Don’t judge a book by its cover. It’s a wonderful sentiment that unfortunately doesn’t apply to books. Everyone judges books by their front cover, which makes the front of your book incredibly important.

But the cover of your book isn't just up for judgement. It also serves these purposes:

  • Grabbing the attention of a potential buyer and reader
  • Encouraging the potential buyer to purchase the book
  • Engaging and growing a readership

Choosing what the front of your book will look like is one of the most impactful decisions you'll make as you publish. Below you'll find some options I grappled with as I decided what the re-release of I CAN Believe in Myself would look like.

I CAN Front Cover 1
I CAN Front Cover 2

Above are some cover examples my amazing illustrator, Eva Morales, gave me for the re-release of I CAN Believe in Myself.

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Let's dive deeper into the front cover's 3 main purposes.

Grab the Reader’s Attention

While on the hunt for a new read, we usually decide which books we want to pick up based on whether the cover is appealing to us. Could you imagine if we picked up every single book in every single bookstore and read every single synopsis? Once we decided which book to purchase, there would be no time left to actually read it.

This is why it's so important to have a front cover that will grab the attention of your target audience. If you’re writing a children’s picture book, you’ll want to avoid choosing a cover without any pictures or colours.

Make sure your cover is appealing to your target audience and grabs their attention.

Encourage a Purchase

Remember that your front cover is a marketing tool. Once you grab the reader’s attention, you also want to make sure your cover will encourage that reader to buy your book.

Consider the contents of your story. How can you weave elements of your story into the cover? If the cover shows the reader a little bit about your story, the reader will be able to decide whether your story is one they want to invest in.

Also remember to choose a cover that is legible and organized. A chaotic, disorganized cover might grab a reader’s attention, but it definitely won’t keep it. If the front cover is messy, readers will assume the story is too.

BONUS: if you have a testimonial from a well-known author, include it on the front of the book. Testimonials are a great resource for encouraging sales.

Grow a Readership

Did you know that you can use the front cover to your advantage even before your book goes to print? If you’re trying to decide which cover to use, ask your target audience which one they like best. A great way to do this is through social media.

Asking for your audience’s opinion during the publication process not only increases engagement on your social media, but also gives your audience a sense that they are a part of the publication process. This will encourage your audience to purchase the book when it comes out.

The Truth About the Front Cover

Simply put, the cover is the most important illustration in your entire children's book. If there’s any illustration to invest more time and money into, it’s the cover. If your cover needs to be re-worked, then re-work it. A great front cover is a must-have for any children's book.

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