The Importance of Custom Cover Design

Regardless of the content of your book, a thoughtful, beautifully crafted cover will play an integral role in the success of your book. Many a self-published author (and many traditionally published authors as well!) lament that, while they poured their soul into every precious word, they didn’t give enough attention to the package. Well, looks matter.

Not convinced? Think about how you make buying decisions in your local supermarket. Perhaps you’re trying a new soup or selecting wine to go with dinner. How did you choose? Odds are it was an eye-catching label that drove you to pick up certain brands. Maybe you read a couple product descriptions, and then you placed the prettiest among them in your cart.

Readers choose books in much the same way. While they usually do read book summaries to help them make a decision, how do they decide which summaries to read in the first place? You got it — the cover! Professional book cover art creates a number of advantages for your book in a crowded buying environment over plain looking covers:

  • Information. Custom cover art conveys important, specific clues to the reader about the content of your book. Clues imparted by color, theme, fonts and more, all tailored to your book, will instantly help buyers determine what your book is about and if it’s a good fit for their reading habits and preferences.
  • Credibility. Professional cover art immediately cues the reader — whether they’re aware of it or not — that the same care that was put into beautiful cover art was also taken in the writing of the book. It sends an instant message about quality — and you’ll want readers to perceive high quality right up front!
  • Visibility. Of course, you know your book is high quality, but if no one notices it, all that pithy content won’t matter. A custom crafted cover gets a potential book buyer to slow down for a second or two, which greatly increases the odds they’ll investigate further. It’s the first and most important step to securing a sale.
  • Targeting. An important function of your book cover is not just to appeal to any reader, but to appeal to the specific type of reader your content is intended to entertain or inform. For example, when creating a custom cover for a romance novel intended for young adults, a professional cover artist will take a vastly different approach than he would when creating a cover for a romance geared toward middle-age readers.
  • Marketability. A book and its cover add up to more than sum of their parts. Compelling content — packaged with an appropriate, targeted and smartly tailored book cover — makes for a marketable book that stands far better odds of selling than a strong book with a weak cover.

A professional custom book cover creates an attractive self-publishing package that readers will want to put in their shopping cart. While there’s never a guarantee that your stunning new artwork will immediately lead to an explosion in book sales a poorly designed cover is all but guaranteed to get passed by time and time again. And, the best part about compelling book cover art is that you don’t need an entire team of marketing gurus to get noticed. One knowledgeable and skilled cover artist can make a huge difference in online traffic to your book — and that makes a huge difference in sales.

 

Get Ready for Independent Bookstore Day

Independent Bookstore Day takes place this Saturday, April 27, and is a nation-wide event celebrated by independent bookstore owners, its patrons, and readers & writers of all ages!  Since independent bookstores are… well, independent, every party/celebration is different! That’s part of the fun, so plan on visiting more than one. At one bookstore you might find authors, singers, and musicians; at another you might experience a scavenger hunt, or a BBQ, or some bouncy houses for young readers.

top view of library with red stairs
Photo by Ivo Rainha on Pexels.com

As such, it is sure to be a day-long event for all the self-publishing authors and book readers in general who want to celebrate these community epicenters that are owned, run, and cared for by passionate book lovers.

And for you self-publishing authors out there, this may even be an opportunity to get to know your local bookstore owners, perhaps arrive upon a time for a book signing in the future, or drop off several books on consignment.  Or, at the very least, show other members of your household the beauty of books, no matter how they are published.

Need help finding indie bookstores in your area? IndieBound.org can help.

Need help self-publishing your next masterpiece? OutskirtsPress.com can help.

 

 

A $600 value on publishing! Discover the *NEW* Double Book/e-Book Publishing Bonus!

Publish your book with the Ultimate Black/White or Full-Color package today and we will give you 2-times as many authors copies PLUS publish & distribute your free Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble NOOK e-Book Editions absolutely free!

What does the #1 rated self-publisher offer that no one else does?

  • More free author’s copies
  • More free image insertions
  • More free author galley revisions
  • More free marketing support
  • More, more, more!

Simply enter promotion code 2xKindNook in your shopping cart today.

Would you like help choosing your best self-publishing option? Connect with Outskirts Press now in whatever manner is easiest for you:

“I found working with Outskirts Press to be a completely rewarding experience. The company has a wide range of publisher packages from which to choose and a sophisticated array of tools to help get the job done. I found them indispensable in organizing my materials and making the final proof corrections. The process was outstanding and I was thrilled with the quality of the outcome in all respects.” — Ian Hume, author of From the Edge of Empire

 

Take 15% Off Your Whirlwind Tour of the World

Imagine your book getting exposure at massive events attended by hundreds of thousands of literary industry players from all over the world—without leaving the comfort of your home! With the Global Book Tour from Outskirts Press, you can. Book your “trip” today, and you’ll get 15% OFF this already discounted tour package!

