A few things (indie) authors need to know about book covers

  1. Your book cover isn’t an art thing. It’s a marketing thing. A pretty book cover is good, but what’s important is that it be able to sell the book it’s on the cover of.
  2. Do not make your own book covers. Unless you actually do make book covers — meaning, people hire you to do them.
  3. Not all amazing artists can design a decent book cover. (In the same way not all book cover designers can paint a decent portrait in watercolor, or design a corporate logo.)
  4. If a cover looks good for your print book, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for the ebook version. You can have different covers for each, or you could just make sure your cover works for both print and digital versions.
  5. If your book cover is pretty or interesting, people will talk about it. This is a good thing.
  6. Don’t underestimate the power of a great tag line. It’s the first words your potential readers will see, apart from your book title, when they look at your book cover. Try to make it interesting (maybe even clever and/or funny) and short.

Tomorrow, 20 April 2013, we’re holding a free indie publishing/writing workshop for high school students, called Author At Once – High School Edition. It’s part of our Author At Once series of workshops, but for writers in their teens. Participants will learn the basics of getting their work published, both independently and through traditional means. My friend Mina V. Esguerra, who’s both an indie and traditionally published author, will be the main resource speaker/mentor. Prose fiction and comic book author Michael A. R. Co will also be speaking. We’ll talk about publishing and book-buying trends, and how to leverage social media to reach out to your (potential) reading audience. I’ll be talking about book covers and social media marketing.

We encourage participants to submit their works after the workshop — selected pieces will be published in an anthology slated to come out this year.

Author At Once High School Edition - Indie Publishing Workshop

Author At Once – High School Edition will be held at iAcademy on Ayala Ave., Makati City on 20 April 2013, from 1.30 to 5.30 pm. It’s supported by Books on Demand and iAcademy. Sign up here!

By Tania Arpa

Thinker, writer, skeptic, spy. Geek. I do my own stunts. Follow me on Twitter at @TaniaArpa.

Let me know what you think!