January 2010

"99 Days to Panama" before and after cover designs

Why will the second cover sell better than the first? I bet it caught your eye in a captivating way. The second cover tells a story and asks the reader to participate. The first is difficult to read, has a subdued color palette, and uses a photo that is less than engaging. While white space can be a uesful tool, there is way too much of it in this case.

The use of native colors in the final cover emphasizes the location of the story. Incorporating colorful, descriptive photos in scrapbook-type borders shows that this is a journal and makes this inviting. Other hints that this is a travel journal include the parchment-type paper behind the title, relaxed typeface used for the title, and the burnt-orange edge on the left. A dynamic layout that moves the viewer’s eyes around the page ensures that each element will be noticed. Which would you rather purchase?

– Tami


Which is a more salable book cover? While the first has a striking photograph, the second is the better choice. A good — or great — photo does not make a great book cover. After grabbing your attention, the rest of the cover does nothing to encourage a sale. Many have asked if the girl is dead! The title is difficult to read and has no attention-getting value. The subtitle in the pink vignette is also difficult to read, cuts the bottom of the cover in half, and leaves nothing interesting below. Speaking of that dead space, where’s the author’s name?

The second cover is well-organized and has an attractive photo that’s encouraging to readers. The title is fun and highly readable. There are “girly” aspects to the cover without it becoming too soft and frilly. It’s a great balance between business-like (for the informative aspect) and attractive to the female crowd (a majority of its potential buyers/readers).