C is for Covers
Of course, you have heard this term before. But, did you know that a good cover can be the reason a book is successful, and a bad cover can be the reason it bombs? The best example I can think of isn't even a book. It's an album cover. Remember The Beatles White album? It was the perfect cover because of what it DIDN'T say. Your book should be the same way.
I am lucky to collaborate with some exceptional artists and graphic designers when my books are ready for life. A good artist will give that life to your vision. I put down my concept on paper, and they make it breathe.
Another fun fact: when given the opportunity, 83% of people choose a cover that does one of three things, 1) entices them with color, 2) entices them with what it doesn't say, and 3) teases with a question. I, myself, am partial to color. If you have seen ANY of my covers, you'll already know that.
The one thing I can say about covers, is that there is no exact science. As an author, you should make sure your cover conveys what you want it to, regardless if you publish with the Big Five, or you go the indie route, or you even self-publish. Just make sure you love it. Then, your readers will, too.