Can you judge a book by its cover?

How many times have you looked at a book and the cover has left you cold? Are you more likely to read it, or use it as a doorstop? While big publishing companies have the final say in cover art, Indie authors (those who self publish) have the daunting task of finding just the right cover art themselves. Here are a few guidelines for choosing your cover.

Unless your kid is the Gerber baby, don’t use his picture. Nobody wants to see him dressed as a tomato for the school play.

If you want to use a picture of a sunset, I have 6,402 of them that my grandfather forced us to watch every time he gave a slide show. Don’t put your reader through the same torture.

People will have a hard time believing that your head belongs on Cindy Crawford’s body. Photoshop wisely.

Well-built shirtless men should not go on picture books.

Colors should not match body excretions of any kind.

Gold embossed lettering looks great on Bibles – not so much for erotica.

I’d like to give a shameless plug here for a great cover artist, who charges very reasonable prices. Collin Beishir, of Beishir Graphics had been doing cover art as a favor for family and friends. He recently opened his own business, so if you’re looking for a cover, check out his website. You can contact Collin at

My advice to writers is, pay special attention to your cover art. You only get one chance to make a good first impression, and you don’t want people using your book as a doorstop.