The Book Marketing Network

For book/ebook authors, publishers, & self-publishers

Your Book Cover: What Kind of a First Impression Does It Make?

I was just reading a blog where a lady said she was ashamed to admit
she tends to ignore books with amateurish covers even though she
suspects some of the stories inside those covers might be pretty good.

As a book cover designer ( I can tell you no one should feel guilty about judging a book by its cover.


Because humans are, by nature, extremely sensitive to first impressions. The
corporate world has known this for a long time. That's why they spend
tens of millions of dollars every year on market surveys and research to determine
the effectiveness of their product packaging.

Two important things for authors to remember:

1. A potential reader's first impression of your book is the cover. There is an entire psychology built around the concept of "first impressions"
that should be understood by anyone whose product (books, in this case)
is just one among many in competition for the public's attention.

2. Think of the cover of your book in terms of "product packaging" in the
same way that manufacturers regard the packaging of their products. The
cover of your book is the "packaging", the "box" (metaphorically
speaking) that contains the "product". The product is the story inside
the "box". More
often than not, a potential buyer's assumption about the quality of the
product is determined by their perception of the quality of the

Research has shown that people tend to make purchasing decisions within a matter of just a few seconds based on their perception of the product (that "first impression") which is
influenced by the packaging.

It's pretty simple really. You're at the store. You see two products from two different manufacturers,
side by side, and both products are exactly the same and so are the
prices. But one is packaged very attractively with a polished, professional look and the other packaging is rather
generic and boring. Which one are you likely to purchase?

Gary Val Tenuta
Author and Designer of Low-Cost, High-Quality Book Covers

Below are three of my latest "product packages".

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