3 Book Cover Worries to Ignore

Janet Grant

Blogger: Janet Kobobel Grant

Several elements go into deciding whether a book cover works, but today let’s look at three elements you don’t have to sweat. What if…

You detest the book cover’s color

Do you dislike the dominant color used in the cover? Not to worry. The reader could care less that emerald green resides on your all-time-most-hideous-color-ever list. What counts is whether the cover conveys the right “feel” for the book’s content. If green suggests the bright hope of tomorrow, and that’s what your book is about, learn to like green.

You don’t like the way the model looks

#2 on the list of details not to worry about is whether the model on the book cover matches how you perceived the protagonist (in the case of fiction). Sometimes it doesn’t matter that the cover designer saw the protagonist differently from how you did. It does matter if a historical detail is incorrect or if the protagonist is rendered a blonde when in the story she’s a brunette.  Or if the model isn’t the protagonist’s age, or in the case of nonfiction, if the model isn’t a match for the age of your core audience. That would convey the wrong message about the intended reader’s age. If your audience is 40, but the model is 20, the book will attract a different audience than the content does.

You dislike the book cover’s fonts

#3 worry that you should ignore is whether the font appeals to you. Once again, personal preference doesn’t count. The three valid reasons to suggest a font change include:

  1. Whether the words are readable. If the person scanning through reading possibilities has to work to figure out the title or subtitle of your book, then your concern is valid.
  2. If the font conveys the wrong message about the book’s tone. I saw a cover recently with a font that suggested a historical time period even though the novel was contemporary–wrong message.
  3. Sometimes author is identified with a certain font that’s part of his or her brand. Often this is true for their name rather than for the title. The author’s name always appears in the same font, book after book.

Ultimately, our personal preferences should be the least of our concerns when we get our first gander at a book cover design.

Below are three book covers for you to evaluate. What does the color convey? Is the title presented in a compelling way? Does the image work? Does everything work in concert to invite the intended reader to pick up this book and BUY IT?

Siracusa coverGrape book cover

Eleanor and Park cover










3 book cover elements you shouldn’t sweat. Click to tweet.

What really matters on a good book cover design? Click to tweet.