When exploring the different avenues for going sky high with your Amazon KDP side gig, you’ve probably come across one lucrative category – activity books.
Activity books are fun for shoppers and undoubtedly an attractive market for authors to tap into. They sell all year round, come with enough diversity and creativity, and are certainly profitable. But before you can enjoy all of these perks, you need to get one core component right – the book’s cover design.
Why does cover design matter in the first place?
Most of you will probably have heard of the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover”. Although this is fundamentally true in its nature, the reality is that we all use appearances as a first form of impression. Activity books are no exception.
Whenever an Amazon user is browsing for products to purchase, there are two key elements that their eyes will land on first – the book cover and the price. More interestingly, chances are that if the book cover isn’t catchy enough, the shopper will never even consider the price.
Ranking high enough for users to notice your listing is no easy task. The last thing you want is to miss out on traffic because of an unattractive cover design.
In a nutshell, a great activity book cover design can:
- Attract more traffic to your listing
- Help you generate more sales
- Enhance your popularity on Amazon
So what do you need to do to design a book cover that people love? We used Book Bolt to find the answers and make some valuable recommendations. If you’re ready to embrace this market and hit the road to success, keep reading.
Activity book cover design best practices
One of the best ways to establish what works and what doesn’t in the cover design space is to analyze the bestsellers. By utilizing Book Bolt’s Cloud tool, we were able to examine the art direction of some of the top-selling activity books on Amazon KDP. This enabled us to make some interesting conclusions regarding the designs that shoppers love.
Every activity book is part of a specific niche. Even if you’re not fully aware of it as a seller, you’re always positioning your activity book in a specific market. The first thing that we noticed when it comes to visual appearances is that the cover design always takes into account the trendy colors in the niche.
Let’s look at an example.
At the moment, the number one best-selling activity book on Amazon KDP is the “Halloween Activity Book for Kids Ages 4-8: Word Searches, Color By Numbers, Mazes, Spot The Difference, Count and Color, Coloring Pages and More.”. The seller has taken advantage of the upcoming holiday and has created an attractive product for kids.
The cover design of the book includes a combination of typical colors for Halloween – purple, orange, and black. The book cover creates a slightly spooky feeling that is well-matched to the audience. The seller has intelligently taken into consideration that children are not to be frightened by design. The idea is to simply intrigue them and offer something fun to look at.
Shapes and elements
The next important feature of a cover design that should be assessed is the use of shapes and elements. If we continue our analysis of the top-performing listing in the activity book category at the moment, we’ll see the following.
The main element of the cover design is a kitty that is laying on a pumpkin. Both the cat and the pumpkin are classic symbols of Halloween. Crucially, their design is not too scary for children.
Let’s step away from this example for a moment and explore what other successful listings have done. We detected that most designs stand out with a lot of shapes and elements. This makes the cover more vibrant and gives life to the design. One explanation is that activity books should encourage some form of movement (usually mental). To match this expectation, the cover design should also create a similar vibe. The shapes and elements, together with the choice of color, can create this sensation in the mind of the consumer.
A mix of text and imagery
Another approach to cover designs that we identified was the mix between imagery and text. As you can imagine, it’s difficult to have an activity book cover without any text. At least the title of the book should be present to help users understand the purpose of the product, who it’s suitable for, and what it aims to achieve.
We noticed that there is a lot of use of imagery with text. Activity book covers are usually much more playful in terms of design. This is especially true when comparing them to other low- or no-content book types like journals or notebooks. With activity books, there is usually a lot going on on the cover page.
A peek into the top sellers in the activity book space shows that the choice of font is extremely diverse. It’s very difficult to pinpoint what works best. However, we made one vital conclusion when it comes to fonts – they’re always tailored to the niche and the audience.
In addition, we uncovered that a lot of the sellers had used text in different quadrants. What do we mean?
Imagine that the book cover is divided into four quadrants – an upper left, lower left, upper right, and lower right one. The title usually goes in the middle of the activity book cover and oftentimes takes a portion of each quadrant.
However, there is usually additional text that is spread across the different sections. This text could be used to add an extra layer of description. For example, it could present the audience that the book is created for, the volume of the activity book, or the level of experience you need to use it.
As mentioned above, the most crucial thing that stands out with activity book covers is the wide array of images used together.
Let’s look at another top-selling example – the “Halloween Pumpkin Carving Stencils | 201 Halloween Pattern Templates | Large Pumpkins for Kids & Adults Easy & Complex: Spooky, Scary, Simple & Silly … Stencils Home Decor Halloween Activity Book”. The cover consists of six different pumpkin heads. It also includes text above and below the images. This creates a very colorful and diverse design that attracts attention from a distance. The design itself suggests that the product will involve some form of activity.
How to create a successful activity book exterior
Congratulations – now you’re familiar with some of the best practices in the activity book space regarding book exteriors and design. But what’s next? How can you create an activity book cover of your own that will let you get a taste of the money-making opportunities in the market?
For starters, we recommend relying on tools that will help you create stunning exteriors with zero graphic design experience. Book Bolt’s Studio Designer tool is specifically created to help beginner and experienced sellers with book cover creation. With a single click, you can use ready-made shapes, fonts, sizes, images, and other components. You can create eye-grabbing visualizations that will turn your cover into a masterpiece.
But as easy as this process is with a tool, the truth is that you’ll still need to make all the strategic decisions about the appearance of your cover. So let’s take all of our findings from above and transform them into practical tips for sellers:
- Select colors that are popular in the niche – don’t be tempted to use the colors that you feel are most appropriate. Always research the niche that you’re creating an activity book for. Adapt your findings for popular colors to your book exterior and use the shades that you know work best.
- Use niche-specific shapes and elements – don’t be afraid to use more than one shape or element in your design. Again, consider the trends in the specific market and make sure your choices correlate with the audience.
- Merge images with text – always strive to create a perfect balance between text and images on your book exteriors. The activity book space allows for diverse use of both across your designs.
- Choose fonts that are trendy for the niche – use the font as an advantage to communicate with your audience. Select title fonts that speak for themselves and stick to options that have already performed well for other sellers.
In a nutshell
Just like with any other low- and no-content book on Amazon KDP, the book exterior or your activity book can have a significant impact on your sales. Use the discoveries from this article to create an off-the-wall book cover that will empower you to attract more traffic and ultimately take your profitability to the next level.