When you're done with the post, make sure you pick up a copy of her Frugal Book Promoter at http://budurl.com/FrugalBkPromo. It will give you the knowledge and tools needed to spread the word about your book.
What You Should Know About Book Covers That Your Publisher May Not Know
By Carolyn Howard-Johnson
If you have a "traditional" publisher, or a publisher who does your book cover for you, do you really need to read this article on what makes a great book cover and the booboos too many authors and publishers make with their covers? All I can tell you is, I wish I had seen it before my first book was released!
These are your basic tenets for a book cover that SELLS:
1. Use a subtitle. It is your second chance to publicize your book right up front. Even books of fiction can benefit from a subtitle.
2. Use another subtitle on the back--not the same one as on the front. How many times in life do you get a third chance? This one will help sell your book to browsers who turn it over in bookstores to read the endorsements.
3. Use enticing blurbs on the back, with lots of space between and around them. Use bold typeface, a frame or some other graphic trick to make them stand out.
4. Don't use borders on the books covers. Sometimes the spine doesn't align well in production and it will look like Mondrian gone awry.
5. Having said that, use a bright color or one dark enough for your cover to stand out online. White gets lost or looks ghostly on an B&N.com sales page.
6. Use big letters on the spine. Make them read up and down if the title isn't too long, instead of making the reader twist his/her head to see it on the shelf.
7. Author bios needn't go on the back cover of your book. They do equally well in in the back matter and you'll have more space to convince readers of your expertise or credibility as a writer.
8. An author's picture that tells more of a story than just a head shot is desirable. (If you would like to see an example of this, my picture is with my Great Dane, e-mail me at HoJoNews@aol.com and I'll send it to you. She is spotted and looks like an overgrown Dalmatian so she catches everyone's eye!) It should be taken by a professional. There are little things about shadows and the position of your head that an amateur photographer won't get right.
9. Make the title big. And your name. Look at the covers in bookstores. The real standouts are the ones that aren' t squeamish about shouting out these most important marketing tools. The title is at the top. The authors' name at bottom. Nora Roberts wouldn't put up with puny lettering, so why should you?
10. Discourage your publisher from using a template. Some subsidy-, partner, or independent publishers make their covers as similar as seeds from a thistle.
11. If you are independently published, consider using a real pro for you cover, not your uncle who happens to be a graphic designer but knows nothing about book covers per se. To get an idea of what great covers look like, visit http://chazdesimone.com or check out the cover on the second edition of The Frugal Book Promoter at http://budurl.com/FrugalBkPromo. And don't look at my novel. I'll do a better job with it when I republish it on my own.
Instructor for nearly a decade at the renowned UCLA Extension Writers' Program. Author of the multi award-winning series of HowToDoItFrugally books including the second edition honored by USA BOOK NEWS
The Frugal Book Promoter ( http://budurl.com/FrugalBkPromo )
Tony Eldridge is the author of The Samson Effect, an action/adventure novel that Clive Cussler calls a "first rate thriller brimming with intrigue and adventure." He is also the author of the Twitter marketing book, Conducting Effective Twitter Contests. His new novel, The Lottery Ticket, was just recently released on Kindle.