Book Cover Designer: Why work with a professional designer?

Book Cover Designer: Why Work with a Professional Designer

working with professional designer

When you are self-publishing your book, the editing and cover design has to be professional. To ensure the book has a better success, the book cover has to be highly professional and attention-grabbing. You need to design a cover that will help you sell more books.

The book needs a cover that will be attractive to the readers of that particular genre, and also you need one that sells. You need a professional designer for this job since they understand the process better. Working with a professional designer is essential to ensure that your book doesn’t look amateurish.

Tips to Work with a Cover Designer

Before you plan to hire a book cover designer, make sure you understand the basics of book covers, and the process of designing a cover. Go through the guidelines of the process before you get a professional to design a book cover. Read our article on tips to design a book cover to have an understanding of the process.

Once you have finalized the cover designer for your book, you have to communicate with them about the concept and design. It is crucial to have a good rapport with the designer to create a great book cover.

Here are a few tips to make the experience easier and better for you:

  • It is vital to choose a designer who has worked in the genre you have selected. Make sure you read the testimonials from other authors, and go through their portfolios to know more about their work.
  • Ensure that the designer’s fee is well within your budget. Before you finalize the designer, discuss about the cost upfront with them.
  • Discuss about how many mock-ups they will send. Professional cover designers usually send multiple mock-ups for you to look at, compare, and choose from.
  • Once you have chosen the designer, give them all the information they need. Send them a good brief about the book and your expectations.
  • Make sure your designer is aware of what all you need. For instance, other than book cover design, you need to tell the designer if they need to design the spine too.
  • Send the designer images or illustrations that you think will be useful visual inspirations.

Working with a Professional

The initial step in the process of designing the book cover is developing the concept. The professional will get the brief from you and start working on the design.

In the initial stage, the designer does research for the design and does a couple of things, namely:

Consult Top Image Libraries

A good designer will have access to a big selection of image libraries that range from iStock to Shutterstock to more selective outlets. After all, you do need the best, right? For example, designers might consult a photo library with edgy and urban images, meaning that the clients’ pictures are not in wide circulation. Usually, image libraries charge for downloading photos. Some designers charge extra for it, some charge it in their fee itself.

Although image libraries are awesome to access an unlimited number of pictures, you are limited to what exists already. Designers can play with images to an extent. They can change the hair colour, the background, etc. but then what’s the catch in accessing so many images for a low price? It does NOT buy the rights. Other people are also allowed to use  the same image as you.

If you’re looking something exclusive only for you with the rights, you’re looking at either a photoshoot or making an entirely new image from scratch which is a great option as well. Obviously, it can get a bit expensive, so it’s best to set a budget beforehand and hunt for a good designer within the budget.

If you are hesitant to spend a lot of money, you can use the photo you’ve shot yourself. Unless you’re a professional photographer, it really won’t help you and your book. 


If you opt to have illustrations made, it should be discussed at the briefing stage. Illustrations are mainly done for children’s’ books,  so the first question you need to ask yourself is if illustration will suit your book. If you have a rough idea in mind, talk to the illustrator about it and see what  s(he) says and decide if it’s something you’re comfortable paying for. S(he) might offer some suggestions but try not to be bent only on what you want. Keep an open mind and see what the s(he) says. Feel free to ask samples of their work if you haven’t checked it out and then go ahead. Only once you know what you want and are comfortable paying for it, go ahead. 


Apart from the few hundred fonts found on any software, graphic designers have thousands more stocked up. They are any graphic designers secret advantage. Some designers prefer to buy new fonts every now and then or when working on a new book cover. Sometimes it will be included in the pricing itself. Few designers prefer to create font that appears as if it’s illustrated by hand.


Font that looks like it’s hand illustrated

illustrated fonts

Two Versions Offered

After you explain to the cover designer your requirements, they move forward to create two versions of the cover, and you can choose one. In this stage, you can make suggestions or changes that needs to done with color, font, or any additions you want on the cover.

Rejected Covers

In the concept stage, there might be covers that might get rejected due to various reasons. Some covers might even be your favorite but will be rejected due to various reasons such as lack of contrast in colors, wrong font, too big an author name (author’s name can be in a bigger font than the title ONLY if you are a very famous author like Rowling, Sidney Sheldon, etc.)  Here are a few examples of covers that will be not gain any attention at all.

Rejected Covers

Rejected covers due to the lack of size in font, color co-ordination and cramped picture and font.

The Big Finish

After choosing one of the two covers offered, you can have changes done if you are not happy with the color, font, image, etc. Remember that the primary job of your cover designer is to select the standard book cover dimensions, create a cover that looks attractive, stands out, and draws the attention of potential readers.​

It is crucial to have a professional book cover that will grab the attention of the readers. So, have a professional book cover that you can be proud of, and also stand out among millions of book covers.

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