Putting Your Best Face Forward: How to Design an Eye-Catching Book Cover November 1, 2016 – Posted in: Design – Tags: book covers, book design, cover design
Although we’re all reminded to “never judge a book by its cover”, this simply isn’t possible with readers who have thousands of books to choose from. So how do you entice readers to purchase your book in mere seconds?
While it’s not possible to master the art of designing a book cover in only a few minutes, following many inquiries and messages on social media we’ve decided to interview our in-house designers as well as discuss the topic with successful freelance designers and put together a list of design tips so you don’t have to solely rely on your taste. Here are the 5 essential principals you should follow when designing a cover:
1. Select one LARGE IMAGE (instead of multiple small images)
A book cover has two main jobs: it needs to capture the prospective reader’s attention and it needs to convey the basic information about the book such as the genre, subject matter and its tone. All of this is better accomplished if you choose only one image as the focus of the cover, instead of making it look like a collage. While exceptions are the rule, particularly when it comes to travel books, the general rule for cover design is: LESS IS DEFINITELY MORE.
2. Use BACKGROUND OTHER THAN WHITE
Pick a background which is complementary in color to your main image and avoid the color white. White backgrounds don’t stand out, particularly not on digital screens. If you are not familiar with color theory, use a color wheel for assistance or check popular color schemes for ideas and inspiration. Adobe Kuler offers thousands of color combinations.
3. Pick a LARGE TITLE FONT which is EASY ON THE EYES
The title of your book is the main identifying element. Thus it should be easy to read. Keep in mind that your cover needs to work in print, on various eReaders and – let’s not forget – as a thumbnail.
TIP: view your cover in thumbnail size. If you can’t read the title of your book, you will have to redesign the cover.
4. STAY AWAY from COVER CREATORS or TEMPLATES
We get it. You might want to give your book a do-it-yourself feel – you are doing it all yourself, after all. If you have an eye for colors and fonts, by all means, go the DIY route. But stay away from online cover creators and templates. There’s no one size fits all when it comes to cover design. You need to be willing to put in the time and design your cover from scratch. If you are not up for the challenge, outsource the job and hire a designer. It’s difficult enough for first time authors to get noticed with a professional looking book. You are not going get past first base when the cover falls short.
5. Don’t be afraid to LOOK FOR INSPIRATION
We are not at all encouraging you to copy someone else’s work. But there’s absolutely nothing wrong with checking out the competition and taking inspiration from successful cover designs. Check out the top sellers in your genre and ask yourself: Is there anything they have in common? How do they capture the feel and atmosphere of the book?
If you have any additional tips or questions, please feel free to comment on the post or email our design team.