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. A huge section of readers judges 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. It is a tough spot for authors since there is pressure to choose the perfect cover for their book. Many authors choose pre-made book covers and take the easy and quickest way to find the cover.
Book cover design is 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 book’s sales, 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. In 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 software. 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 help you come with a good cover. The designer will choose the perfect font, style, color, and images for the cover. They will make the design process easier since they know the dimensions of the cover, the book spine, and readers’ expectations. A designer will have the tools, resources, and ideas to implement your vision onto the book’s cover.
While hiring a professional cover designer, make sure you go through many portfolios to know whether they will deliver.
2. Think Like a Reader
When you start thinking about ideas or concepts for your cover, think from a reader’s perspective. When you are a reader, think of what kind of covers attract your 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 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 to develop 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.
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 develop 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 searching and finding an image that is right for the book.
For instance, we have seen book covers that don’t justify the genre. Some books use confusing and bizarre imagery that only confuses the reader and does not instill curiosity. Hence, do research and find images that justify your book’s theme, tone, and style. 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 are crucial as far as book covers are concerned. Different fonts suggest different tones and moods. 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 specific psychology behind it. Certain colors evoke certain emotions in people’s minds. 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 anger 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 authors to keep the cover design concept simple.
It is better to 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 the factor of cover size while designing the cover.
Since the cover has to appear in thumbnail form, it has to be readable even in a smaller size. Your book cover should be able to reveal every fine detail even when the size is reduced to display on online bookshelves.
A book cover invariably conveys what your book is about to the reader and urges them to pick up the book and read. So, if you want readers to buy the book, you ought to have appealing and easy-to-read covers.