Creating a Compelling Cover Design

A robust book cover design is more critical than ever. Whether you’re trying to capture the attention of online shoppers or stand out on the shelves at the local bookstore, your cover design can make or break the success of your book. 

We’ve worked with authors, designers, and publishers across the nation for over 30 years. While our business does not revolve around the creative side of graphic design, we’ve seen a lot of book covers (both good and not so good) and have collected some tips and advice to help you create a compelling book cover. 

  • Consider All Sales Outlets 

Cover images and text must be clearly understood as thumbnails. Does it have a high impact when seen at thumbnail size as it does in full print size? If you cannot discern the image or read the text in the size it would be shown on one of the online bookstores, like Amazon, then the reader won’t be able to either.  

  • Know Your Audience

 To know what your book cover should look like; you should first know who your audience is. A great cover should raise enough interest to make your audience want to learn  more, by showing them why the book matters to them.

  • Look at Other Book Covers

Get an idea of what other books in your genre are like. Search through your book category on Amazon or take a walk through your local bookstore. Gather your ideas and inspiration. What aspects stood out and drew your attention? What didn’t you like? Would you choose your book based upon the cover over the other books in the same genre?  You can use your findings as a baseline for your book cover. 

  • Typeface + Color

Too often, we see different font styles used within the same model. Poor typography can give off an amateurish look that can distract or lead the buyer away from your book. Choose your font styles and sizes carefully and be sure they fit within your overall design theme. 

The use of color can play a significant role in developing an attractive, eye-catching design. There are several special printing and finishing embellishments that can help set your cover apart. You can learn more about print cover decorations here

  • Don’t Forget the Back Cover

The back cover is some of the most important marketing platforms on your cover.  Be sure to include content that helps the reader gain interest and compels them to purchase the book.  Design and font selection is just as important as the front cover. Be sure to account for any author photos or meta data like the ISBN and bar code.

  • Hire a Cover Designer

Consider hiring an expert cover designer who will work directly with you to develop a professional-looking design that will help set your book apart.

  • Get Your Book Printer Involved Early

There are many good reasons to get your printer involved early in the design process.  For instance, there are a whole host of cover embellishments available that could help your book stand out in the crowd.  Your printer can make suggestions, share samples, and help you bring the design together with the production process to allow for a successful outcome.

If you would like to receive a list of professional cover designers that we recommend, contact us at [email protected]

Featured photo is courtesy of www.lithub.com – The best univsersity press book designs of 2019

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