The Global Book Tour is a convenient, economical way to get your book exposure at the four most prestigious international book events: London Book Fair, BookExpo (America), Beijing International Book Fair and Frankfurt Book Fair. For just $993.65, a savings of $175.35 off the already bundled price, Outskirts Press will handle all of the details to register your book for these popular events and you will receive …

  • Prominent, face-out display of your book with select other Outskirts Press titles
  • A representative on-site to personally answer questions and promote your book to interested attendees
  • Valuable industry leads
  • Inquiries forwarded directly to you for follow-up!

To exhibit your book and save 15%, enter promo code GoGlobal-Save15 at checkout when you purchase the Global Book Tour before the offer expires!

 

One Click, Zero Worries: Worry-Free, All-Inclusive Publishing at the Click of a Mouse

You’ve slaved over your manuscript for months and finally you see a light at the end of the tunnel. It won’t be long before it’s off to the presses … right?

Wait! Have you hired a book editor yet? What about your book formatting — have you chosen a layout? Have you nailed down your cover design? What about your book marketing approach? There are so many tasks necessary to take your work from “manuscript” to “published book” to a successfully selling book … and for many, it’s overwhelming.

With a One-Click Publishing Suite from Outskirts Press, a single click of the mouse instantly pulls together everything needed to polish and format your manuscript, send it to print, get the word out and start selling. Even better, One-Click Publishing is designed to tailor distinct services to authors in a variety of book genres. While every package addresses the publishing and marketing needs of a specific genre, every One-Click self-publishing author can count on receiving dozens of priceless benefits:

  • Free author’s copies
  • Professional copy editing
  • Interior formatting
  • Custom cover design
  • ISBN and barcode
  • International Ingram, Baker & Taylor, and Betram wholesale distribution, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble and 25,000 other retail locations
  • One-on-one author support
  • 5 hours of Personal Marketing Assistance
  • Author maintains 100% rights and copyright, and enjoys industry-leading profit margins
  • And many more publishing and marketing services and resources vital to success in your genre!

These full-service packages come preloaded with everything necessary to make your publishing dreams come true at an exceptional value. All you need to do is click the mouse and voila — you’re on your way to becoming a published author. Available genre-specific One-Click Packages include:

While our Ultimate Black and White and Full-Color packages can be enhanced with additional service purchase options for marketing and promotion, One-Click Publishing is truly all-inclusive. They are the only publishing bundles that automatically also include coveted marketing options such as Author Platform Set-up Through Social Media, Google Books Preview, Book Video Trailer, Amazon Author Profile, Amazon Listing Enhancement and much more.

By purchasing a One-Click option, you get peace of mind knowing that you are getting the publishing and marketing options that are essential for the genre you have chosen.

 

Would you like help choosing your best self-publishing option? Connect with Outskirts Press now in whatever manner is easiest for you:

 

How to Promote a Book Series

Do you have more than one book in a series, perhaps featuring a central character (for example, James Bond), or a common genre (for example, historical fiction)?

If so, marketing your series (and even publishing your series) is a little different from publishing a single non-fiction book, for instance.

Take some cues from runaway success, and Outskirts Press author, Linda Rae Sande, on 3 suggestions to make your series as successful as it can be.

1. Make sure the cover design is consistent

Ms. Sande was diligent in ensuring that each of her romance novel shared very specific characteristics on the cover. One need only look at her boxed set to see exactly what we mean. Check out the spines of each book. The title is consistently in the same font and consistently in the same place. Ditto her name, and the “type” of image used both on the cover and the spine.

2. Promote from within

It goes without saying, probably, that readers of one book of your series are bound to be interested in the other books within that same series, right? So don’t miss out on that marketing opportunity. Make sure the front and/or back pages of each book in the series mention all the other books within that same series (including very specific ordering information, maybe a cover image, and certainly any reviews and/or awards that you wish to promote).

We hear what you’re saying: “How can you mention book 2 and 3 in the pages of book 1?” Well, that’s the power of print-on-demand. Publish book 1 as you normally would and while you’re writing book 2, start collecting reviews and awards for book 1. Publish book 2, and within the pages of book 2, insert promotions about book 1 with your accolades. Simultaneously (a writer’s work is never done), work on book 3 as you start to collect reviews and awards for book 2 and continue collecting accolades for book 1. See the pattern here? When the series is complete, make the necessary revisions to all of them to include all of them. Then it’s time to publish the all-important “boxed-set.”

