July 29, 2020

Decorations for Your Book

Susan Reichert


What? Decorations for my book? What kind of decorations?

I am talking about the cover image for your book. The story you spent hours creating, massaging, and birthing into being. Oh, and you remember all the editing and rewrites?

A cover is considered a decoration. Why? Because that is what draws the readers’ attention.

Think about walking in a mall and passing a clothes store. Look how the windows are dressed. Eye appeal! Eye Appeal! Eye appeal! Or as I like to call it, eye candy.

If the colors are eye catching and the window is creative, it will draw you through the doors to see what they have. You don’t even think twice about going in.

That is how you want your book to be. Eye candy for the reader.

Through my tenure as Editor-in-Chief of Southern Writers Magazine (nine years), I saw thousands of book covers.

Do you think I saw more book covers that were creative, inviting, and exciting or more that did not entice the reader to pick up the book or do you think it was fairly even?

Unfortunately, I saw more covers that did not entice me to pick up the book and read it. Some were bland, colors to dark, and images had nothing to do with the book.

Now you may be thinking that these were mostly books that were self-published. I have news for you. It was also books from publishing companies.

Remember what I said earlier? Visuals make strong impressions on the reader, either enticing them to pick up the book or to pass it by.

Neil Swaab, “A cover exists primarily to entice potential readers to buy the book. It’s a sales tool. It must relay information about the book in a way that grabs potential readers and inspires them to investigate further. To read more visit

So, when you are ready for that book cover, it is always a good idea to look at other books on the subject you are writing about and see what they used. It helps give you an idea. Another idea is to consider hiring a person to design your cover. Just remember,

it is a sales tool!

I also like to go on Amazon and look at different book covers. I make a list, picking the ones that entice me…and why. Then picking the ones I do not like and why.

I keep the list to remind myself, when choosing a cover, why I do not like certain colors, and/or images.

Happy Writing! 

Susan Reichert , author of God's Prayer Power and Storms in Life. Past Editor-in-Chief of Southern Writers Magazine, Current President of Southern Author Services, editor of Suite T and Gallery of Stars.


  1. Susan,

    You have seen thousands of book covers and thank you for these insights. There is a common saying that I hear, "You can't judge a book by its cover." Yet we do judge a book by it's cover every time. The cover image and title and other details like the words on the back cover, are a critical part of the process--whether the reader selects the book or not.

    author of 10 Publishing Myths, Insights Every Author Needs to Succeed

  2. Hi Terry,
    You are right all these things matter. Every time I have been to a book store, I am always drawn to a cover. Then I look at title, and then turn the book over to see the back before I even open the book.

  3. Oh, wow! Great suggestions for thinking about your cover. Thanks, Susan!