Book Covers

by | Market a Book, SG

Controversy – Do the cover Yourself?

Hire a Pro?
Contract with your sister’s Nephew, Ned?

The most important word is “Engaging.” You want to engage your audience.

Your book cover had better look professional, even if Ned does it.  Don’t disappoint your genre.

Conduct a careful review of all the covers on Amazon, any other sites, Bookstores, anywhere books exist. See what’s popular in your genre. See what is selling. That is what people expect in your genre. It is wise to use that research as a guidepost.

Until you are well established, don’t try and break new ground or think too far “out or the box” in the cover arena.

In addition, if you have made the decision to hire a professional artist, make sure they have experience with book covers. Teaching a good graphic artist about book covers is not another job you need to take on. Writing is difficult enough. Always test with your followers or friends.

When you buy that Great, Hot, Cool, Exciting, Mesmerizing Stock Photo for your cover count on seeing lots of other covers with the same photo. Challenging!

Here are some useful tips to remember:

1. If you buy a stock image – note that there are different levels of usage. The least expensive level might be to use in a post, website, to illustrate an infographic that you are displaying or giving away. However, when you incorporate an image in a product that you are selling, it almost always has a more expensive license fee, or it might not be permitted. Always check and be sure. If it’s not clear, email or call the stock photo company. The last thing you want is to finally have a book getting some traction and getting a legal notice or worse having Amazon pull you down because you saved $22.00 on rights.

2. Make the same inquiries for modifying or combining images. Purchasing the correct level of licensing rights usually allows you to do that. But make sure.

3. If you contract with an artist for a cover, the same rules apply. Make sure your agreement is for all commercial uses including book covers. Otherwise, someone who is experienced and dishonest could give you problems.


Steven is a best-selling author and produced screenplay writer. After having worked through every entry level job in the entertainment industry, including Page at NBC and mail sorter at The William Morris Theatrical Agency, Steven Greene made it to Vice President and Executive Producer at Warner Bros. where he brought animation production back to the studio.

He then left corporate life to work as a carpenter and welder. Physical labor allowed the creative flow that led him to write novels and several screenplays that were produced by Major Hollywood Studios. Greene continues to be a major creative force. He writes fiction and non-fiction, sculpts, cooks and is a partner in a high-level digital marketing agency.

Steven’s books include the best-selling Addicted to Success and Surveyonomics.


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