Thursday, June 11, 2009

Where to Use Your Book Cover to Market Your Book

10 Places You May Not Have Considered

Susan Kendrick

I had an interesting conversation today with a self publishing author whose back cover copy we just finalized.
This author has good marketing sense, a great book, his gorgeous new front cover, and an innovative way of looking at things. So, we were both surprised when I suggested that he use his front cover on one side of his new business card for his medical practice, and he said he had never thought of that. He said this was the solution to the question that's been running through his mind--how to mention his book on his card.

But why just mention your book when you can show it?

This was just his particular blind spot, But, we all have them, so I thought it would be a good idea to create a list of the places you can use your book's front cover to get as much visibility for your book, your brand, and your credibility as a published (or soon-to-be-published) author as possible.

Now that this author has his completed front cover (title, subtitle, tagline, and design) and his back cover copy in hand, he can start promoting and building buzz for this book while he's completing it. One of the first things he's going to do is use his new front cover and back cover copy to approach the people from whom he most wants to get endorsements. We can then add these endorsement to the back cover (where we have left room) before his book and cover go through final production and printing.

s he gets the rest of his book publishing and book marketing efforts going, here are the places he can use his book cover to get the most visibility on a daily basis. Whether you have a new book on the way or have already published a book, consider using these ideas, too.

10 Places to Use Your Book Front Cover:

_ Signature on your emails
_ Your business card and letterhead
_ Each page of your website
_ Your blog
_ Your comments on other blogs
_ With articles you submit to online newsletters
_ In the package you send out to get testimonials
_ Each page of your book's media kit
_ Your speaker one sheet
_ ANY place in your social networking profiles where you are currently using your own photo
Happy Book Publishing!

Susan Kendrick, Write to Your Market, Inc. All Rights Reserved., 1-888-634-4120.


Mark Gelotte said...

I was alerted to this blog-page by a friend and must say the further uses of a Book Cover are well listed. I love the idea of adding to email sigs and the back of a business card. With the cheap prices of online business cards, it would be easy to create a card of only your book and it's information. Pass it out in conversations at parties, networking, or casual meetings.

As a graphic designer myself, I would caution one thing. Unless your cover is readable when reduced to a small size, I would only take a portion of the cover to reproduce in an email, blog comment or even a business card. Use the title area or the main identifying graphic for instance. Otherwise a cover that looks great at it's printed size will look blurry and unreadable as a thumbnail and defeat the purpose of promotion.

All in all, a well thought-out list, Susan.

Write To Your Market, Inc. said...

Hi Mark,

Great to hear from you as a designer. Thanks for your tip about the readability of the book cover in any smaller, "thumbnail" format. That is one of the good questions to bring up with any designer an author is considering for their book cover. A good designer should already be thinking about the various places you will be using your cover to promote your book, in print and online. A good designer will create a cover design that retains its highly readable "billboard" effect of the title even in a smaller size. Even so, I really like your suggestion of using just the main, title portion of the cover in these situations if necessary. These words, afterall, are the primary identity you want to get out there. Excellent input. Thanks.


Mark Gelotte said...

Hi Susan,

I am a book designer but I am often called on by authors to use my graphic skills for promotional pieces. This was why your article was of such interest. Speaking from a graphic design perspective, the ideas you suggested were intriguing. I'll add another use of a cover not on your list:

Several authors have asked me to do BOOKMARKS for their book sales, speaking engagements, author signings, or as informational giveaways. On these bookmarks are:

- Book Cover graphic
- Title and Subtitle with compelling text
- Testimonials
- Photo of the author
- Ordering information and Price
- Website and contact information (Author's email and Phone)

Of course this information is balanced out by great design so these bookmarks stand out and want to be read!


Write To Your Market, Inc. said...

Hi Mark,

Great to hear from you again. And, thanks for the specific tips for what to include on a bookmark. Yes, even a bookmark can and should be a lead-generator back to the author, his or her credibility as an expert, how to buy the book, related services, etc.

Thanks again for your contributions here. Great to get your book cover design perspective.