Cover Design

Good cover design is critical.
It may be true, "You can't judge a book by its cover," but it is equally true, the cover is the first thing a person sees and it had better be attractive enough to get a prospective buyer to at least flip over and read the back content.
The two-second rule:
The fact is, you have about two seconds to lure someone to crack your book open, glance through it and (hopefully) buy it.
Here is the typical order:
1. Look at the cover (two-second clock starts).
2. Look at the back content (if the cover lured you).
3. Look at the table of contents (if the back cover reeled you in).
3. Open the book and read part of a chapter.
4. Buy your book and make you rich and famous.
I recently learned how important a good cover design can be when I visited a local Christian book store in Florida. Bo Raulerson, thirty-eight-year owner of Bartow Christian Bookstore, told me he believes covers sell more books than anything else. It was eye-opening.
Jonathan Gullery (Cover and interior layout designer at designed the cover of my first book. Our local Barnes and Noble manager saw it and remarked, "This cover is exquisite." He read it over the weekend and ordered ten copies. Obviously, you need the interior content to be as good as the cover, but if your cover is "ho-hum," the content won't matter because few, if any, will read it. 

Michael Hyatt, former ceo for Thomas Nelson Publishers, has an excellent article on creating titles that jump off the page.
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Updated July 8, 2015