Face it: we all judge books by their covers. It’s survival. How else do we choose between all the books in the world? (So much to read! So little time!)
Book covers are important. We’ve all been told over and over that they’re not, and that’s a lie. A writer probably started it.
A traditionally published author usually has little to no control over the cover. The image may not even relate to what’s inside (how often has that happened to us all?), but what the cover should be is a reflection of the content. And even when it doesn’t provide that reflection, at least you know that someone paid to make such decisions thought it would sell more books. Theoretically, everyone (except maybe the reader) benefits.
Self-publish, and you decide how the world first perceives your work. But it really helps to hire a good graphic designer, and/or have insanely talented friends, and/or be insanely talented, yourself. I’ve seen it done to beautiful effect. Make no mistake: a cover image isn’t any less important for an e-book. (Want to see it done right? Look at this.)
This post brought you by: A TED Talk from a book designer who knows what he’s doing and does it well. And see what happens when a six-year-old describes the plots of classic novels based on their covers.