From Indie fantasy author Ty Johnston on Publetariat:
Some might argue covers are not important, that what is behind those covers is what’s truly important, but they are missing the bigger picture (quite literally, when you think about it). Even if you believe good covers are not important, you would be hard pressed to argue that a bad cover can be helpful.
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A good cover can hold a reader’s attention. Even if a reader passes on your book the first time around, a solid cover might draw them back again. A great cover can stick in a reader’s mind, and that can propel a reader to pick up your book at some future point.
Also, while there are those who might believe covers do not sell books, the truth is a good cover could be the tipping point for customers. If a reader is on the fence about whether or not to purchase your book, a good cover might just be the thing to convince them.
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First of all, you need to keep in mind you are not designing only a book cover. You are also designing an e-book cover and an icon that has the potential to be seen by millions across the Web. Remember that word “icon,” because what you want your cover to be is iconic. You want it to stand out from the crowd, to draw the attention of customers and readers.
In my opinion, simple is better. Yes, there are plenty of complicated, artistic book covers out there that look good in a bookstore, but how many of them look good on Amazon or Smashwords? How many of them are even legible on a website? Most aren’t, so simple is better.
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Also, when it comes to e-books, you don’t really need a lot of small, extraneous type on your covers. I know authors love their blurbs, but unless you have one from Stephen King, it’s really a waste to put it on an e-book cover because it won’t be seen. Any type on an e-book cover beside the author’s name and the title should serve some purpose that helps the reader make up their mind whether or not they want to read the e-book. Information I deem relevant would include a blurb by the likes of Stephen King, obviously, but also could entail whether or not the e-book is part of a series, whether it is a short story or novella, etc. Skip putting a price on the cover, because prices can change.
Link to the rest at Publetariat