The graphic appeal of your book – both the book cover and the pages within – plays a big part in the perception and professionalism of your work.

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Think of your favorite books in your personal library. Aside from the titles and authors, what usually come to your mind? All those beautiful covers? Some covers tell a story in and of themselves. So what about the other side of the book? I'll wager that nobody remembers what’s on the back cover of their favorite books. And yet I believe this is the most important – and most overlooked – book marketing real estate for self published authors.

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We spoke with two graphic designers to get some insights on what makes for great design and why your book cover design is more important than ever before.

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For quick reference, here’s a cheat sheet of common components used in book design. Remember, most books don’t have all of these, so use this glossary to get the parts you DO have in the right place.

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Let's face it—most of your readers will view your book’s cover art as a tiny little postage-stamp sized image on a retail website. Given that, put your cover art to the test with these questions.

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We’ve all heard the old cliché “you can’t judge a book by its cover.” But the fact is we humans are a visual species, stimulated by compelling graphics and imagery. And not only do books with cool covers stand out because of their visual appeal, they can be one of your greatest sales tools as well.

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