Everything I’m saying here refers to covers for Books CD’s, DVD’s and anything else you can think of, So I’m just going to refer to your product as a “Book” though the advice will apply to any product.
You can’t judge a book by it’s cover.
Well so the old saying goes, but in fact unless you are well known, then that’s exactly what is going to happen. The cover is the first thing a person will see when looking at your book. In fact it is the first contact you will have with your potential audience and so you really want to capture their interest. This is a time when first impressions really do count, in fact it could be life or death for your work.
So what makes a good cover?
This may sound strange but basically when combined with the title it has to be a “lead in” with a “cliffhanger ending”. Or to put it another way, it has to basically indicate whats inside in a way that leaves the viewer longing to know and experience more.
Here are a couple of examples:
Looking at the cover of “The Mill River Recluse” makes you start to wonder who he or she is, do they live in that strange isolated house, where is it?. and so on. It’s working.
As for “Steve Jobs” it may not look as if its following that formula but in fact, it is a very well chosen photo of the man. He looks friendly, smart, interesting and approachable leading the viewer to think that opening this book will let them into the life of a truly fascinating man.
So both those covers leave the viewer wanting more, and that’s what we all want to achieve isn’t it?
In future posts I’m going to explore how to go about achieving this in much more detail; but for now why not take a look at some covers around you and try and determine how well they are doing this.