How to sell your wellness book at a glance
How will you choose the next book you buy? Chances are you’ll be attracted by the title and subtitle, and the cover.
As the author of a wellness book, you have to make sure your book cover connects with your ideal audience. The cover design and title have to “talk” to your readers through the right elements of images, color and typography.
Many people compare writing and publishing a book to the labor of having a baby, and as the author of 43 books (but only 2 children!) I agree. Your book is like your baby because you put time, effort and love into creating it, from researching the content to honing the language.
And just as you wouldn’t send your own child out of the house in an ill-fitting outfit, you shouldn’t send your book out into the world in just any old cover. You want your “babies” to be dressed for success.
The purpose of your book cover is to attract the attention of your potential readers so they pick up your book ahead of any other and then buy it.
Judging a book by its cover isn’t cliché. Everyone judges books by their covers. That’s why you have to pay attention to yours, and make sure it’s professionally designed.
Your book cover has many goals:
- Create the brand for your book: By capturing the essence of the contents, including the tone and focus, your book will attract your ideal readers.
- Establish your credibility: By writing this book, you are showing the world that you have enough knowledge to fill 100 or more pages of a book on your topic, certifying your credibility .
- Hook the reader: Effective book covers have to rivet attention with a hook, or promise. For a wellness book, your promise is a solution to a problem, or an inspiration to be better in some way.
- Solidify your marketing position. Chances are that books already exist on your topic, because there are books on most topics by now. Your book has to demonstrate your unique angle, such as your method, groundbreaking research, or resources.
- Announce your content by saying what your book is about, so the right readers pick it up and look at it.
- Explain the scope of your book. Is your book about women’s health in general, or a step by step guide to hormones at a certain stage of life?
But what makes your book cover attract your ideal readers and promote your credibility? Let’s take a look at the anatomy of a book cover and how you can use your cover to increase your sales.
The imagery and typography make up the two main visual aspects of your cover. They have to work together to elicit such a power response that your ideal reader has the gut reaction to flip over to your back cover and read it, or click the image on Amazon to find out more.
The front cover has the title and sub-title and your name. It’s also good to announce a foreword or testimonial by a well known expert in your field.
Your cover could have a photograph, an illustration, design elements such as lines or shapes, or a play of typography on color. Whatever imagery you use, it should showcase the content and spirit of your book. For example, if your book is about women’s health, you wouldn’t have imagery that is related to a technology book, or a mystery novel.
You also want to make sure you use your imagery in the best way possible. It needs to be balanced with the typography, so the title and subtitle stand out. This is the job of a cover designer, as most people can’t create a cover that has impact.
The typography has to focus attention on the most important text. For example, the title needs to be larger than the subtitle. The title can be at the top of your cover or towards the bottom, as long as it’s above your name so it’s the first thing people read.
If you’re publishing digitally, pay extra attention to how your cover looks at a thumbnail size, which is how most people will see it on Amazon. Make sure you have one clear visual element, either image or text, that tells your story and makes your cover stand out on the screen.
The next time you’re in a book store, take a moment to observe how people look at books. They pick up a book from the shelf or table because the title or image caught their attention. Then almost immediately, they flip to the back cover and start reading it. In a hard-cover book, they might read the dust jacket flaps as well.
Only then do they crack open the book to read the first page.
Your back cover has hard work to do, because it has to sell your book. This is really your prime marketing space, where you entice people with benefits and promises in your book, and close the deal so they buy your book. On a digital platform, your book description does this heavy lifting.
The back cover includes a headline and benefit copy, and a line or two about you, the author. It can also include one or more reviews by well known experts. Be sure to allow room for the ISBN, bar code, your logo, and the BISAC headings (Subject Headings List) , such as “health and fitness” or “diet.”
If you have a paperback or hardcover book that you plan to sell in bookstores, the spine is very important. Since most bookstores shelve their books vertically, your spine is the only real way for your potential readers to spot your book on a shelf.
Keep it simple. Put the title at the top of the spine in the largest font. Next comes your name. To conserve space, just use your last name. At the very bottom, add your logo or publishers insignia.
Keep in mind that if your book is fewer than 150 pages or so, there may not be enough width to print anything on the spine.
So now that you know the anatomy of a winning book cover, you can start getting your book cover designed. And if you think you can create your book cover on your own…unless you are a graphic designer, please think twice.
If you’re not convinced that a professional cover design is essential to your book sales, consider this: the average person will decide to buy your book within 8 seconds of seeing the cover, and retailers, and reviewers glance at a book for only a few seconds before they make a choice.
First impressions count. You want to make sure your book is the one your target market chooses to solve their health and wellness issue. You too should judge a book by its cover – especially your own book. Now you know what to look for when your cover designer presents you with ideas. Use this knowledge to invest in the best cover design possible. It will pay off with more positive reviews, and more book sales -guaranteed!
>>If you don’t have my 7 Steps to Write Your Health and Wellness Book, be sure to get your road map, below!
What are your comments or questions about book cover design? Please post them below, I always love to hear from you!