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Named to "Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites," this #SharingwithWriters blog is a way to connect with my readers and fellow writers, a way to give the teaching genes that populate my DNA free rein. Please feel free to add to the conversation using the very tiny "comment" link. For those interested in editing and grammar, go to http://thefrugaleditor.blogspot.com.

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Monday, March 28, 2016

Valerie Allen Shares Book Cover and Spine Essentials

Book Covers and Spines
Valerie Allen

The front cover can sell your book. It must invite the readers’ attention, encourage them to select your book, get them to hold it in their hands, move them to flip through the pages, and help them decide to buy. A daunting task!
Browse in bookstores, and observe patrons as they scan a book cover. How long do they view the cover before placing the book back on the shelf or carrying it to the checkout? Research shows it is about 30 seconds or less.
     The front cover must be clear and convey the theme of your book. A non-fiction book cover is usually straightforward information and often has a sub-title to provide more details.
A fiction title can be misleading; for this reason, the book cover is even more important to convey the story concept.
The two most prominent parts of your book cover are the book title and your name. The title should be easily read from a distance of three feet.
     The cover of your book is the first step in getting a buyer’s attention. Unless you are an expert in graphics or photography, it is well worth your time and money to hire a professional to design your book cover or allow the publisher to do so.
If your book passes the front cover test, the reader will turn the book over to scan the back cover. This is a good sign.
The back cover should continue the color scheme and story theme/summary. It should have the book title, your name, reviews or quotes. Additionally, the back cover displays the ISBN, price, and bar code.
Also, the back cover is the place to add something significant about yourself, your experience and your credentials to boost your credibility as an author. Such phrases as, award- winning, multi-published, or popular speaker, will add credibility.
The back cover is the place for your photo. Unless it's a memoir, use a current picture. The background in the photo can lend itself to further you or your book’s theme. Do not date yourself with clothing, jewelry, or hairstyle.
     Books with the front cover facing out on the display attract more attention, however, most books are shelved spine out toward the prospective buyer. The wider the spine, the easier it is to read. The spine should have the book title, your name, and the publisher’s name.
     When designing the outer parts of your book, remember, white space sells. It’s easier for the reader to find details about you and your book if the information is widely spaced. Use a standard font for easy reading.

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Valerie Allen, psychologist, author, playwright, and speaker, writes fiction, non-fiction, plays,  and children's books. She is a popular speaker at writer's conferences, libraries, and community events using her book: Write, Publish, Sell! Quick, Easy, Inexpensive Ideas for the Marketing Challenged 2nd Edition. She is also co-founder of Authors for Authors, which sponsors book fairs, book launches, book displays, and writing seminars for new and experienced writers.
            Valerie Allen can be contacted via FB ValerieAllenWriter, Twitter, VAllenWriter@cs.com or ValerieAllenWriter.com.

 Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The multi award-winning second edition of The Frugal Editor; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .


  1. Good checklist. Authors sometimes forget how important the spine is, too. If the book ever makes it to a bookstore, that's what people will see first.

  2. Book spine and cover are the first invitation to read your book. Your name and book title must make an impact or the reader will never get to the first word of your story ~


Thank you for commenting at Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites pick
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www.TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog you can use to benefit your book or reading pleasure.