Cover Design – Identifying Your Target Audience

If you are a self-publishing author, cover design as a service, is something that you will all come across at some point. Unless you do it yourself, you will no doubt research the many companies that offer cover design as a service (Author Design Studio included). Having worked with many authors, I definitely get the impression that you can all become quite disheartened at not being able to create a cover to appeal to everyone. By that I mean every book has a target audience, and this is possibly the first obstacle in the cover design process to overcome.

Every book out there has a main audience that it’s going to have to appeal to. It’s nigh on impossible to create a cover that appeals to every single reader that you believe would enjoy your book. As a cover designer, we must identify the largest part of that audience to target. It gives your book a better chance of selling if you create something to appeal to a single audience, than creating a mixed design which would only create confusion.

Now, having come to that decision, it’s not always easy to find which market you want to jump into. After all, Harry Potter covered a vast market, but if you noticed, it also had many different covers to enter into each genre. If you’re having difficulty deciding, speak to your cover designer and explain the message your book is trying to convey. It may be much clearer to someone who hasn’t spent every hour of every day for the past years thinking of this book!

Once you’ve decided on your genre and target audience, your cover designer should look into the market with you, discuss what’s selling, what’s eye-catching and how you can fit in whilst still stand out. Many covers in the same genre appear very similar, and whilst this attracts readers of similar books, your cover designer will also need to consider the balance of being different in a market that’s already potentially overcrowded.

As an author, you a more than likely a reader in the same genre that you write. Pop into a book shop and see what catches your eye, make a note and talk to your designer.

Design is in itself a creative process, and can become quite personal. Your designer should take on-board your ideas, and I’m sure they’ll offer some too, but the end result should be something that both you and your readers will love!

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