8 Essential Tips for Book Cover Design

We have often heard the phrase, don’t judge a book by its cover. As far as publishing books is concerned, the phrase doesn’t hold true. A huge section of readers judge a book by its cover. Many people decide whether to buy the book or not by looking at the cover and design layout. We have also seen books with good content getting rejected by the reading public because of poor cover design.

Book cover designis probably the first thing that gets noticed by the reader. A great book cover can make your book stand out among hundreds of books. A cover affects the sales of the book, and as a writer, you can’t overlook the importance of a good book cover. Even if the book has great content, a bad or dull cover might result in people not buying it.

Let’s look at a few crucial tips and tricks to follow while designing the book cover.

Guidelines for Book Cover Design

As an author, you would have put in effort and ample research in writing the book. The same way a lot of effort and research is required in cover designing as well. You need to have a cover that can entice the readers and grab their attention.

The author has to be involved with the designing process, and here are a few tips that would help you in the process of designing a cover:

1. Hire a Professional

Most writers are not aware of the designing process. They are not familiar with the design softwares. It becomes difficult for them to learn the software, and then start the designing. When they opt to design a cover themselves, more often they end up with bad covers.

It is better to hire an experienced designer for the job. A professional cover designer will know the nuances of designing, and will help you come with a good cover. The designer will be able to choose the perfect font, style, color, and images for the cover. They will make the design process easier since know the dimensions of the cover, the book spine, and also the expectations of readers. A designer will have the tools, resources, and ideas to implement your vision on to the cover of the book.

While hiring a professional cover designer, make sure you go through many portfolios to know whether they will be able to deliver.

2. Think like a Reader

When you start thinking about ideas or concept for your cover, think from a reader’s point of view. When you are a reader, think of what kind of covers attract you attention, and also think what you expect to see in a cover keeping the genre in mind.

As a writer, you want to give away the exact details about the book on the cover. You think of adding all these details on the cover but a reader isn’t looking for details. They bank on the emotions, and not on details. The cover needs to make the reader feel something, rather than tell them anything.

3. Come up with a Concept

After you hire a professional cover designer, it is important come up with a unique concept or idea for your book cover. The designer would want to know your ideas or concept for the cover to start working.

The communication between the author and designer is vital. You need to clearly convey the themes of your book and the ideas you’ve in mind to the designer. The conversation will help you come with a unique concept for the cover that is appropriate for the genre and the book.

4. Choice of Images

If you’ve decided to go with images for your book cover, spend more time finding the right one. Choosing an image that is completely out of sync with your book reflects poorly on the author. So, it is better to invest ample time to search and find an image that is right for the book.

For instance, we have seen book covers that don’t justify the genre. There are books that use confusing and bizarre imagery that only confuses the reader and not instill curiosity. Hence, do research and find images that justify the theme, tone, and style of your book. And, also remember to use high-quality images. You can use Pinterest, Unsplash, or Shutterstock for inspiration.

5. Use Correct Typography

Font style and size is crucial as far as book covers are concerned. Different fonts suggest different tones and mood. Pay attention to these details. For instance, you have seen crime novels use bold fonts, whereas, romance novels use more decorative fonts.

Make sure you choose a font that reveals the mood and tone of the book. Keep the genre of the book in mind while you select the typography for the cover.

6. Choose the Right Colors

Each color has a specific psychology behind it. Certain colors evoke certain emotions in people’s mind. So, it will be helpful to understand the psychology of colors before you choose the color patterns for the book cover.

For instance, red has the characteristics like danger and fear associated with it. It is the reason why you see red being used in murder-mystery and thriller novels. So, choosing the right colors might help readers to know more about the book.

7. Keep it Simple

It is important to keep the cover simple, that doesn’t mean it has to be dull. Have a cover that is simple, and also attention-grabbing. Many professional designers advise newbie authorsto keep the cover design concept simple.

It is better when you keep the cover simple as it wouldn’t be difficult for readers to understand what it is conveying. So, have a design layout that is not overcrowded with all the elements, and keep the layout simple and organized. Sometimes, simplicity is the key.

8. Cover size

Today, so many of us buy our books online. As a writer, you also want your books to be sold online. The cover photo appears as a thumbnail on websites. Remember this factor while in the cover designing process.

Since, the cover has to appear in the thumbnail form, it has to be readable even in the smaller size. You book cover should be able to reveal every fine details even when the size is reduced to display on online bookshelves.

A book cover invariably has to convey what your book is about to the reader, and urge them to pick up the book and read. So, if you want readers to buy the book, you ought to have covers that are appealing and easy to read.

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