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By The Bookollective Team, Jun 26 2017 03:59PM

In a post that will be particularly helpful to beginners starting out in marketing their self-published books, book designer and ALLi partner member Aimee Coveney shares some great ideas for using the design elements of your books in your marketing campaigns and book promotions.


Consistent and good design is a vital part of building your author brand. Your author brand, and your books, should look professional, increase your credibility as an author and raise the perceived value of your work, attracting more sales.


Good design is good business.


As an indie author, you have full control over the choice of design for your self-published books, both on the cover and inside. Strong visual impact will make your books stand out within your genre and catch the attention of your readers across international platforms.


But have you also considered how to use the elements of your book design elsewhere, once the design process is over, to promote your work across your digital presence?


Imagery, Color and Texture

Most book covers will use at least one image and often more. Many authors only ever use the complete cover in their marketing, but picking out individual elements for promotional purposes can prove effective, complementing your covers and creating familiarity whilst strengthening your brand. Obvious examples are graphics created to be used in social media marketing.


Ask your cover designer for individual elements of your design that you can then manipulate yourself, if you’re capable. Alternatively ask the designer to put something together for you, to add a really professional touch to your online promotional strategy.


Always ensure the image license allows use in other projects, and check whether there are any limitations.


Typography

Another way to make your books stand out more effectively online is to repeat the typography of your book covers across your digital presence to reiterate your brand. This is a very simple tool. Just use the fonts from your book cover and interior for items such as these:


- Your website, displaying your information with the same font type and colour scheme as used for your books


- Your email signature, placing your visual brand in front of your audience with every email you send


- Video book trailers, using your chosen font and colour scheme of your cover design for your text commentary – remember, not everyone views videos online with sound.




With video fast becoming the most shared kind of media online it’s more important than ever to ensure their digital impact is as beneficial to you as an author as possible, in both branding and content.


Thus your cover design doesn’t only affect how clearly your book stands out on retail sites, but can be used effectively and constructively across your whole online author platform.


Whether you are consciously working at it or not, your brand as an author is being built as we speak, so ensure that your book covers are working hard to do what they should do best: targeting your audience and pulling in readers.


OVER TO YOU Do you have examples of how you’ve extrapolated elements of your book cover to create great marketing collateral?




By The Bookollective Team, Nov 16 2016 03:33PM


ALLi Partner Member and Bookollective co-founder Aimee Coveney provides a useful overview of the impact of a self-published book’s cover not only on its sales success but also on an important long-term consideration: the establishment and promotion of your brand as an indie author. What she has to say also holds true for books published by trade publishing houses. Over to Aimee…


Over the years as a cover designer, I have often spoken with authors about their brand, and on occasions I have received very quizzical looks, but it is in fact something that should be included early in your career plan as a writer.


A strong brand helps an author in the same way it helps any organisation: it gives your name recognition and helps to sell your work.


The significance of visual marketing and design is forever stronger within all industries, but with online portfolios making artists more accessible, the standard of book covers in self-publishing has hit an all-time high and subsequently increased competition for authors too.


What is an Author Brand Anyway?

The concept of an author brand is sometimes misunderstood, and it is a large topic to cover:


It’s not just about the genres you write in, it’s about how you represent yourself to the entire industry and create a recognisable and trusted name.

A brand is about how you want your audience to perceive you as a person and a professional.

A brand can create an umbrella for all you do, whether that’s working in different fields, or writing in different genres.


Why Book Cover Branding is Important

For new readers, your book cover is more often than not the first introduction to your brand and your work as a whole.


The average customer spends eight seconds looking at the front cover of a book and fifteen on the back.


Customers buying online may spend even less time than this, so you can see why a high standard of cover is so vital.


It’s important to ensure that your book cover not only visually represents your writing and the story it envelops, but also your brand, so that new readers have an idea of what your work will be like and existing readers can recognise books as yours.


Strongly branded book covers can also have a huge, positive impact on your chance on gaining media attention or getting bookstores interested in stocking your books – not always easy for self-published authors. You must remember that the industry is inundated with books every day. Bookstore buyers may not necessarily be opposed to self-published books, but they know all too well that it’s the cover and brand that sells and if that’s weak, then stocking it wouldn’t make business sense. Unfortunately the use of unprofessional covers can harm the reputation of the self-publishing sector.


In a study of booksellers’ assessments of publisher marketing efforts, 75% of 300 surveyed said that of all the elements of the book itself, the look and design of the cover was the most important.


The cover of a book is thus prime real estate for promoting a book and your brand.


How Effective Cover Branding Helps Reach Your Previous Readers

It’s important as an author to reach previous readers, and one way this is easily achieved is through a recognisable, branded design. If an author has received a good response from their previous work, they may assume that their next book will do equally well, if not better. But what if your readers do not recognise your latest book? The right visual connection on the cover will ensure they do. That recognition factor is vital, and it is what sells books every day.


The same can be said for booksellers. If they can easily identify from your covers that you are an author whose previous books sold well, they’re more likely to stock your books again. If the cover is not strongly branded, they may not remember your earlier books’ popularity.


What About Cover Redesigns?

That’s not to say that a redesign isn’t a good idea. If your design and brand is not up to standard, a complete brand overhaul can be a great piece of PR. Also, cover designs date quickly. The big publishing houses frequently issue new covers even for books that have been selling well under the old covers, so don’t feel that you must stick with the cover under which your book was launched. Changing covers can change the fortunes of a book entirely. (For more on this topic, see the related post at the foot of this page.)


Top Tips for Your Cover Branding

Brand identity is now more important than ever for authors, but it doesn’t have to be complex to be effective. Here are the essentials:


> a strong, unique font for your author name and book title

> similar illustrations or image styles for each book

> consistent layout

> similar use of colour


Next time you are working on a cover design, remember to ask yourself and a qualified focus group how it’s representing your brand as well as the individual book.



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Esther

 

Favourite book:

To Kill A Mockingbird 

by Harper Lee

 

Best tip for authors:

Tell me your life story. It's the personal ups and downs and how you've overcome them that sometimes help us pitch you and the book.

 

Publishing career highlight:

My first byline in The Mirror and ghost writing a newspaper feature for a client that saw her get a phone call from the Defence Secretary saying how impressed he was.

bloggers

Our aim for the Bookollective blog is to provide honest and informative articles to help everyone within the industry and book world. Our team will regularly contribute articles, but we will also invite guest bloggers. If you would like to guest blog for us, get in touch via the contact page.

 

You can also find out a little more about our team below!

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Aimee

 

Favourite book:

Pride and Prejudice 

by Jane Austen

 

Best tip for authors:

Good design is good business; it builds your brand and conveys professionalism. As an author, your book is your business; don't let your hard work down with poor presentation.

 

Publishing career highlight:

Getting my first award for cover design! It's always an amazing feeling when you're acknowledged for doing something you love.

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Helen

 

Favourite book:

The Tiger Who Came

to Tea by Judith Kerr

 

Best tip for authors:

You are unique and so is your book, so create a unique publicity campaign that suits you. Most importantly, don’t quit - I always tell my authors that writing their book is actually the ‘easy’ bit, promotion takes patience and determination.

 

Publishing career highlight:

I was proud to be selected as a finalist in the Publisher’s Publicity Circle Awards for one of my paperback non-fiction campaigns, but my career highlight has to be winning the title of Young Business Person of the Year at the Inspire Business Awards.

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