book cover

5 Book Cover Mistakes Every Indie Author Makes


Okay, there’s no debating on this one people do judge a book by its cover! If you’ve published a book already and wondering why your book hasn’t sold volumes in the market, most probably your cover was too bad to be picked up. Before readers could get to reading blurb, bio and table of contents, they first look at the cover. Book cover is of prime importance and here, we’ve mentioned the 5 most common mistakes every indie author makes regarding book covers. Check them out and learn.

Wrong or Bad Image

The entire appearance of your book’s cover depends on the image you select. If you’re using the wrong image for your cover, your readers could get misleading information about your book. On the other hand, a bad image totally brings down the credibility of your book and makes it look dull and amateurish. Some instances of bad image include using images that are pixilated, cliche color gradients with no concept, or images look cool but totally inappropriate. Sometimes, it also happens that you have a preference image for your cover and are hell-bent on getting the image printed for your book just because it was suggested by someone close, drawn by your granddaughter, or because it’s your lucky charm. Remember, the quality of the book is of importance here. Make sure you choose a suitable image for your book and that it looks professional. Also, ensure you don’t use a copyrighted image for your book cover because you might land up infringing the copyrights.

Wrong Fonts and Typography

Fonts should blend well with the image used in the cover and the typography should be in line with the genre and concept of your book. For instance, if your book is a sci-fi, a modern, digitized, fancy font would do justice to your book. Similarly, the placement of the font plays a crucial role in determining the quality of your book cover. Get your fonts placed where they are supposed to be.

Not Working with a Professional Designer

One of the blunders indie authors do is not work with a professional designer for their book covers. Most of the indie authors we’ve spoken to have a firm mindset of how they want their cover to look. They come up with a concept, they dictate even the smallest detail, and they provide images as well. The output, most of the time, is a bad book cover. Professional designers know what’s trending in the market and most importantly, they’re far more experienced than most of us. Our first book could be the 100th book for them. So, they know what they’re doing. It’s always suggested that indie authors work with a professional designer for a good book cover.

Cliched Concepts

Now, the reason why some of the covers are really bad is because of the basic thought process of the person coming up with it. We’re exposed to so much cliche that when we sit down to think, what we recollect is something that we’ve seen somewhere, sometime in our life. That’s why most of the romance-fiction books out there have a silhouette of a couple standing at the backdrop of a beach, a hill station, or some exotic location. This has appeared in tons of books in the market. Move away from cliches and think of expressing your concept metaphorically.

Wrong Color schemes

Colors have the power to make or break your book in the market. The colors you choose for your cover should captivate your readers and not irritate them. Also, the color scheme should match the genre of your book. If they don’t, your books would remain stagnant in the market. For inspiration, look at some of the books in the same genre and read a bit about color psychology to know what colors cause what impact on readers. Do a bit of a research and you’ll know what color to use for your book’s cover.

Cluttered Cover

Cluttering is when there are too many elements appearing on the front cover. It includes oversized fonts, a lot of images, flashy color schemes and the likes. When you add several elements in your book cover, not only does it make your book dull but it lowers the expectation on your book, too. So, the best thing to do is to opt for a minimalistic cover design, where there is a lot of white space and yet the concept of the book cover is clearly conveyed.

Now that you know what mistakes a lot of indie authors out there have made so far, you can now be aware of them and come up with a book cover accordingly. Avoid these errors and you’ll see your book getting picked up by potential readers, for sure!

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Aravind S

Aravind, works as a publishing mentor at Notion Press. His articles help aspiring writers realize their dream of becoming a published author. He has several years of experience in the publishing industry and has researched on digital media and the future of print-publishing. He is an active mentor for a community of writers to educate and guide them toward writing a book that sells.

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