Are You the Black Duck? By Angie Mroczka

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My friends, I am so excited to introduce to you to AuthorGeek and publishing diva: Angie Mroczka. Her brand new e-book was just released and sailed to #1 on Amazon.com in its category. I am learning so much from Angie, and now you can, too! Check out what she has written for us today:

Are You the Black Duck?
I’m a cover artist and have been for quite some time. In fact, that is how I ended up getting into the publishing business in the first place.
My first covers were a mix of muscled men and ménage for a company called Changeling Press. Thankfully, I have come a long way, both in scope and skill, since then.
Some authors make light of their cover decision while others agonize over it for weeks.
Either way, I believe an outstanding cover is the second-most-important thing to a successful book (the first being a well-written and targeted book, of course).
When it came time to design a cover for my debut nonfiction book, Author Identity, the first stop I made was to Adobe Stock to get some ideas.
I’m an incredibly visual person. Typing keywords in the image browser helps me to see potential concepts, especially since most authors come to me with no idea what they want to see on the cover of their book.
Searching “branding,” “individuality,” and “stand out in the crowd” eventually led me to two pictures that I thought would be perfect for the project—a line of ducks and a row of gummy bears.
While I thought the candy bears would be adorable, intuition told me the ducks were the way to go. So I drafted my initial concept cover in Photoshop with an early version of my title and shared it with my Ideal Readers.
Their response was really encouraging!
From that point on, I had some inspiration to help me make it through the rest of the re-writing and editing process.
Here are 3 tips for creating (or commissioning) a high-converting cover:
Know your ideal audience. To ensure that the concept on your cover is going to connect with the people you want to buy the book, you need to know who those people are! I have an entire chapter on this on Author Identity or you can search online for resources on “ideal customer” or “customer avatars.”
Be bold. You need a cover that makes a statement and the message you want to send is “click me!” Bold colors, contrasting text, and imagery that hints at the topic and transcends the norm are what is going to catch their eye while they are scrolling past other books in the Kindle store. Make your cover memorable.
Beautiful, big or small. Depending on where you post images of your book cover, it needs to look good at high resolutions and as a thumbnail too. This means that you need to be able to read both the title and your name—clearly. Those images on Amazon are so tiny…
Between the early version of my cover and the one that I eventually uploaded into KDP, there were only minor changes. Not only did this image, a visual representation of my book, encourage me to make it to the finish line, it also gave me something to begin marketing with before the book was complete.
It helped me to become the black duck.
Are you a black duck too?


Author Identity: Build Your Brand. Sell More Books. Change the World. is available for less than a cup of coffee for the next few days. If you want to create a tribe of loyal readers, eager to consume your next book, snag it and begin taking action now!

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Angie Mroczka is a certifiable geek and publishing expert who helps self-published authors use technology to build sustainable writing careers. With a background that includes a unique mixture of art, design, marketing, and business, she has the skills that help writers overcome their technical challenges, sell more books, and recover more of their precious time.
Learn more about Angie and connect with her at AuthorGeek.

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