There are numerous factors that consumers weigh when shopping for a puzzle book. The book cover is usually among the first ones. The visual appearance of a book naturally grabs or repels shoppers in seconds. And considering the amount of competition you face as an Amazon KDP seller, it’s fundamentally important to create a stunning cover that will attract traffic to your listings.
In this article, we’ll uncover the best practices for creating a successful puzzle book cover. We’ll show you all that the bestsellers are doing. Consequently, you’ll have all the necessary insights to create a design that makes you stand out from the crowd.
General tips for creating puzzle book cover designs on Amazon KDP
Before we dig into the nuts and bolts of specific puzzle book types, there are some ground rules to lay down. The following best practices apply to all puzzle book formats.
Adapt your book cover to the niche
When it comes to puzzle books, there are more than ten different categories you can sell. Choosing a category is the first step. But to turn your products into high performers, it’s essential to also select a specific niche. For example, your niche could be holiday-related (Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving), audience-related (for adults, for kids), even theme-related (dinosaurs, cars, movies).
Niching enables you to target your listings to a specific audience and enjoy a better competitive advantage on Amazon KDP. To do so, you’ll need to create book covers that are strategically designed with the niche in mind. This could include text, images, colors, and shapes that fit the particular market.
Such a cover design makes it quick and easy for buyers to notice the product and understand its target.
Use grabbing keywords as part of your design
Most sellers are familiar with the importance of keywords in regard to listing optimization. They represent a rock-solid method to improve organic rankings and boost the discoverability of your products.
At the same time, they can also be utilized on your cover designs. In fact, this is a highly recommended approach. Text on book covers plays a vital role in presenting the product for what it is. Images are also influential but they’re seldom enough to inform the user about what the product is.
Imagine a word search puzzle targeted at kids from the dinosaur niche. Let’s say the book cover only contains images and shapes of dinosaurs in vibrant colors and zero text. Unless the potential customer reads the title and description, chances are that they’ll struggle to understand the purpose of the product.
The best practice is to use text related to the type of puzzle book (for example, “sudoku puzzle book”), the audience (for adults, for kids, for seniors), and perhaps the level of experience (for beginners, easy, hard).
Choose colors that are appropriate for the target audience
Even if images and text help shape the initial perception of a puzzle book, colors are equally important. They can impact the shopper psychologically and encourage their next steps, like opening the listing and completing a purchase.
Although the concept of using color to stimulate sales is a challenge for most sellers, especially beginners, conquering the matter will certainly lead to fruitful results. When analyzing the bestsellers, we noticed that most covers used colors suited to the target audience.
For example, puzzle books designed for kids use rich, fun, and vibrant colors. On the other hand, covers created for adults usually contain fewer colors, creating a more minimalistic look.
Now that you’re familiar with the basics, let’s see what techniques the top performers are applying when creating covers for the various puzzle book formats.
Cover design best practices for different types of puzzle books
As mentioned above, there are more than ten puzzle book types that you can sell on Amazon KDP. Here are the best practices that we discovered for the most popular ones by looking at the top-sold listings using Book Bolt.
Sudoku puzzles are one of the most popular puzzle types on Amazon KDP. If you want to perform well in this category, it’s essential to encourage users to click on your listings as opposed to those of your competitors.
To do so, create book covers with the following characteristics:
- Use between three and five different colors for your cover design
- Include a visual representation of the sudoku puzzle
- Position your title text above the sudoku puzzle image
- Use separate text fields to inform the consumer about the difficulty level of the product, the target audience, or the number of puzzles available inside
Let’s look at a real-life example. The “1020 Sudoku Puzzles for Adults: Sudoku Puzzle Book for Adults. Easy to Hard with full Solutions” listing is the best-selling sudoku puzzle book on Amazon KDP at the time of writing.
