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Have you ever been to the book store and, thumbing through the fiction section, noticed the book covers starting to look redundant?


Urban literature aside ... which is another topic within this subject altogether ... but what about general mainstream novels?


By the time you get further into your career, your name alone will sell the book and the cover won't matter. Thus, million dollar publishing firms typically don't put too much effort into the design of a cover if your name is Nicolas Sparks or Toni Morrison. Take a look at the cover to Message in a Bottle and ask yourself, as a new author, would you be able to sell your first book with just a wide shot of an ocean? It works for him because, outside of a million dollar marketing campaign behind him, his name sells the book and he could put a picture of a teddy bear on the cover alone and all will be just as good.


Now, what about the rest of us? Those of us just starting out or don't have a big budget to sell worldwide have to make do with what we have.


That said I've come across MANY new and established authors in the new author community using stock photos or royalty-free pictures. For about $10 or so, you can use pre-shot pictures for unlimited or limited usage for your cover. And there are MILLIONS of great shots out there to use.


So what's wrong with that? Well, I've come across two books with the same girl on the cover by two different authors, with that same image on someone’s website ... and so forth. Royalty free is great, but it's also royally free for everyone to use also.


Believe me; I am not above using stock photos. In fact, except for the key model on the cover of my next novel, Sleight of Death, background images will be purchased from to help create the mood I'm trying to achieve.


We, the intrepid self or small published adventurers, have to be very strategic with our book covers and how they sell what we're trying to say. Your book cover is the bait to catch a finicky fish. You cover has to do the following:


·        Get the reader’s attention

·        Look and feel appealing

·        Give as much information about the story without giving it away

·        Make the potential reader turn the page or, at least, read the back cover information

·        Look aesthetically pleasing to the eye

All this within the moment they grab the book off the shelf and glance at the cover. How long do you think that is? 1-2 seconds tops?


What we also can't ignore is the spine of the book. Unless you are in a prime spot in a bookstore where the cover is the first to be seen, 98% of the rest of us start life spine first on many bookshelves.


Knowing that, what are you prepared to do to be inventive to get seen between other novels competing to be read?


The art of the book cover is a lost art these days ... especially with the coming of e-books. The New York Times had a great article you should read here ( regarding e-books and where book covers will fit in. was created to help the rest of us create an affordable, dynamic book cover with just the right aesthetic appeal to assist in your marketing campaign to your book sold. We create images using complete CG design and with studio photography. Not only do we develop the layout and design for your book cover, but we also have a growing selection of book cover models for you to choose from. The book cover below is 100% computer graphics.




Here, in this group, we'll continue the discussion and helpful tips to developing more original and dynamic book covers to get your work noticed.


Corey Aaron Burkes

PO Box 1841

Marietta, GA 30061


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Replies to This Discussion

Your reported info on bookcovers is absolutely correct. I'd appreciate finding out more about Desktopepics. I have my own front cover in mind but would like to know what's going on within Desktopepics.
Kim Wilson
Much literary love

Why are so many people needing to be un-exceptable. Why do they reach out to me in such a forceful manner. Do I appear to relinquish my RIGHTS as an achiever in any given effort. Read me my MEMORIES and the answer will reach out and touch someone; any one. The remedies that reside within my mind are consequences that may render one USELESS in their efforts. Recycle mandatory affections and reside amongst the COMPETITION that may master anger’s rejects. What we fail to sometimes realize is that we make MISTAKES but we are not to be held accountable for the such. RECAPTURE every demeanor that may fight to survive and within that circle, may become beknownst to you.
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Kim Wilson


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