A Guide To Book Cover Design

Let’s be honest, we all judge a book by its cover most of the time (and there are legions of blogs dedicated to the pastime).

Books with good graphics, and eye-catching font are good quality covers that sell more copies – simple fact.

Book cover design is booming and even have their own awards.

The Internet has also enabled fast and effective circulation and exchange of documents, ideas and feedback which is commonplace among designers and authors, sharing book cover designs for feedback before they go to publishing.

But whether you choose to design your cover yourself, or will be working with a professional designer, there are a few things that will help you from start to finish.

Designing A Concept

Before you get started on creating a brief for a cover design, or before starting to design one yourself, you need to decide on the message you want to send.

  • Ask yourself: What is the book’s single-minded value proposition? What is the target audience of readers looking for – Inspiration and Aspiration, Success and Achievement, Knowledge and Power, Romance and Passion, Murder and Revenge?
  • Boiling it down to the motivation, incentive and emotion will help you generate tons of ideas or visual metaphors that determine the imagery, choice of color palette, typography, and layout that help you capture what the book is all about.

If you want to design your own book cover or if you’ve just hired a cover designer, here’s a list of useful tips and tricks to consider for your project. Good luck!

Book Cover Design Tips

Generate excitement. Grab attention. The main goal of every book cover is to generate excitement. The cover is one of the best tools in your marketing arsenal. That’s why you should create something that will stop people in their tracks and evoke interest.

The book cover is the hook that will help you to promote your book. It is not a specific scene from your book featuring your main character. If it is, you should be ready to look for a general type of character in your imagery, or just a back view or partial view of them. The partial views generate more excitement. Coming up with a specific scene from the book may confuse the viewer or clutter up your cover. Better to stick with ideas generated from the points listed above for a clean and powerful cover design.

 

The book’s genre is important

Announce its genre
Clearly, many book buyers search for books by category, niche, or genre, so this instant identification with where your book belongs is a critical task. The book cover should show what genre the book is. Look at these book covers. It is an easy task to understand what kind of books are in front of you, right? A really good book cover “talks” to its readers through choice of typography, imagery and metaphor.

 

Telegraph its tone
Although more subtle, it’s also important to imply the tone of a work, especially fiction. Is it a brash, over-the-top page turner, or a subtle character study?

Explain its scope
More common to nonfiction, readers need to know what’s included in your book and what’s not—in terms of subject matter, time periods, geography, skill levels, or any other guide that will give potential buyers this information.

Generate excitement
Effective book covers have a “hook”—something that intrigues, grabs you by the throat, makes a promise—something that will attract and hold a reader’s attention and make them want to know more.

Establish a market position
Your book cover can help browsers by letting them know where your book fits in with other, similar books they are already familiar with. More encyclopedic? With vampires? And tons of resources?

Minimalism: Less is more!

Minimal style is timeless. It helps to focus on the book’s title and authors name.


How to do it wrong

It is good practice to look at bad design examples too. In fact crap, trashy book covers has become a meme in itself, whether it’s the romance genre or the aptly titled ‘funny as shit book covers’ board on Pinterest. Unfortunately there are so many bad cover designs.

Overwrought and over-thought typography is the main offender but using stock imagery can also destroy a book’s visual credibility. Be careful with fonts and stock images. Or seek out a professional cover designer.

Sources For Ideas

Think you’ve learned enough to create a stunning book cover design? Slow down! To get really inspired you need to immerse yourself amongst book cover design lovers. Look no further than Pinterest to find minimalist, bold, graphic-driven book cover boards that will make you swoon.

But it doesn’t stop there. Head to Flickr and the Book Cover Archive for more visual treats!

cropped-mmi-header-02a-copy.jpg

 Source: http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2014/06/book-cover-success-and-failure-explained/

10 thoughts on “A Guide To Book Cover Design”

  1. Then there are those authors who have no sense of visuality Michelle and shoot themselves squarely in both feet by ignoring all advice, recommendations and the ‘keep it uncluttered & relevant’ guidelines by insisting on certain things being included that bear absolutely no relevance to the book genre, subject, characters or even storyline 😄
    Don’t get me started on the fonts they want – SIGH 😱

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can totally relate! It can be difficult to try and explain why a certain layout would work better than the authors original vision, an idea that they may be emotionally attached to. I do my best to create the best cover within the guidelines I am given, I always throw in a couple of my own concepts so the author can see the cover from a different perspective. I think I like it best when I am not given design parameters and am left to create the cover from the way I have absorbed the story. But either way, I always love the process.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a comment below

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s