Cover Art, blurbs and free samples

Finding the right book cover, I hear, is almost more important than writing a good book! No, I don’t really believe that, but everywhere I look, I see the same advice – make sure your book cover is top notch. Of course that’s easier said than accomplished, particularly on a limited budget.

Trying to contract a graphic artist didn’t work – timing was bad for just about everyone, or they just didn’t have the kind of skill required for the project. Volunteers didn’t work either, so I did it myself.

I downloaded a freeware version of photoshop called Gimp, which is just as complicated as photoshop but workable…after a bit of research.

The components of a great cover seem to be simplicity and large text. Go to and look at any book cover in the kindle store and you’ll find images barely as large as a postage stamp. The covers that aren’t busy images and have large text are the ones you can read and/or see what is happening without getting a magnifying glass. This might prompt the reader – and hopefully it will – to click on that lovely image and read more about the book.

That’s the next most important aspect of book covers and marketing – the book blurb. It’s hardly more than a paragraph that gives you the scintillating details of what the book is about.

I’ve been reading a lot of these blurbs lately and don’t find too many of them enticing enough to click through to a purchase, but the last thing I’m going to talk about in this post does, and that is the free sample pages offered on most ebook retail sites. Those free pages give me enough insight into the writing style and the storyline that will either hook me or not.

Judging by my own habits, this could be bad news for writers. I read the first four or five paragraphs of the same number of books today, and didn’t chose to purchase any of them. I sure hope I’m more picky than most.

I’m wondering what factors play into your decision to buy a book or not. How quickly do you make up your mind to buy a book? Feel free to comment below.


1 Comment

Filed under Book buying habits, Publishing, Reading habits

One response to “Cover Art, blurbs and free samples

  1. Valerie Saylor

    I found my favorite author, Stephen King, by accident based on the paperback cover of The Stand many many years ago. The cover caught my eye, and the blurb pulled me in. Yep, that’s some powerful stuff. It can make you or break you.

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