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I stumbled across a blog the other day called Kindle Cover Disasters. You can probably guess what it’s about and I recommend a read for a little light entertainment. But it got me thinking about how a book’s cover can shape our impression of its contents – we all know we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but let’s face it; it’s going to happen. This isn’t something that crosses my mind too often because, as I’ve mentioned, traditionally published authors often have no say in what their book will look like; leave that to the marketing experts. But it’s a different story for self-published authors.

If I found myself in that position, I think my first instinct would be to go for something fairly minimalist. There’s less to go wrong, it will be much more affordable, and you can still create something that catches people’s eye. If you’re too ambitious with your self-created or self-formatted cover art, you are just creating more opportunities for disaster to strike. You could end up with this or even this.

I can just picture this in the window of Waterstones. -Image by Craig Allen

I can just picture this in the window of Waterstones.
Image by Craig Allen

I also think that most people will naturally have a bit of an unconscious bias to something they’ve created themselves. If you aren’t usually much of an artist, but you work hard and are able to create something far above your usual standard then you have every right to be proud of your improvement. Problem is, it still might not stand up next to the professional work that appears on the covers of your fellow authors’ books.

But maybe I’m wrong. What do you think is the best method for creating a striking and professional book cover? What would you have on yours?