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  • Writer's pictureSean Dollwet

How to Choose the Right Cover Design for Maximum Impact on Amazon KDP

The democratization of publishing has led to an incredibly competitive marketplace. So how can you set yourself apart from the competition in a sea of similarity?

Simple: Your book’s cover design.

Truth be told, what you think may work (and even what worked yesterday), probably won’t work today. The landscape of the publishing world is constantly shifting and that means accurate and detailed research is of paramount importance.

So let’s take a deep dive into exactly how you can maximize your impact on Amazon KDP.

Understanding Book Cover Design

A good rule of thumb to follow is that you want to treat your book cover like you would the front door of your house. Just like your front door, your book cover is the entrance to how a new customer will interact with you. Unlike a front door, however, a book cover gives your audience a glimpse of what’s inside (content) and helps differentiate it from thousands of other books available (unique selling proposition).

The most effective cover design helps to communicate the genre, tone, and quality of your book. A poorly designed cover can do all of that as well…just in reverse. Miss this opportunity and the audience you’ve worked so hard to cultivate could have their mindset pre-framed with doubt, skepticism, and apprehension.

Not a good situation to find yourself in.

Moral of the story here?

Regardless of what your 1st grader teacher told you, people DO judge a book by its cover - and so should you!

So what elements do you need to consider when it comes to cover design?

1. Title and typography

Make sure your title is clear and legible, even for your smaller thumbnails, as your chosen typography reflects the mood and genre of your book.

2. Imagery

Your book’s image needs to align with the content and emotions you’re trying to evoke from your audience.

3. Color scheme

Similarly, the colors you choose should be aimed to match your book’s theme and genre, as well as emotion.

4. Author’s name

As an established author, you want your name to be the selling point, so make it prominent. Even if you’re new, go about it the same way., You want your name to be in peoples’ minds.

Strategies for Cover Design

As you sit down to brainstorm your strategy for your first - or your fiftieth - cover, remember to consider the trends and standards in your book’s genre. Oftentimes, readers have expectations based on the genre, and the closer you can align your book with those expectations, the greater your initial impact will be.

Similarly, given that most Amazon shoppers at first glance will see your book as a small thumbnail image, be mindful to ensure that your cover is compelling and legible, even if the image is compressed.

To really optimize discoverability, Amazon KDP recommends that you use a high-resolution image for your cover to ensure it appears professional and sharp. It might seem like a no-brainer, but you definitely want to avoid anything that looks grainy or pixelated.

Your book and your cover should work as a seamless pair. Any misalignment runs the risk of confusion among your readers - and confusion is the killer of sales.


To ensure that your book cover is effective, make sure to A/B test it out.

Create two different covers to test and track their respective performances. You can even use social media or other platforms to gather feedback from your target audiences.

This way, you will be able to strategically minimize subjectivity in the design process while simultaneously maximizing its appeal.

To recap, treat your book cover not as just an aesthetic element, but also as a strategic marketing tool. It is a power you have to increase your book’s visibility and appeal, a fact that will only bolster your success and your business.


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