Book covers are the gatekeepers of literature; they are the first impression a reader has about the story inside.

It is often said that you cannot judge a book by its cover. While this is true, it is also true that many people do judge books by their covers. Think about it: when you walk into a bookstore or library, how long does it take for you to decide which books are worth reading? Probably only a matter of seconds. You scan the covers and read the summaries.

This can be done because the cover serves as an immediate assessment of what’s between those book covers. It has been proven that people’s first impressions are derived from these elements, so we define our own perceptions of books based on what we see on the cover.

Does a book’s cover matter?

Have you ever picked up a book that had an interesting cover design, only to be disappointed by the mediocre prose? Or have you picked up a book with an unassuming, bland cover design, only to be stunned by the sheer awesomeness of this unknown author’s writing? Book covers can make or break a reader’s experience.

Of course, it matters!

A book’s cover plays a significant role in making an impression on a potential reader. Seeing an attractive, well-designed cover is one of the reasons why people pick up a book and read the back.

People judge others based on their appearance, and we are no different when it comes to books. For self-published authors, picking an appealing cover is especially important because often, it’s the only representation your book has.

The cover is vital to the success of the book. A good cover will attract people to a book when it’s on display and put people off if it’s poorly designed and unappealing.
The cover of a book needs to grab someone’s attention and make them want to know more about what’s inside.

Have you ever judged a book by its cover?

Judging a book by its cover is a tough habit to break. It’s human nature to form opinions based on first impressions. Sometimes we just don’t have time to look beyond the surface, and for many of us, our first impression is formed once we see that eye-catching book cover.

I have judged a book by its cover, and if its cover looked dated, dull and unappealing, I probably would not have kept reading. Does this mean the content of the book is not good? Not at all! It just means that I did not give the book a chance. Just because a book looks terrible doesn’t mean it is awful.

There are books whose covers draw you in and make you want to read on – books that are so well-written their covers are attractive and appealing without having to rely on glitzy graphics.

The cover is the first impression

You’ve probably heard that “first impression counts.” The same is true of book covers, particularly self-published books. People browsing in bookshops or online are often looking for new authors. They are judging a book by its cover just like you will when you sift through the millions of books out there in paperback, hardback, and digital formats.

The front cover of a book is the first thing that potential readers see and decide whether or not the book is worth reading, and the first impression they get is often the lasting one.

Books with attractive covers sell better than books with unattractive covers. That is a proven fact that can be found in the millions of reviews on Amazon. The cover is the first impression. It makes people want to buy that book

How to make a good cover design

Match the tone of the book

Take a look at other books in your genre, and take note of their covers. Make sure your cover matches up with what is expected from your target audience.

Know your color scheme

Colors have different meanings and associations, so make sure your cover uses colors that match the tone of your book.

For example, red is associated with anxiety, love, aggression, and passion.

Blue is associated with peace, tranquility, sadness, and coldness.

Use color psychology to make sure your cover fits the mood you want to portray.

Keep it simple

The most successful book covers don’t try to do too much at once. They are simple and straightforward; if they were any other way, they would cause confusion instead of intrigue.

Keep the medium in mind

When designing a book cover, think of how it will look on store shelves or in online listings where it will be featured as a thumbnail image.

Different formats require different type of designs. A good cover for physical stores might not be good for online stores.


People will judge a book by its cover, whether they consciously know it or not. You can have the best intentions, and you can have the most beautifully written content inside. But if the cover is unattractive, less people will read your work.