How To Grab Attention with Your Book Cover – Part One –

The Best Way To Decide What Will GRAB Your Reader’s Attention Is To Know Who Your Readers Are!

frank deardurff

Does Your Cover Grab Attention?How To Grab Attention with Your Book Cover - Part One -

This is the first of a 3-part series created with the hope of saving you a lot of time, money, and headaches when planning your book cover design. It was written for those getting ready to publish a book, whether physical or digital, or maybe someone who has a book already but are not getting the sales they were hoping for.

—–> Click here for part two.
—–> Click Here For Part Three

books on top of table located in the library

People say, “You can’t judge a book from its cover.” While this may be true to a point, the fact is that it happens every day. People DO judge a book by its cover. I would guess that 95% of the time a person will pick up a book because it’s visually appealing to them.

The best way to think about this is to envision yourself in a bookstore walking down an aisle. How far are you from the bookshelves at any given point? In most bookstores I’ve been in, you would be a couple of feet away from the shelf itself.

Many times you just see the book spine, but in some instances a book cover is placed so that you can see the front as you walk past. The same is true at Newsstands, airports and bus stations, etc.

At three to five feet away you most likely can’t even read the book title. So you need something in your cover design that will reach out and grab their attention and draw them in closer to actually read your title.

This can be done in several ways whether it is a one-word or short title in a large bold font to an eye appealing graphic that makes the potential reader pick it up and check it out further. It may even be a great color combination that stands out more than the others on the shelf next to it.

In the digital world we must take into consideration on online shoppers who have access to millions of titles. You only have a split second, in many cases, to grab their eye as they are scrolling or swiping past hundreds of covers in a matter of minutes. Scrolling, scrolling, scrolling until something screams for attention.

Your book has to have visual appeal to make them want to take a second longer to find out more; it needs to be some aspect that makes them want to check it out.

The best way to decide what will grab your reader’s attention is to know who your readers are!

Think about who your reader actually is. Are they male or female or both? What colors appeal to them? What designs appeal to them? What are other books they may have read?

Research your market, check out online bookstores for your topic and see what best sellers are in your area. On many of those sites, you will see “People who have bought this book have also bought…” are there similarities in design of those books?

Here is an exercise for you:

  1. Go to and go to the category your book will be in.
  2. Sit back in your chair so you can’t really see the title and make note of what covers grab your eye. What elements of that book made you pick that cover out of the others on the page?
  3. Take note of the items from each of the lists above.
  4. In part two we will go into more detail.

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Frank Deardurff

An early love for graphics brought me online over 20 years ago which lead me to consume a vast knowledge in marketing, conversion, design and various types of web technologies. That information led to becoming a web master, serial entrepreneur, author, coach, trainer and That One Web Guy!

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