Top 5 Reasons Why Your Book Cover is Not Successful by Olivia Mibl

This week’s guest poster is different.  Instead of an author, we have the lovely Olivia from Mibl Art, who designs artwork including book cover designs.  Here she discusses why your book cover is not successful.

titleEvery year, you can observe a tendency of increasing the purchase of books on various platforms as Amazon, Lulu, IngramSpark, Smashwords.

If to be attentive you can see the struggle among writers to be titled as a bestseller. And competition is a great motivation to achieve the goals!

Today, we’re going to talk about some common book cover mistakes with which our graphic designers are facing day by day. Any confusion on the cover influences on the sales and popularization between the readers.

It has to stand out from the thousands of other books out there on the market. Keep in mind, the cover is the same package as for any other product. It should attract attention, urge to take a look and buy. If you don’t have the skills to design the cover on your own correctly, do not attempt this at home.

But, if you are bound to do so, here are the top 5 reasons that make your cover unsuccessful.

Low Resolution / Pixelated Images

Let’s say you have a photo that you want to have a copy to hang on your cover. In your opinion, it’s perfect, and at first view has a high resolution. The truth is, that the photo is nowhere close to being big enough. Many images which are not from stock sites are of poor quality.

Even if you decide to use your own photo, make sure its resolution is at least than 300 dpi. You can easily check this: print it out — and if you get a pixelated image as in the example, then this photo is not suitable for the cover. 


Poor Font Choice

The biggest problem with most of the covers is the wrong font selection. It can spoil the first impression of the book immediately.

In the world of fonts, you need to clearly identify which style will fit your book best. And the choice is not limited to Time New Romans and Arial. They are good for the inside pages, but not for your cover. Here you may see how the font choice influences the look of the same cover design.

The simple font makes the cover boring and not attractive at all. And pay attention to the fact that the background remains the same as in the original design. You need to be aware of exactly what fonts will suit your book accordingly.


Text Layout

Did you come across a cover where the background was beautiful, and the font choice also looked great, but its layout seemed under construction? The cover requires a clear text position.

The most common mistakes are the following:

  • locating the title at the top in one line in small font, and splitting a long title word by word in the form of a chess field. It visually distorts the cover, and readers automatically do not pay attention to the book.
  • fear of placing the main information about the book over the whole cover. Let’s take a look at the example: title, subtitle and author’s name are placed so that the text does not cover the background view. This leads to the fact that the cover has become like an ordinary picture. Then how do you find out if your text layout is good? Check yourself with this simple rule: “If you cannot read the text in a thumbnail, then it is not large enough in size or has a bad text layout”.


Overlapped pictures

What if your cover has a collage of several images. You cut them in the Adobe Photoshop program and combine into one picture. And what do you get? Yes, carved pictures that stand on their own, and do not create a sense of harmony.

The cover on the right side is a vivid example of that mistake. You have to know exactly how to mask the edges, so they occupy the same space. It’s not an easy process, but without this, your cover will not have a holistic look.


Contrast / Color Shades

The color scheme has the ability to bring a cover to life. When you combine paints skillfully, they work like a magnet for readers. The danger is that there is often mischief with a contrast.

When you want your cover to have some kind of mysticism, or to roll out certain details in the picture, as a result, it gets either too dark or with a strong glow. It gives the cover a sense of cheapness and a lack of vision of natural shadows.

You can compare two covers by yourself. Which one is more suitable to you: the one with proper shadows, which gives the space depth, or where all merge into a single white image, leaving the necessary details as a spaceship, the galaxy aloof? The choice is yours…


These are just a few examples of covers which have gone wrong. Creation of a great cover takes knowledge of skill with programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.

Besides this, you need to be able to correctly place all the elements on the cover: starting with pictures and ending with typography.

If you are suffering from a bad cover design, Contact us, we’ll be glad to help you to create a cover that won’t end up on the Covers which is not Successful!

About Mibl Art

The Mibl Art’s foundation begun with a day when a few best friends had a desire to try something new, something that brings pleasure from what they were going to do.

Our team understood that nobody gives any guarantee we would be able to create a great book cover design. But you know, continuous professional skills improvement gave the result.

For 2 years we have created over than 10 000 book covers. Our team experienced more than one fall, but we were not disappointed and continued to work even harder. This is just a small start of something bigger. The main thing is not to give up!

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~ ☆ ~ ☆ ~ ☆ ~

Thanks to Olivia from Mibl Art for sharing her experience with us.  If you are an author, I recommend you check out her website to see the book cover designs she creates.

As for myself, I want to apologise for my continued absence, I have been and still am very ill so have not been up to writing any posts or going on social media.  However, my guests are important and I wanted to make sure Olivia’s post got posted on the correct day.

I don’t know when I’ll be back, this illness is truly kicking my ass.  Hopefully, I will return soon.

Happy writing


12 thoughts on “Top 5 Reasons Why Your Book Cover is Not Successful by Olivia Mibl

    1. Glad you liked it, I have been trying to get more book cover artists to guest post. I was so pleased Olivia sent this, it was really good to see it from an artist’s perspective.

  1. Thanks for sharing. As a reader, I know how important the cover is. I have a limited amount of time to devote to reading, and one of the things I look at when choosing a book is the cover. If it’s a love story with an unattractive couple, or mismatched couple on the cover, I want read it. I know that sounds lame, but it’s true. The cover can make or break your book.

    1. It’s true that a cover can make or break a book. It’s the first thing we see and it definitely needs to grab a readers attention. This article was great to see things from an artists perspective. 🙂

      Thanks for your comment, glad you enjoyed the article.

  2. Pingback: Reasons Why Your Book Cover is Not Successful – The Militant Negro™

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