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3 Ways to Make Your Small Business Book Covers Stand Out, and 3 Ways to Make Sure They Don’t

3 Ways to Make Your Small Business Book Covers Stand Out, and 3 Ways to Make Sure They Don’t

Small business owners, now more than ever, are realizing the benefits of writing and publishing a book. Having a book paints you as an expert in your field and helps you stand out from the competition. It can also give current or potential clients better insight into you and your business and increase loyalty. For many small business owners who take the time to write a book, they also do so because they feel they have something to say or experience to share with the world.

Whatever your reason for writing a book, you want it to stand out. A quick search for “small business books” on Amazon.com yields more than 157,000 results. With that many results, potential readers are forced to scan the titles and book covers, because they couldn’t possibly take the time to read the descriptions of all 157,000 small business books.

So what’s a small business book author to do? One vital thing is to create a great business book cover that stands out. Here are three ways to do this effectively, and three things to avoid when designing business book covers:

  1. Feature a Bold Title

If you have a great title for your small business book, sometimes that alone can cause your book cover to stand out. Take this book for example: Get Scrappy by Nick Westergaard. The book cover is made up basically of a small icon and a very large, bold title. The boldness of this business book cover will more than likely cause a potential reader to pause, and at the very least, read the subtitle to decide if this is the book for them.

  1. Use Simple, But Compelling, Design

The cover of this business book by custom boardroom furniture designer and manufacturer Paul Downs stands out for its simplicity. The title, Boss Life, is concise, yet still gives a good sense of what the book will be about. The imagery is simple, but has a touch of humor to draw the reader in.

  1. Utilize Color in a Unique Way

Sometimes, a business book cover can stand out simply because the color choices are so unexpected. After you’ve been perusing the Amazon results for a while, many of the book covers start to blend together because they have similar color palettes. Having a business book cover that is brightly-colored, or one that has colors that are more “non-traditional” for a business book cover can really help you book get noticed.

As an example, take a look at this small business book cover, which is actually about using color in your small business: Color Me Successful by Judy Haar.

What Not to Do on a Small Business Book Cover

  1. Include Your Picture

Unless you are a celebrity, and most small business owners are not, don’t include your headshot on the cover of your business book. It isn’t a draw to anyone other than your family and friends, and they will likely buy your book no matter what the cover looks like. A small headshot on the back cover with your bio will suffice.

  1. Make it too Busy

So many small business book covers are cluttered. They have too much information, including multiple pictures, banners, and a ton of text. There is no place for the eye to focus, and therefore someone who is just scanning business book covers will keep moving right past your book. Give your potential reader something to focus in on, whether it is your title, a photo, or graphic.

  1. Give it a Generic Title

There are so many small business book covers with titles like, The Small Business Owner’s Guide to X or How to Start a Successful Small Business. While these titles tell you what the book is actually about, there is nothing compelling about them, and there are literally thousands of other books with similar titles. Really put some thought into the title that will go on the cover of your business book and make sure it stands out among other similar books.

Already Have a Book Cover You Think Stands Out?

If you think you have a book cover with a great design, or if you have seen one that especially stands out, you can enter it into Maven Publishing’s design competition, which is accepting submissions now through the end of October 2016. Get more information here.



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by Emily Lund //

Managing Editor of Businessing Magazine. Content Strategist and multi-function copywriter at Modmacro℠, specializing in marketing communications for small businesses and non-profits.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.