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Your Book Is Judged by Its Cover — 7 Tips for Effective Internet Book Selling

Books have always been judged by their covers. In a bookstore you look at the cover first, then turn over the book to read the back cover. Or maybe you next read the inside front and back flap covers of a hardcover book.

Now, though, many of us judge a book by first seeing it on the Internet — even if we ultimately buy the book in a bookstore using a 30% off coupon.

And on the Internet, especially on Amazon, the book cover is a tiny thing. And, yes, many books on Amazon have the LOOK INSIDE feature. Still, your book cover has nanoseconds to connect with a potential buyer before that person clicks away to another book.

Here are seven tips for a book cover that gets people interested in your book:

1. Decide on your book cover design by looking at it the exact size it will appear on Amazon. Yes. many books on Amazon have LOOK INSIDE. Still, your book cover has nanoseconds to convince someone to stay around and learn more.

2. Make sure your book cover clearly conveys what the book is about - is it a novel, a how-to book, a memoir? Yes, the title has the heavy lifting duty here, but our brains process pictures faster than words. Use the design cover to speak to our brains.

3. Make sure the title and your name can be clearly read against the cover art. Some books might, for example, use light blue type against a dark blue background. This is not the easiest to read, especially when reduced to a tiny photo.

4. Make sure the size of the title and your name are large enough to be read when reduced to a tiny photo. A great title does no good if it can’t be read when reduced in size.

5. Choose simplicity over complexity. You want the eye to be drawn to the title and a photo that makes an impact on the brain. You don’t want a cover with so many competing elements that the eye doesn’t know where to look first — so the person simply clicks away rather than suffer the confusion.

6. Graphic artists are not necessarily the best people to hire to design your book cover. There are specialists in book cover design who know the additional details that should be considered when designing a book cover.

7. Make sure the cover doesn’t mislead the potential buyer. No nude women on the cover of a how-to about growing roses in your garden. On the other hand, you don’t necessarily have to have a rose on that book’s cover. But the book’s cover should have the look and feel that is complementary with the tone of the book.

Bonus tip: No matter how good the cover is, if your book is filled with grammatical errors, incorrect punctuation and spell-check errors (such as their for there), people will be disappointed with your book. If you’re self-publishing, hire a professional copyeditor before you publish the book. Your reading public will thank you.

Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the novel and a National Internet Business Examiner at She is also the head of, an internet marketing company that helps people promote their brand, book or business. On July 1st the company will launch the Miller Mosaic Internet Marketing Program.

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