Avoid This Common Mistake With Your Book Cover When Publishing
November 9th, 2022, Katelyn Silva
In today’s publishing industry where it’s become so accessible to publish your own book, authors are making many big mistakes and then realizing it too late.
In this video, I address one of those mistakes when it comes to cover design. People do judge a book by its cover!
Prefer to Read?
*This is a transcript and is not reflective of the author’s writing abilities. It reflects the style of speech and intonation presented in the video.
Imagine walking into a bookstore and seeing the book that you wrote with your name on it. Or even just glancing over at your bookshelf and seeing that book and thinking, ‘Wow this is the one that I’ve created that I published with my name on it.’ And just feeling that immense feeling of accomplishment and excitement. Imagine having readers reach out to you and share with you how your book impacted their life and how it really inspired them to pursue their own dreams or to finally write the book that they have in their heart.
I want you to know that a critical factor in having that experience is having an amazing book cover and that’s what I want to share with you today. My name is Katelyn Silva and I work with aspiring author Christian mompreneurs. I help them to finally get their idea onto the page in a way that is confident and impactful, publish it to bestseller, and then also use that book as a long-term tool to grow their business on the back-end.
So what I want to share with you is that over the last 10 years that I have been personally writing and publishing to bestseller and also helping clients do the same, one of the common mistakes that I’ve seen is that many times aspiring authors think to themselves, ‘Oh, well, with the publishing industry the way that it is today, I can just do it myself.’ And, ‘I can just have a friend or family member go through and I have some graphic design skills,’ or, ‘I know someone that has graphic design. We’ll throw something together and it’ll be fine.’
The problem with this is that they don’t understand the immense amount of process that goes into creating a high-quality, eye-grabbing attention-grabbing, professional-grade cover for the book. One that not only just looks pretty, but also stands out and draws the readers in and really has that wow professional factor that makes the readers finally give that book a chance. The truth is: people do judge a book by its cover.
So with that being said, what I want to share with you today is a little bit of the behind the scenes of what that process looks like and kind of what to expect whenever you’re going through different covers. So I want to share with you for one of my extremely first books in the very beginning of the process for me — and really just going along the journey and growing — this book has been through multiple rewrites and transformations and republishing and all kinds of fun things — so I want to share this with you guys.
So this is my very first book. It was titled Amethyst. It was a pirate fantasy under a pen name and you guys can see: I mean it looks gorgeous, right? And it’s got, you know, a lot of different… curious elements, you know, it’s got some of the fantasy elements as well and and all of that, but at the same time, I had a lot to learn. I was beginning in the industry and while it got a lot of attention, I started to learn that it was also somewhat distracting. There was too much going on in the cover and so as I progressed and I grew and I learned.
Eventually I ended up, you know, like I said: it’s been through a lot of rewrites and changes and all of that, and so it actually has had multiple different cover designers. And there’s a whole different story on that, so I won’t go into all the details there, but along that way of finding a different cover designer and doing the rewrites and republishing and launching and all the fun background elements, I ended up realizing that there was a lot of engagement with the cover designer. And I ended up having a lot more depth of conversation such as: the style the cover designer had and the elements the cover designer used; whether it was handwritten art or if it was stock images that were manipulated in Photoshop and then put together; or, you know, conversations around text and sizes of fonts and styles of fonts and how they played together for the genre of the book; and you know picking out different elements as well. And so that first cover was one that I had hand drawn and then hired an artist to bring it to life in a more digital format, of course.
And then when I went through the process of rewrites and republishing and all of that fun stuff, here was the new cover design which I actually super — well I love both of them really — but this one there was a lot more research that went into it. There was a lot more collaboration with the cover designer to really bring something that was going to be competitive with the market, that stood out, that was unique, that screamed whatever this genre is about: pirate fantasy, of course, and really just drew readers in in a way that says, “You have to check out this book,” right?
And that’s what you want as an author. Now, of course, these are fantasy genre examples and I’m going to be doing more videos on this in the future and sharing more about the process and what to expect and what that back and forth really looks like for different covers. So I’m going to include non-fiction as well, especially since a lot of my audience are in both areas of fiction and non-fiction.
So you guys can see that this one has some different elements, some different style to it, and you know, it was a lot more of an in-depth collaboration process with the designer, which was amazing. And so I’m looking forward to doing these videos where I’m sharing with you what that behind the scenes looks like, what the collaboration process looks like, and really what to expect and why it’s so important to really get that third-party professional graphic designer involved in your cover, and not just put something together yourself, or even do what I did with my very first one, where you just hand draw it and kind of go with your gut or whatever. It looks really artistic. Because, sometimes, you make a decision that looks beautiful, but it doesn’t stand out, grab attention, and result in the type of sales and reader-impression — all that you really need to have with your book cover.
So look for upcoming videos. In the meantime, if you’re in the process of publishing your first book, and you would like to have that professional insight and have support in making sure that your book goes as far as possible, and that you really have that bestseller result and do end up having more sales on the back-end, I’d love to chat with you about what that looks like and help you get there. So I will leave a link in the comments for you and you can chat with me about where you are right now. We’ll craft an excellent roadmap to guide you and help you get those results and ultimately discuss the best next step for you. I look forward to connecting.
4x Bestselling Author
Your Book Can Change a Life
Katelyn Silva is the author of eleven books, some under a pen name, with four #1 bestsellers. She has been both self and traditionally published and is the founder of We Write Books. She has helped hundreds, and specializes in guiding Christian mompreneurs to get clarity on their book idea, confidently write and publish a bestseller, and use it as a business tool to create impact, authority, and legacy. Katelyn is also a devoted wife and homeschooling mom. Explore more about Katelyn, check out any of her books or her clients’ books, view testimonials, and get free resources at wewritebooks.com.