The Self-Publishing Insider

Wondering what your book cover design should include? Find out here from the self-publishing specialists at Publish Pros

What to Include in Your Book Cover Design

We’re all told not to judge a book by its cover, yet, that’s exactly what we do. It’s simple human nature. As an author, you want people to see your book cover design and decide to jump in and read it.

In one quick glance, your book cover must grab your reader’s attention and tease your story, without giving it away. A well-designed cover is what invites your reader to visit your world, kick their shoes off, and stay awhile. Let’s take a look at the basics of good cover design and how you can work effectively with a professional designer, like the experts at Publish Pros, to get the perfect look for your book cover.

Creating book covers that pop

The best way to start designing your book cover is to take a step back and think. Consider your writing process. Do you just jump in and start writing? Or do you think about your characters, your setting, and your audience, and use those as a guide as you create your outline?

The same idea applies to great book covers. You need to do some homework before you even hire your designer. And yes, unless you are extremely experienced in publication design, it is best not to design your own cover.

Keep your readers in mind

So, before you start conjuring potential cover designs in your head, think about your book, your genre, and especially, your target audience. What emotions are you trying to convey with your cover? Besides the title, what would entice a reader to cross the bookstore and grab your book off the shelf?

Look at lots of book covers, logos, websites, stock pictures – even Pinterest boards – for inspiration. Think about the colors, fonts, styles and imagery that appeal to you. Focus on a few that best capture the elements you really like. Share these visual examples with your designer, so he or she understands your taste and preferences as you work together on your cover, but also be open to ideas from the professional.

Book covers for series and multiple formats

Consider whether your book is going to be part of a series, and in which formats you’re offering your book. Hardback covers can vary greatly from paperback or eBook covers, and your designer can help guide your design choices accordingly. If you’re producing a series, you ideally want design elements – like font, color, or subject image – that tie your books together, look great in your chosen format(s), and work well across multiple books. In paperback versions, the spine may actually be more important, especially considering the placement of your ISBN and your barcode.

Keep your design simple, and make sure it looks just as great as a thumbnail image as it does full size, especially if most of your sales are online, because people will see that version of your cover before they click. Remember the old adage, “less is more.” What is NOT on your cover is just as important as what is.

Again, remember your book cover isn’t for you – it’s for your reader. You may not like it, but you also may not be the target audience. Be brave and go with a design your readers will love.

Let’s get started!

Whether you’ve written a novel, a memoir, a book of poetry, or a how-to book, you deserve to work with a professional designer who can translate your vision into a book cover that will instantly attract readers. Let the experienced design team at Publish Pros create a cover that stands out in a crowd. Contact us or visit our book cover design services page to learn more!