Despite the adage to never judge a book by its cover, readers do. Some readers even buy books just to have its cover on their bookshelf. First impressions matter, period. If your cover doesn’t intrigue readers, they’re not going to pick up your book. In fact, a history of producing terrible covers is one of the reasons why self-publishers get a bad reputation.

Although a great cover is only a piece of making your book enticing to readers, it’s certainly one aspect that should never be ignored, mostly because the cover is the first thing people see. Take a look at the books on your bookshelf. Which ones did you buy just for fun? The ones with an appealing cover design, right?

What Makes a Good Book Cover

Can we tell you a secret? Authors are often the worst people to know what will make the cover design effective for their books. Because it’s your book, you’re emotionally involved and not objective—which is how it should be! But that’s also why having a cover designer who knows the book industry is vital. And being matched with the right designer? It’ll make your entire cover design process (and final cover!) that much better.

A good cover sets the mood for your book. It should give the reader an idea of what’s inside without communicating every single element of your story. You don’t want to overwhelm people, but you do want to hook the reader into giving you a few more seconds of their time, which could mean flipping the book over to read your back cover copy or cracking it open to read the first few pages.

With people shopping online for books, your cover design can’t just look good in print—it has to look good as a thumbnail image on a computer screen, too. That’s not easy to execute, unless your cover designer is well versed in what makes a cover that works for your genre, which—lucky for you—professional designers are. If your designer presents a concept that doesn’t seem quite what you expected, trust that their design, along with your feedback, will produce the best cover for your book.

How Mill City Press Helps

We have a team of professional designers who know what it takes to make a great book cover, and they’re dedicated to working with you to create a cover that’ll help sell your book. Learn more about our cover design service and be sure to check out examples of covers we’ve designed.