Do You Need To Change Your Book Cover To Get Sales?

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.

It needs to be visually appealing with a quality design that suits the genre.

Another quality is that it retains its visual quality when viewed in small thumbnails.

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

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

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

But you don’t always need a complete redesign.

Compare your cover to others in your genre.

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

Then you can make simple changes to help your book.


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 perhaps three different cover versions, it is possible to have one for Kindle, another for Apple, and maybe another for Barnes & Noble.

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 to see if one performs better.


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 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.

Another option is to start with a blank template and create a book cover.

You can even merge book cover images with a free account.

canva ebook

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

You can even resize your designs to use on your author’s 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 help boost 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.



When 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.

Then 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?


Related Reading: Free Book Cover Creators

7 thoughts on “Do You Need To Change Your Book Cover To Get Sales?”

  1. Avatar for Shortstory Woman
    Shortstory Woman

    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… ;)

  2. 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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