Having a good book cover design is basic, especially when publishing a book. Most online retailers like Amazon do not differentiate between self-published and traditional books, which means that sole authors often compete with the top big five publishers.
In essence, if your book has any chance of having a presence in the market, its design has to match or at most exceed what major publishers are pushing out.
It has to be common knowledge to you by now that most readers are known to purchase books with their eyes, rather than the content in them. They yearn for familiarity as well as some good surprise—something to make them buckle on their seats when they get that book. They want a book they can proudly hold anywhere, whether in their break time at work, at school, in the train station, on the subway, etc.
Various books are published annually, and a good book cover design has to communicate that all the pages within are worth a reader’s overall time and attention.
This article would be looking at how you can present a good book cover and design it in a way that’s most preferable for an agent or a publishing stream.
Question and Answers on Book cover designing
The questions that need to be answered by you are these;
- Does the specified book genre have an established style? Commercial fiction is simply books that fall solidly in one specific book genre. For instance, we have fantasy, thrillers, science-fiction, etc. these genres are known to have book cover styles that have been long done and accepted by the public. All that the cover needs to do is to evoke a side of its given genre. A character that has sharp teeth and eats little kids shows a clear message of horror, etc.
- Where do you want the book sold? Where your book is going to be sold has a greater impact on the book cover design. This is to say that the design will be pretty different if the book will be sold on Amazon KDP as some thumbnail. The text would need to be precise and larger, and you’ll have to make it more eye-catching to the consumer as they scroll through hundreds of the titles on the screen.
- Information’s garnered: You’ll need the format, copy, budget, graphics, and the extra costs of the project when introduced in the market.
How to Design a Book Cover?
When designing a book cover, you need to know is a complex balance of information, text, and images, and you need someone who knows each of those elements and how he can tweak and work with those elements to have a successful book.
However, if you wish to do it yourself, then here are the steps to take in doing so;
Have you found the inspiration for the book covers?
Now, apart from the skill in implementing a good design. The essential part of a book cover is the expertise to connect the dots, and what I mean by this is connecting with the specific market.
You need to connect with those willing and able to buy your book—they need to purchase the kind of title you’re writing.
Therefore, you should look out for other books with your type of genre for your first stop of inspiration.
Take a look at the bestselling titles under your category, and you’ll likely see how the visual styles are created and the various motifs that pop up again and again.
This is no surprise because publishers are always looking to communicate with their specific market; your potential readers need to know that this is the right book for them.
Choose a book cover design software.
You don’t need to stress it when it comes to this. Any graphical software can be used to design a cover. Some software is suitable for non-professionals, too, like Canvas Pro and the likes, specifically designed to cater to authors.
Select your design Direction
In this stage, it would be important that you consider what your design direction is supposed to be; how do you want it to fit you or the author’s direction?
There are numerous books out there, but all of the designs do not work for all of them. It would be wise in this case if you are opportune or have the time to consider input from the publisher or author.
Go ahead to make a Pinterest board of all comparable titles with good book covers. Or head to your local bookstore and handle all the books to get a feeling for the various materials and thicknesses. Do not forget to make notes of what you like and also what you don’t prefer. That information would prove to be useful later in the design process.
What does your book cover need to Emphasize?
The book cover is an extension of how you desire to market your book. Make sure you have these basic things jotted down and answered, or you can keep the answer in mind—do what works for you.
- What makes it unique?
- What would make a reader select your book?
- What is the style of writing?
- What is the setting of the book or topic in the history covers? Etc.
Suppose the said author, in which you are designing, has some sequel or desire to build the title in the series. Then you’ll have to think about how the future titles might be linked in the design to the first to grow the author’s brand, especially when the author is well known in the market.
If the author is famous, then the strongest piece of marketing would have to be their name. But for most authors, the book needs to stand alone and impression among competitors alike on the bookshelf.
The Typography needs to be Perfect.
This refers to the arrangement and styling of text, book cover, or type. Since the book authors or title names are the essential items needed on a cover, it is particularly significant that the typography hits the main subject.
This doesn’t mean that the typography has to shout in any way—make it subtle, this kind of design has more presence in the market—but in most cases, the typography can and should be the main focus of a book cover design.
And this is beyond simply selecting a ‘good font.’ You’ll need to create perfect hand-drawn faces, eye-catching typography, or mix or match fonts to make a unique piece.
Select a Salable Format and Size
If you did it well, then be sure that your book would be a success with a particular size and format—softcover or hardcover, in mind. So, whether you’re designing a cover for a hardback or anything, in particular, you need to know there are implications for both the design itself and the overall cost of production.
Do Refine your Color Palette
Having a color for your book is the final design element to be considered in making your book cover, and its significance cannot be demeaned. For a fact, psychology and the color meanings reveal a symbolic relevance to a palette. Colors are the basics in showing your genre—red and black are good for horror and thrillers, etc. This stuff is a psychological mood-setter and a means of catching a reader’s attention.
When it comes to designing, the color of your book can also be an effective method of unifying books across a series which is why you need a very nice kdp stock image for your book. For example, an author can use a consistent monochrome palette known to graduate through related color groups for their book cover designs. And the result can be a beautiful spectrum of color that can be pretty nice for the shelf.
Although this might not be the first thing a cover designer considers, it is invariably the element that makes a cover quite distinctive by setting a tone for the book. A choice of catchy colors, like light pink to cream across a horror story, would not send across or indicate to the reader the genre of your book.
Have you gotten Feedback?
Having a good book cover design isn’t the only crux for your success. But having more eyes on the design of your book is more than necessary too for its success. The more you have people giving you adequate feedback on it, the more you’ll be able to process whether your cover is sending the right message to the public.
To begin with, I’ll like you to start with your value-judgment and then move on to the author’s judgment.
When done with that, let the outsiders go ahead and sample the book cover design. Ask them what their assumptions are of the book—all you have to do is ask for feedback, feedback, and more feedback on the state of the cover book design.
In this article, all of the steps needed for you to create that perfect book cover have been given in detail—they’re the most compelling ways to make a salable cover design. In short, all you have to do is focus on structuring your layout to selecting amazing imagery for yourself, and refining your choice of color.
All of these steps, as said, will not only help you arrange or organize your work in the creative process but also make you produce a book cover design that you’ll be proud of.