The cover contains black, white, and beige colors. The central part of the space is dedicated to a photo that shows a user’s hand filling out a sudoku puzzle with a pencil. The design also contains separate text sections that reveal the number of puzzles inside (1,000+), the level of difficulty (5 difficulty levels with full solutions), and the level of experience necessary (beginners and experts).
The product is easy to understand from the cover and the design is simplistic, which makes this listing a good fit for any adult interested in puzzle books.
Crossword puzzles are another attractive category. Visually, they’re very similar to sudoku puzzles. The key difference is that they contain letters as opposed to numbers. From our research into the market, we’ve extracted these best practices for book cover creation:
- Use of yellow colors as part of the design
- A representation of a crossword puzzle, either in blank or filled-out form
- A maximum of four colors used for the whole design
- Attention-grabbing space that informs that solutions are included (where applicable)
- A combination of text and imagery, where the text is short and simple to understand
These properties can be observed when examining the number one crossword puzzle book according to Book Bolt. The “2023 Crossword Puzzles Book For Adults with Solution: Easy-Medium Crossword Puzzle Book For Adults, Seniors, Men And Women With Solution” listing sells around 450 times per month, generating the sellers a decent profit from a single product.
The cover design is extremely simple, containing only three colors, along with an accent color only used in a small portion of the area. The main colors are mustard, burgundy, and white. The only image on the cover is that of a filled-out crossword puzzle. The text used is short and simple, revealing the type of puzzle book and the audience (for adults). On the bottom left-hand corner, there’s a pop-up, accent circle with the text “with solutions”.
Here, the niche is the audience. The seller has successfully adapted to the target consumer by creating a minimalistic book cover that quickly informs about the product’s main characteristics.
Bestselling word search puzzle books stand out with more creative and colorful book covers. When analyzing the chart-toppers, we noticed these best practices:
- Use of more than five colors
- Images and text that are specific for a particular niche
- Heavier designs, with more text in different sections of the cover area
- An image representing a word search puzzle
Compared to sudoku puzzles and crossword puzzles, we noticed that more designs were targeted towards a specific niche. This can be seen when assessing the top-selling item in the space – the “Christmas Word Search Large Print: Christmas Themed Word Find Puzzle Book for Adults and Teens” listing.
Aimed towards buyers looking for a holiday-related word search, the book cover includes a Christmas tree and the Holly plant (a Christmas symbol from the botanical world). The cover is designed with red, green, yellow and white colors. Even the choice of font is synchronized with the holiday. The title is easy to read and there are three separate text fields, each delivering important information (title, size, and the number of words included). The center area is taken by a word search puzzle as the background, with the Christmas tree positioned on top.
Although there are many creative and diverse book covers in the cryptogram market, we found out that the top-performing listings were the ones with simple and clean designs. Here are the cover properties that stand out among the successful cryptogram listings on Amazon KDP:
- The majority of the cover space is dedicated to text
- The use of thought-provoking imagery
- Not a rich color cocktail but rather simple combinations
To see these best practices in a real example, let’s analyze one of the top listings from the space. The “World’s Largest Cryptogram Puzzle Book: 3,500 Inspirational, Funny & Wise Cryptoquotes from Famous Thinkers, Doers, and Celebrities (Volume 1)” contains only text. The cover is separated into two main sections. The central area takes up the majority of the cover and the product’s title and volume number (as it’s part of a series). The font is very creative, allowing the text to look like a cryptography riddle itself.
The second area is positioned on the bottom of the cover and uses text to inform about the number of puzzles in the book. The colors are yellow, black, and white. Together with the font, they create a sense of mystery and suggest the need for problem-solving.
This cover is a perfect example of how an incredibly simple design with the right choice of color and font can make all the difference in the world.
Book cover designs on Amazon KDP can either shape your product into a popular and highly-sold listing or leave it in the shadows. Understanding the design peculiarities of each puzzle book type will help you surprise Amazon shoppers with lucrative, eye-grabbing covers. This will win you traffic, and eventually, higher returns.