Do You Change Your Book Cover?

Change Your Cover

If you are self-publishing, should you change the cover of your book?

Or do you have different cover versions for each of your online retailers?

From a book marketing perspective, having a range of book covers creates opportunities.

You can discover which version of your book’s cover attracts the most attention, and therefore, potential book sales.

Book cover design

A book cover is the first thing that absolutely has to grab a potential book buyer’s attention.

But it is too often overlooked when trying to gauge why a book may not be selling so well.

Promoting more aggressively, increasing advertising expenditure, and lowering the price can all help book sales.

However, if the cover is the real issue, all that money and effort may be for little reward.

Sometimes, it can be as simple as changing the colors and fonts that will make all the difference.


Change your book cover is an old book marketing tool

Publishers regularly change book covers to attract new book buyers.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams had countless cover versions over the years.

hhgttg covers

With say three different covers, it is possible to have one version for Kindle, another for Apple, and perhaps another for B&N.

You could also have different covers for your ebook and paperback.

After a few months, you can then compare the performance of each version.

Alternatively, try changing the cover on all platforms every two months and see if one performs better than others.


Creating new cover designs

Having two or three new versions doesn’t necessarily mean spending a lot of money on custom-made covers.

If you have a professional cover, you could ask your designer to modify your original cover. Perhaps a different background color, or a change of title font.

If you can’t design and create covers yourself, try buying a couple of pre-made covers.

Many graphic designers offer pre-made ebook covers for between $35-50.

A change as simple as the primary color used in a cover, or the font style, can sometimes be the subtle difference between attracting immediate attention or being passed over.

You can also use Canva to design new ebook covers. With a free account, you can experiment with many of the templates for book covers.

canva ebook

With the modestly priced premium account, you have access to even more templates and you can download your designs in higher resolution.

You can even resize your designs to use on your author website or blog.


Does changing your cover work?

Joanna Penn has a terrific case study on her site about changing book covers.

It’s a great post and explains how readers expect a cover to look for a certain genre and how changing covers can be a help in boosting sales.

Most self-published authors naturally concentrate on writing books.

But for an Indie author, a book cover is the starting point in book marketing.



If you have variations of your book cover, it gives you the chance to see what works best.

A good idea is to get your covers designed well before you publish. You can get feedback from your friends and family and your contacts on social media.

Which one do they prefer, and why?

Is it time to rethink and change your book cover?


Further reading: Free Book Cover Creators

Derek Haines

A Cambridge CELTA English teacher and author with a passion for writing and all forms of publishing. My days are spent teaching English and writing, as well as testing and taming new technology.

6 thoughts on “Do You Change Your Book Cover?

  • December 14, 2019 at 11:22 pm

    Do you have the info of these low price designers because the premades I see are over $100 and up

  • June 22, 2019 at 8:37 am

    How About this one: U Change your cover, get a few printed versions with them on it – as “Speical Editons” like 5 or so – and then Change the Cover again… ;)

  • April 20, 2018 at 9:38 pm

    Thank you for always giving such good information.

  • June 29, 2017 at 7:43 am

    I hate the whole idea of changing covers with a vengeance. But then being a writer, not an illustrator,I would say that wouldn’t I. As you know only too well Derek I’ve said the following in the past here on JPA and on my blog – which is more important? Is it the damned cover, or the story?
    For anyone who buys any paperback or ebook based on whether or not they like the cover, I have one thing to say to them – for god’s sake forget about serious works of literature and concentrate what’s left of your brain on glossy magazines!!!


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