Your book cover will be the first thing that attracts attention on a bookshelf. If you leave this job to the publisher, you might not be very happy with the results. Therefore, you must really put some thought into what kind of cover you want. There are a couple of routes you can go to accomplish this. The first is to find a suitable photo at an on-line site such as Big Stock Photo, where you can get high-resolution photographs at very reasonable rates. You can then download it and just add your book title and byline. You will, however, still need to prepare the back cover. We’ll get into that in a minute.
For this cover of my book Playing With The Devil, I wanted to immediately tell a potential reader that it was about a child – a very sad child. Notice the tears on his face and the big sad eyes.
On the back cover, I wanted the potential purchaser to know that this crime occurred in Canada and that the justice system had failed. The picture depicts a man picketing at Parliament Hill in Ottawa and his sign lets the reader know that justice has not yet been accomplished. Another option is to create the cover yourself if you have the talent or pay a graphic artist to do this for you. In either case, you will maintain artistic control over how your book will look. To complete this project, you should create a back cover as well, which should include your photo and a very short (one paragraph) write-up about you noting your credentials beside it. Below that, write one paragraph that will draw a potential reader into your book. For example, on the back of my book I wrote: “If you haven’t had a paranormal experience yet, look out! At some point, you probably will! Martha Jette presents 90 strange, but true paranormal stories from around the world – proof that strange things are happening to ordinary people – just like you – every day!” Then below that and to the right, leave space for your ISBN number. For children’s books, your cover should be imaginative and colorful. What I did with my children’s book to save costs is I chose the best inside picture as my front cover.