So what designs are the big publishing houses paying industry experts thousands of dollars to create? The first thing we needed to do before we even started is agree on exactly what variable we would be measuring. The first thing we noticed is that if you are selling your eBook in an online marketplace is just how difficult it is to stand out.
One of the first things that you need to consider when you are designing a front cover is the background image to use. In the other niches the percentage of front covers that use full page photos is significantly lower (28% for science fiction and Fantasy, 32% for horror and 32% for mystery, thriller and suspense). The first thing that we realised as we started breaking down the data is just how varied font use for the title is across various niches is.
In 100% of cases, when two colors or more were used for the font color, the title and the authors name were printed in different colors. A surprising fact that we discovered was how much the proportion of text relative to image varied by niche. In today’s technology-filled world, interactive quizzes are a great way to keep your students engaged in learning.
Plickers is a simple tool that lets teachers collect real-time formative assessment data without the need for student devices. Testmoz is a test generator that sports 4 question types, automatic grading, a really simple interface and detailed reports. Flubaroo is a free tool that helps you quickly grade multiple-choice or fill-in-blank assignments. Go Conqr (formerly ExamTime) is a wonderful free web-app that allows teachers and students to easily create, save, share, and embed mind maps, quizzes, flashcards, and notes. The Patron of Reading scheme is a fantastic opportunity for a writer to create a sustained relationship with a school and help them achieve their goals. If you want to create a buzz about reading and improve your pupils' writing, the Patron of Reading scheme might just be for you. On the back of some inspirational author visits, school librarian Chris Kelso decided to keep momentum going by starting a creative writing magazine and asking for pupil submissions.
As part of Shared Reading, pupils from Kincorth Academy and Abbotswell Nursery in Aberdeen paired up to share stories and picture books.
At Hilton Primary in Inverness, Primary 6 classes have been taking part in a project inspired by the books and videos of Liz Pichon, author of the hugely popular Tom Gates series. Simon Hall is a Principal Teacher of English and has recently released an exciting, interactive new book designed to help pupils achieve their potential in National 5 English.
Our Live Literature programme can help fund a visit from an author, poet, storyteller, illustrator or playwright to help with your projects. Susannah Jeffries at Carnegie Primary School in Dunfermline became a Schools Champion and focused her project work on Chae Strathie's Authors Live event.
At Scottish Book Trust we're huge advocates of creating a whole-school reading culture. This month, our Book Talk panel turns its attention to the latest book by fantastic Scottish author, Andrew O'Hagan.

So we looked at the 100 bestselling books in each of the four niches across Amazon, the most popular platform for buying books on the Internet. On Amazon a front cover appears to readers as an image that is just 60 by 90 pixels in size. The number of front covers that just use illustrations rises correspondingly, with 16% at the low end for science fiction and fantasy and 36% at the top end for mystery, thriller and suspense. For example, 80% of mystery and thiller genre best seller book covers use formal fonts like Arial, Serif, Verdana etc. The types of fonts used are a lot more varied and the more formal fonts like serif and sans serif (this includes fonts like Verdana, Arial, etc.) are a lot less popular with just 36% of book covers using these fonts for the title. In a maximum of 12% of cases the authors name was written in a stylised font (horror and romance.
The majority of best selling books that we reviewed used a maximum of two font colors on the front cover. In just 8% of the best selling book covers that were reviewed was the title of the book in more than one color.
For example, 90% of book covers written by Stephen King, the name of the author was more prominent than the title of the book. For example, in the horror niche, the title and authors name took up more than two-thirds of the page 66% of the time and for the mystery and thriller niche it was 64%.
You don’t want to be one of the 6% of authors in the science fiction and fantasy niche who plaster the book title and authors name all over the cover as this doesn’t work well with the audience. Make your business stand out with beautiful social media covers, business cards, blog post headers and more! In this blog post, primary teacher Katrina Lucas explains how having Lynne Rickards as Patron of Reading has energised and excited her pupils, and gives some tips to help you make the most of the initiative.
Alan Clark, Library Resource Centre Coordinator at Kincorth Academy, describes how the Shared Reading project really took off, leading to a very special World Book Day performance. Here Lesley Glasgow, class teacher at Hilton Primary, shares the brilliant activities which she ran in her classroom to celebrate the wonderful world of Tom Gates.
In this post, Simon argues that senior English courses, while demanding and packed, can still inspire a love of reading and writing for pleasure. School library assistant Chris Kelso describes how he used our funding to bring in YA author Laura Lam for a hugely successful workshop with Doon Academy pupils. Her P2 class studied a different book each week and created themed puppets for every text, culminating in a magnificent puppet show, complete with songs! Grange Academy librarian June Reid has a wealth of ideas to share, including some fantastic displays created for Book Week Scotland. When we decided to enter the self publishing niche, creating a piece of software to design front covers, we analysed 200 bestsellers across the four most popular niches (Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller and Suspense and Romance) on Amazon to see what makes a great front cover. We wanted to work with data, because we know that’s how you create a piece of software that would give self publishers the edge in a competitive marketplace. Reviewing the best seller list across the four niches, it is apparent that photos are used more often than illustrations. Instead of formal fonts, book designers prefer to use playful decorative fonts, which is used on the front cover of 64% of books in this niche.

We also looked at some basic style issues, like is it more common for the authors name to be above or below the title. The reverse is true for less well established authors, with 88% of books from across the bestseller lists displaying the title of the book more prominently than the authors name. In the romance and science fiction and fantasy niches on the other hand it was just 10% and 6% respectively.
For starters, instead of commissioning an expensive illustrator to create graphics for the front cover of a book, use photographs like the majority of highly paid graphic designers are doing.
If you have written a romantic novel then you should use a more playful font for the title. However, it’s perfectally acceptable to do this in the horror niche where eye catching titles grab the readers attention.
In this blog post, author Lynne Rickards tells us more about her Patron of Reading post at Comely Park primary school, and gives her advice for a successful relationship with a school. Here, Chris tells us a bit more about the magazine and shares some tips on putting a magazine together.
Of the remaining 20%, 12% use stylised formal fonts which are outlined or have backdrop shadows. In the two other niches that were reviewed, decorative fonts are used 32% (horror) and 40% (science fiction and fantasy). The percentage is a lot higher across the other niches that were researched, with 70% being the norm. There are a lot of great resources online where you can get copyright free images if you need them. Regardless of what fonts you are using for the title though, always use a serif or sans serif font for the authors name. To make it a little easier for you to determine which tool you wish to try, I have included a YouTube video for each site that will give you an overview of how the assessment creation tool works. Any book found in multiple niches was put into what we felt was the most relevant category. For example 52% of the top 50 best selling romance novels used a full page photo for the front cover, while only 12% of romance books used just illustrations (28% of book covers in this niche use a photo and a solid background.
In the romance niche, the second most popular font color is red, with 22% of books using the color on the front covers. Across every niche, only 12% of book covers used more than two colored fonts on the front cover.
In the mystery, thriller and suspense niche 30% of covers use black font, while mixed colored fonts are the second most popular option in the science fiction and fantasy and horror niches with 26% and 22% respectively. If you have written a romance novel, you know white and red colored font work well together. If you have written a mystery, thriller or suspense novel then use white and black font on the front cover.

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