Never judge a book by its cover? However, a book cover catches our attention. Here’s why a book cover design can make or break sales.


In this Book Cover Designs blog article, you will find advice in the following areas:

  • Draw the readers’ attention so your book can stop a potential reader scrolling, this gets you one step closer to making a sale,
  • Connecting with the reader helps draw them into clicking on the book and reading the blurb or reviews, which allows them to decide on whether the book is right for them,
  • Get across the genre and subject matters visually can make a real impact, this can put you one step ahead of the competition,
  • The book cover design in 2020 is vital to a novel’s success, understanding this can help you plan and research which cover is right for your novel.
Read the rest of the Book Cover Designs article to see how you can ensure your next cover make the right first impression.


A book cover design is vital to the success of a book. As I work as a Search Engine Optimisation Copywriter and Blogger, I know the importance of an image, cover, or infographic has in stopping people in their tracks to look at your brand or product. The fact that an image is on a screen for less than 0.5 seconds on social media platforms, like Instagram, shows us how your image or a book cover design needs to pop.

The world of social media and the instant consumerism of the internet means that consumers and followers need content to be much more finely-tuned to get their attention. Add to that the fact that you are in a crowded, hyper-competitive marketplace, like Amazon, your book cover design also needs to stand out against the competition.

You can read tens of creative writing tips articles for advice, but it isn’t easy.

When I scroll through social media, I love to see fellow fiction authors posing with their works as they unbox them for the first time. I remember doing that with my unboxing of Inside Iris in 2018. I felt amazing, and I thought that I had achieved something. When those fellow writers hold a book that has an impressive, artistically-designed cover, I give them a mental round of applause for spending the money on a bespoke cover.

If you haven’t done so already, click here to go to the landing page of my website and see the covers I used for Inside Iris and Anna’s Awakening. Book cover design is something that I have always believed in paying for. Whether the person who sees the book cover design likes or dislikes it is not the point. The fact is that the author took the time to source an artist and spend their hard-earned money to dress their opus magnum in a bespoke cover.

We as fiction authors view our fiction books as children in some ways and it is only natural that we want the best for them when they fly the nest and stand on their own two feet in the literary marketplace. Here are some of the points you should consider when deciding on a book cover design in 2020.

iris trilogy promo banner book cover designs


Draw The Readers’ Attention

When we look at numbers for the length of time that many people engage with social media posts and product lists on sites like Amazon and other retailers, it takes more to ensure the potential customer is engaged with the product. Many authors still don’t identify their book as a product, but it is. You need to look at it in the cold light of day and recognise that your beloved bundle of pages is a product to be sold within an already fiercely competitive and crowded marketplace.

Your book cover design needs to draw the reader’s attention.

There are other creative writing blogs that I have read when researching this article, who recommend using free applications to splice together a book cover design. Unfortunately, to make your book cover stand out, you will more than likely need to spend money to get a bespoke cover designed by one of the many services available online.

This is what I did when publishing Inside Iris, and I went a step further with the cover design for Anna’s Awakening. There were a few reasons for this, including:

  • I know an artist, and he agreed to draw a bespoke cover for Anna’s Awakening,
  • Feedback from young people on the Inside Iris cover, and,
  • Coming across a stock image used on the back cover.

Some people may not understand the final point, but I was promised a bespoke cover and didn’t feel the inclusion of a downloaded, freely available image could be considered a ‘bespoke book cover design’. Therefore, I asked my friend Adrian to design my Anna’s Awakening book cover.

There is a lot to consider when designing a book cover. As this is the first impression potential customers will have of your novel, I wouldn’t skimp on the cost. Consider it part of your marketing expenditure and put some money into the design to draw potential readers’ attention.


Connect With The Reader

iris trilogy fiction books

Click on the image to see the fiction books I have released so far. Both Inside Iris and Anna’s Awakening are available for purchase on Kindle and paperback from Amazon.

When looking to purchase a novel, many feel that the book cover design has to connect with them on some level. Whether this connection is a personal one or simply because the reader likes the look of the artwork, it doesn’t matter.

In some way, the reader has to be drawn to your book cover, and the connection they have with it can determine whether the reader buys the book or not. As we move into a more temporary society, very books or movies have a lasting impact on people. For some movies, TV shows, and books, this could be a good thing. However, many of us as authors want our novels to resonate with those who read them in more ways than one.

When researching keywords on Google for novels as I rebuilt my website, I was astonished to find how people looked for the words ‘cheap’ and even ‘free’ when typing in queries for Kindle and fiction books on Google. This shows just how little some people believe it is worth spending on a novel. It also goes to show how hard we as authors have to work when trying to sell a book.

Ultimately, when people want something for free, how can we as writers be expected to fund our dream of being authors and write for a living? It’s a hard question to answer.

When making a connection with a reader, you can bridge the gap between potential buyer of your book and an actual customer. We have made a connection with them and look to then pray they give us a good review on Amazon or Goodreads (on Goodreads? Add me – Scott Gilmore).

Think carefully about your reader when you consider the design of your book cover. If you are writing for younger people, you may need to think very carefully about the connection and resonance you make with them to ensure they buy or download your book. That book cover design then needs to appeal to the right demographic as well as genre and the Instagram / Snapchat / YouTube age (visit my SG Fiction YouTube channel for lots of free content). With such a short length of time to hook a reader, you’d best make it count.


Communicate The Genre & Subject Matter

One issue you can have when using free-to-use images (or creative commons images) is that they are free for a reason – it can be incredibly challenging to find images that match your novel’s genre or subject matter.

When considering a book cover, do your research and look at the covers of those who are within your specific genre. Look at the best selling book cover design and analyse it for positive and negative traits. Ask yourself:

  • What is good about this cover?
  • What is not so good about the design?
  • Which one element would you include within your future design?

There is a lot that you can learn from your competition. Your competitors may be there by their name and reputation. However, if there is an awesome book cover, that could be the one piece of the jigsaw that catapulted that particular book to the top spots of the Amazon charts.


The Book Cover Design & You In 2020

As you write, rewrite, and redraft your next novel to release it in 2020, really put some thought into the cover design. We always say never judge a book by its cover, but unfortunately, the Instagram / Pinterest world we live in requires visuals to pop and stop potential customers and readers.

I am an incredibly visual person. Even when writing Anna’s Awakening, I would see events and set-pieces as though they were in a movie in my mind. Therefore, when working with Adrian for my book cover design of Anna’s Awakening, I wanted to ensure we collaborated to ensure the cover was just right.

When I published Inside Iris, I paid for a book cover and love it for what it was at the time. I know it was the best I could do for my first novel, and the artist did likewise.

As you work on what pieces of literature you hope to release into the wild in 2020, really put some thought into the cover design and save up for an artist to complete it for you. Realistically, it may seem like a lot of money, but the right book cover will stop those scrolling on Instagram and Amazon. Once they stop scrolling, you are one step closer to getting them to click on your book and make a sale.

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