 Reasons to Create a Classroom Anthology offered several good reasons to create a classroom anthology but didn’t get into details about how to do so. Here are the steps teachers need to take to create a classroom anthology:

1. Establish Parameters

During the first phase of creating a classroom anthology, the teacher must establish the parameters the students will write within. Will the anthology feature fiction or non-fiction works? What topics will be covered? What restrictions will there be on content? What size should each installment in the anthology be?

All of these things should be decided before the start of the project. These decisions should be based on class size, age of students, and desired anthology length. The latter will be determined by the desired aesthetic, page size, illustrations, and font size.

Longer books will cost more to print than shorter books but are typically more aesthetically appealing. InstantPublisher has a print cost estimation tool to help teachers decide the best book length for their classroom.

The teacher should also determine whether artwork from the students should be included in the anthology. For example, will the artwork be black and white drawings or color images?

A teacher and students give a copy of their classroom anthology that used custom printing services from InstantPublisher to the school library

2. Have Students Create an Outline

Outlines will help students write more succinctly and allow the teacher to give input in the planning stage of each anthology installment.

Fiction, non-fiction, and poetry outlines will all look different, but they will give the student and teacher a roadmap to follow for the project. In addition, it will help students stay on track and meet their writing goals.

Fiction outlines should include where a story begins and ends and critical plot points.

Non-fiction outlines should include a thesis statement and a list of the most important points covered.

3. Edit Drafts

After the outline is completed, the first draft can be written. It is essential for the teacher to enforce deadlines and ensure that plenty of time is provided for re-writes. Once the draft is completed, the teacher can make corrections and return the project to the student. It may take several rounds of edits to perfect the student’s work.

A well-edited anthology is important. Many students will remember their contribution to the anthology with pride. Whether the anthology is intended as a keepsake or a fundraiser, it should be as close to perfect as possible.

4. Create a Cover

The cover for the anthology can be a student work of art, if appropriate. If student art isn’t suitable for the cover, the anthology cover can be created by the teacher or purchased.

Covers should give readers an idea of the topics or themes of the works within. It should have colors congruent with the tone of the work.

InstantPublisher offers an easy-to-use cover template for those using their printing services.

5. Make Printing Decisions

Many choices need to be made before a classroom anthology is printed. These include binding options and book size. InstantPublisher can help guide teachers through this process.

6. Order and Distribute the Completed Classroom Anthology

Once the printing choices have been made, there is nothing to do but wait for the finished books. In some instances, the teacher may wish to order a proof copy of the anthology to ensure the aesthetics are as desired.

Be sure to get book orders from students and their families before making the final order. The number of books ordered often affects the printing cost, which may create additional book orders cost-prohibitive.

InstantPublisher can give you step-by-step assistance with all your printing needs. Call us today at 1-800-259-2592 for personalized service.