A book title’s length can have a big impact on the quality of the cover.

Many authors try to pack as much information as possible into their titles. It’s an understandable instinct. The cover is the first thing potential readers will see, so you want to tell them exactly what wonders await them if they peek inside. Also, the more words you use, the wittier you can be. Right?


Here’s the problem. Say you’ve written a detailed historical record about keyboards-the kind you find on typewriters and laptops.

You’ve decided to call it The Quick Brown Fox Jumps over the Lazy Dog: A History of Keyboard Interface from QWERTY to DVORAK. You’re very proud of this title. It’s cute and clever and gets your general concept across.

It’s also unlikely to draw the eye when crammed into a relatively small space-see the first image above.

Think it’s not that bad? Try the Amazon.com-sized thumbnail directly below it. A little crowded, yes?

If you’re selling your book primarily or exclusively online, like most independently published authors, the thumbnail is the first glimpse your readers will get. It is this image that compels them to look closer … or look elsewhere.

As much as you like your original idea, maybe you should think of scaling back. Simplifying. How about QWERTY: A History of Keyboard Interface?

Ta da! Witty! Pretty!

Again, you can really see what a difference this makes for the thumbnail version.
When the elements on the tiny image have room to breathe, the image as a whole becomes more accessible. Without knowing why, your potential readers will feel more inclined to click on it and take a closer look.

Which is exactly what you want them to do.