09/16/2010 03:03 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Your #1 Best Marketing Tool -- Guaranteed!

Hobie Hobart is a Partner and Senior Book Cover Coach at Dunn+Associates Strategic Design and Branding for Authors and Experts and has graciously agreed to share his knowledge about how to maximize the first impression of your book and your platform.

So, you've invented the world's best mouse trap. It could change the world. Somewhere you've heard that the world won't be beating a path to your door unless they somehow know what you've done. And now, it's time to let it be known.

But, how to start? Who do you tell first? What do you tell them? How do you get their attention? This age-old challenge faces anyone who has or will create an idea, product or service.

The publishing world is changing dramatically these days. Some would say by the hour. Today the options for marketing a book (getting the word out in the most powerful, effective way possible) are endless and bounded only by your imagination. Remember, the goal here is to change in the world, so almost anything goes.

With books, as with the perfect mousetrap, the task and challenge are still the same. However, in publishing, there is a magnificent tool that changes the playing field. A tool that, if created and used properly, can quickly and seamlessly create intense interest in you, your creation and your expertise.

The magic key that opens the door to success with any book is your book cover.

Since books were invented, we have judged them by their covers. Titles, subtitles, images, colors, type styles converge to give the buyer or seller an understanding of the content of the book without opening a single page.

Studies have shown that we decide how much a book relates to us in 10 to 25 seconds. Unbelievable but true, book buyers and book sellers make decisions and draw conclusions based solely on the look and feel of the cover.

Recently, a top-level literary agent told me if a cover doesn't give he and his staff a positive reaction in three seconds, they will most likely pass on it.

Meg La Borde of the Greenleaf Book Group says, "When we track our book sales, packaging and price have a bigger effect on sales than publicity."

A book cover instantly communicates the content and benefits you are offering. It lets the world know that you, the author, are a recognized leader in your field with credibility, knowledge and experience. If presented in the right way, your target audience will recognize you as unique and be instantly drawn to you and your message. Your marketing efforts will be much more effective. You can win the attention of publishers and distributors and open doors you never imagined were there. Repurposing your content into other products and services consistent with the brand established with your book will become the building blocks for multiple streams of income.

Simply put, a book cover, designed and leveraged properly, and coupled with your great content can do all this for you and much more.

Does your cover do all that?

Thank you, Hobie, for laying the foundation for the importance of a well-designed book cover. To learn more about putting your best book forward, join me at our upcoming 21st Century Book Marketing Event on September 25th and 26th. Hobie and many other experts in the book publishing, marketing and publicity industries will be sharing their decades of knowledge with aspiring and published authors. Seats are limited, so register today!

About Hobie Hobart: Since 1985, Dunn+Associates has designed numerous bestsellers and helped authors and experts open doors, accelerate their careers, and expand their brands. Client list includes Tony Robbins, Ken Blanchard, Mark Victor Hansen, Deepak Chopra, Sylvia Browne, Dottie Walters as well as HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Prentice Hall, Ballantine, Hay House, Pearson Education, Bantam -- and passionate, committed self-publishers.

Arielle Ford has launched the careers of many NY Times bestselling authors including Deepak Chopra, Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Neale Donald Walsch, and Debbie Ford. She is a former book publicist, literary agent and the author of seven books. To learn how to get started writing a book please visit: