Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper
If all that matters to you as a writer, or reader are pretty pictures like the one above take a trip to an art gallery or museum.
What am I on about?
These days more and more writers fall into the trap over what their book’s cover looks like. A lot obsess over it. Before you say anything, yes I accept it’s all part of the modern day sales pitch when it comes to paperbacks and eBooks.
But remember this – until you have built up a faithful readership, as long as night follows day, having a spectacular cover is no guarantee of sales. What sells is your writing talent and the story itself.
“Ah, but having one improves my book’s chance,” I hear hundreds of you caustically shriek. Not necessarily true!
For example, I know several fellow writers who have spent a lot of hard earned money on each and every cover of their books. Yes I grant you the end result is eye-catching. But when you have a chat in private with each writer and ask how many copies of book X,Y or Z actually sold, most will say it made little or no difference whatsoever.
I’m sorry to burst your bubble here people, but, you can have the most artistically produced cover ever conceived, but if you the author are unknown, or the story itself is either below par, or its genre is currently out of vogue, no amount of time, money and effort put into the cover art, will induce people to buy. Last time I checked, you don’t read a picture unless its the speech bubbles on each page of a comic!
Most reputable publishers focus on the quality of the books they are responsible for, avoiding the need for individual cover design. Remember Penguin? With no fancy picture to distract the reader, Penguin relied on you the reader perusing the first few pages. All actual bookshops allow you to open a book at page one and read a paragraph or chapter. The same applies to eBooks. Most online outlets selling them give you a ‘look inside’ option to sample the story.
In some countries around the world, books are sold sans cover, relying on the quality of the story waiting to be read. That’s how it should be…