3. Make a boxed-set of your series

Once you have three or more books in your series, create a boxed set that sells of them for a slightly discounted price (see image above for a perfect example). Unlike the convenience factor you experience with the zero-inventory “print-on-demand” aspects of your physical Outskirts Press books, “boxed-set books” are inventory-driven physical products, and as such, they demand a different mentality, and higher level of personal involvement, but it’s worth the effort. Here’s what to consider:

  • BOX DIMENSIONS – Determining the dimensions of the box requires measuring the dimensions of the books to be included. If your box-set is going to include three 6×9 books, for instance, you have two of the required dimensions — the height and the depth. But you also need the width — that is, the size of the “opening” of the cased box itself. Say the spine of each book is 1 inch wide. That means your box must be approximately 3 inches wide. Of course, there is no such thing as “approximately” when producing physical products, so further down we will point you to a printing/manufacturing vendor who can assist you in determining your exact specifications (and produce your boxes for you).
  • BOX DESIGN – Once you have determined your box’s dimensions, you need to determine what the boxed set is going to look like. It’s easiest (and least expensive) to duplicate your cover art on the outside of the box (since that high resolution artwork already exists). But, alternatively, you can produce a unique piece of artwork for the box itself. You’ll need to determine the artwork for the sides, top, bottom, and back of the box. You’ll also determine the “color printing process” to use. 4-Color is the best.
  • BOX PRODUCTION – Like nearly any physical off-set products, the more units you order, the cheaper each unit is, so your printer’s quote will usually provide you with quantity/unit/price breaks. Remember that for each box you order, you’ll need to order enough copies of each of your books to insert into the boxed sets.
  • FINALIZING THE BOX – Once your boxes arrive from the manufacturer and the copies of your books arrive from your publisher, you’re ready to finalize your boxed-sets. This is about as easy as you would expect. You’ll slip one copy of each of your series of books into the box. If your box dimensions are correct, the books should fit snugly inside the box with very little wiggle-room, and just enough space to pull them out one-by-one. You may even decide to produce two different boxed-sets, an “author signed” boxed-set (which is more expensive naturally), and a non-author signed boxed set. You could sign the box itself and/or each of the copies of the books inside.
  • MARKETING THE BOX – Once you have a final boxed set, take several digital pictures of it so you can promote and sell it. People will want to see what your boxed set looks like. Then, upload the image, details and price to your author webpage and/or website. Since you will be handling the fulfillment of those orders personally, you will need to create a merchant account to accept secure online payments and receive notifications of orders. The easiest vendor for this kind of thing is Pay Pal (http://paypal.com) but Stripe (http://stripe.com) is also a good option. Once you have a way of taking and fulfilling orders for your boxed set, your marketing efforts will mimic the marketing steps you’ve taken to promote your books individually — that is, through social media outreach efforts, virtual book tours, promotional materials, blogging, interviews, etc. The advantage of having a boxed set is that for the same effort it takes to promote one single book, you can promote three (or more) books all at the same time, with a much higher price. The higher your price, the more flexibility you have with your margins, and therefore the greater discounts you can provide to your buyers as incentive.
  • SELLING THE BOX – In addition to the Pay Pal and/or Stripe merchant accounts you will need to set-up for collecting orders from your own author webpage/website(s), you will also want to submit your boxed set to Amazon.com. In order to do this, you need to open up your own merchant account, which you can do by clicking here. Once your merchant account has been set-up, it will be in your best interest to also set-up a Fulfillment by Amazon account here. That way, you can send them multiple boxed sets in advance, and then they handle the individual order fulfillment for you, plus they notify you in advance when you need to supply them with more boxed sets. Another bonus: your customers will qualify for free shipping through Amazon Prime, which is something you won’t be able to offer with a simple merchant account.

If you’re interested in more marketing tips, there’s never a better time than now to inquire. Visit us online at www.outskirtspress.com and check out our Marketing Solutions menu. You can also access our wonderful Free Marketing Resource Center where you’ll find countless further recommendations to suit your marketing needs!

 

Free Custom Cover Design AND Cover Text Refinement When You Publish Today!

Human beings are visual creatures and your book cover is an important marketing tool. Make sure it has all the ingredients to turn shoppers into buyers. Purchase Ultimate or Full-Color Publishing and we’ll give you a Professionally Designed Custom Cover (a $399 value) AND Cover Text Refinement ($149 value) absolutely FREE!

vWhen you’ve completed a book to which you’ve committed your heart, soul and immeasurable time, it’s important that the cover reflects the same professionalism you gave your words. Readers know when a book just “speaks to them.” In fact, the best covers instantly pique interest with captivating images and riveting copy that communicate the character of your book. No matter who your audience is, readers should get excited the moment they see it on a shelf on online.

To get Free Custom Cover Design PLUS Cover Text Refinement that will help you sell, purchase the Ultimate or Full-Color publishing package and enter promo code Coverscribe at checkout. Your free custom cover and cover text refinement services will be added to your account in 48 hours.

Would you like help choosing your best self-publishing option? Connect with Outskirts Press now in whatever manner is easiest for you: