The Importance of a Good Book Cover
Your book cover is a marketing tool. One could argue it’s the one of the most important tools because it’s practically the first layer of sales messaging.
Fine-tuning your metadata, choosing the right social media hashtags, and pursuing advertising opportunities are marketing tools for reaching your target audience. Then once you have their brief attention, it’s the job of your cover art and book description to entice potential readers looking for their next fix.
A caveat: depending on how you got a reader’s attention, it may be a logline or tagline that needs to do the enticing. For example, a Twitter user might see your sales tweet via retweet from an author they follow, but sometimes attached media (i.e. your book cover) is hidden, so it’s the text of your sales tweet that will need to win them over. (140-character tweets are limiting, I know. Oh, do I know.)
Anyway, unless you can boast significant author name recognition, your cover art is otherwise doing the talking most of the time. And a well-designed book cover will entice more potential readers to glance at your book description than a poorly designed one.
Understanding the Basics of Cover Design
Whether you hire a professional designer or bravely decide to go it alone, you should educate yourself on cover design basics before going down either route.