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Denny’s Daily Zinger: Current Book Cover Design - Art With a Capital F

July 17, 2014 By Denny Hatch
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As an author, I adore Amazon:
  • It is easy, quick and cheap to get a book printed.
  • A book gets its own landing page.
  • A title never goes out of print and is available 24/7.
  • Amazon promotes the hell out of the books it sells.
  • Reviews are right there to help with the buying decision.
  • Amazon's patented one-click ordering makes it a breeze to order.
  • Prices are terrific.

Where the Process Falls Apart: Cover Design

A cover—whether for a book, white paper, special report or anything else—has two purposes. It should be immediately readable and inviting in any environment:

  1. From across the room (or from across the aisle at a convention).
  2. When reduced down to one-half inch square or smaller on a digital screen.

Illustration No. 1 (in the media player at right) is a screenshot of an Amazon email to me announcing new titles I should be interested in. Amazon knows what I buy and, yes, several of these are of interest.

Thank you, Amazon.

But the Harper Lee cover is unreadable.

Illustration No. 2 contains book cover design perfection—the 1937 cover for the surprise best seller, "GONE WITH the WIND." It is immediately recognizable in print from across the room and also teeny on the digital screen.

Alas here, too, are the covers of 10 books in the Amazon promotion—all unreadable.

Takeaway to Consider

  • If your designers break the above rules in order to express their little selves, fire 'em.
Denny Hatch's new book is "Write Everything Right!" Lopaze Lasane writes, "[Denny Hatch] dedicated an entire chapter to the usage of words. This chapter alone is worth the price of the book. It provides solid advice on making better word choices. Denny said, 'If you use a word your reader does not know, you have interrupted the flow of writing. As a result, you make the reader feel like a chump or uneducated.' " Click here to download (opens as a PDF) and read the first three chapters FREE. The title is also available on Kindle. Reach Denny at dennyhatch@yahoo.com.
 

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