Book Truthiness Time Does Your Book Cover Soar … or Does It Suck?

Why authors think that they DIY cover will be “the one” has always amused me. In the old days, when an author would proudly reveal his or her newly birthed book … I would verbally support them and encourage. The conversation I would be having in my head may have had a totally different dialogue.

Today, I no longer keep my thoughts within if I’m asked for my opinion. The author gets it—sometimes glowing; sometimes with a: What were you thinking? … This cover is a disaster.

Yikes, it’s out of my mouth. The author may be hurt, pissed, curious or befuddled. Or not care. If I’m asked, I will respond—it’s what the blunt to the point of me does.

Book Truthiness Time
Too many book covers suck. They have fallen down and can’t get up.

How do you keep yours … and possibly your book from spiraling down the drain?

Start by looking at covers that you have been presented as options. Is it a plain Jane? Is it vibrating with the title? If there is an image, is it a grabber?  If there is a back cover sample … is it appealing? Does it have a header? How about visual breaks from text? Is it readable? Does it use keys words and phrases that connect title/them with the reader?


Get yourself to the nearest large book store. You are on a scouting mission. Look at all the new titles. What are the fonts and sizes—what grabs your attention? What about colors? Use of images? What covers are vibrating –speak to you—look at both fiction and nonfiction covers.

Book Truthiness Time
Shrink your cover samples before finalizing.

Millions of books are sold online—your cover needs to pop when viewed small.  


The wise author-to-be immediately reduces the size of the cover to a minimum of 25 percent of original size. Have your designer send you a jpg and start reducing its size. You will be competing with plenty of titles in your category—does yours shine? Or, does it become invisible in the sea of others?

Book Truthiness Time
Create a provocative cover and title.
Both can help sell books and get people to pick yours up.




Yes, it’s what’s in between the covers and on the sheets that count the most. But, and it’s a huge but, buyers judge a book by its cover. There are wonderful designers that don’t charge an arm and a leg to create a stellar cover that becomes the beacon … come to me reader/buyer … effect you want to create.

Yes, books are judged by their covers. It’s the Book Truthiness of book marketing and selling. Book covers speak, are you listening? You want yours to soar; not to suck.




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Judith Briles is a book publishing expert and coach. She empowers authors and is the Founder of Author U, a membership organization created for the serious author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. Judith is the author of 34 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms (ForeWord IndieFab Book of the Year), Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers and a speaker at publishing conferences. Book #34 was published this summer: The CrowdFunding Guide for Authors & Writers. Get your copy.

Become part of her inner circle by joining the Author’s Ark and exclusive monthly webinar and coaching event. Each summer, she holds Judith Briles Book Publishing Unplugged, a three day intensive limited to a small group of authors who want to be seriously successful. In 2015, the dates are August 27-29th.  Her audio and workbook series, Creating Your Book and Author Platform is now available. Join Judith live on Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST for Author U – Your Guide to Book Publishing on the Toginet Network at .

Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU and Judith Briles – TheBookShepherd on Facebook. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact Judith at

header-logo1.pngAuthor U is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to the author who wants to be seriously successful. Monthly education programs delivered face-to-face and online, The Author Resource ezine, BookCamps and the annual Author U Extravaganza are tools designed for authors pre, during and post publishing of their books. Join today.

 If you are looking for FREE author and book coaching … call in to Judith’s Author Monday Mornings at NOON Eastern each Monday. The number is 218-632-9854; Access Code 1239874444 … have your questions ready–there’s a full hour to ask and listen.

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