It takes a special writer to complete a book. So congratulations on finishing yours! Now it’s time to start preparing it for the world to see. And that includes your book cover!
A great book cover attracts readers and helps establish you as a serious author. The cover design is a very important process. So before you start thinking about what your book cover will look like, you should understand what goes into designing a book cover.
The first step in designing a book cover is to understand why the cover is so important. You spent a lot of time writing your manuscript, but readers won’t even experience your masterful storytelling if they aren’t intrigued by the cover. Drawing them in is the main purpose of the cover itself.
Your book cover is your book’s first impression to each potential reader. It needs to be eye catching, inviting, and informative. When a reader looks at your book cover, they want a snapshot of the story your book will tell. They want to that they’ll enjoy the plot and empathize with the characters. And your book cover can communicate this to them!
A great book cover creates an emotional reaction. The background color and the book title’s typography should give your reader an idea of what your book is about. For instance, a children’s book should have bright colors and a large title. And a book that tells a horror story could be dark, with a creepy book title font. In other words, your book cover gives the reader a glimpse into your story.
Custom book cover design often comes with a cost. And the price varies depending on your publishing method and how intricate your cover is. If you’re working with a traditional publishing company, your contract might include a professional book cover designer as part of your book marketing strategy.
If you’re self-publishing, you might need to branch out for book cover design help. One of the best ways to get a brilliant custom cover is by hiring a freelance designer. Talented illustrators and graphic designers generally charge either by hour or by project. However, you might be able to get a discount by giving them design credit on the book cover. Just talk to your designer about the scope of your project, and negotiate a design fee that you’re both happy with.
Before you start looking for a book cover designer, you should understand the elements that create a great book cover. Here are a few aspects to keep in mind:
Once you understand the elements of book cover design, you can start researching the different techniques you can use for your book cover.
Technique is the foundation that helps you determine your overall approach to designing your book cover. Remember: your cover introduces your book to the world. So it’s important to understand the various book cover design techniques.
Understanding the different techniques helps you appeal to each potential reader. A good book cover includes the necessary elements on the book jacket. A great book cover makes people want to dive into the full book!
Your book cover design technique might also change based on what type of book you’re publishing. Different methods exist depending on whether you’re printing hardcover or paperback copies—or going digital with an e-book. In fact, those are the main three categories of book cover design.
The three main categories of book design are hardcover, paperback, and e-book. Since each type of book has its own design requirements, you’ll have to design your cover accordingly.
If you’re printing your book, you might have a slightly different design for hardcover copies and paperbacks. Hardcovers tend to have thicker spines and therefore more room for larger typography or more words than a paperback. And since you can print your book just about any size and shape you’d like, your cover designer might have to start from scratch instead of working within an existing book cover template.
E-books are a different story. Just about every e-book publisher has their own ready-made template that your graphic designer or illustrator can use. The template includes sizes and resolution requirements for quick and easy cover production. Just keep in mind that since the template will vary depending on your e-book publisher, you might have to create a few different designs if you want to publish on a few different platforms.
When you plan your book cover design, it’s important to know what mistakes to avoid. The biggest mistake, of course, is creating a bland, boring book cover that doesn’t reflect the theme and vibe of your story. However, there are other obstacles you might encounter.
Here are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind as you determine which cover design technique works best for your book:
Here’s one final pro tip: ask for help when you need it. You’re a great writer and have written a fantastic book. However, book marketing necessities like cover design and book promotion might not be in your wheelhouse. And that’s OK! You can find experienced professionals to craft and execute a marketing plan for you.
Maybe you’re an indie author learning the ropes of the self-publishing industry. Or maybe you’re a serious author trying to make a splash. Either way, one of your goals is probably to put your masterpiece in front of as many people as possible.
A great book cover is one of the best ways to market your book. So if you want to impress your potential readers, you might want to consider hiring a book cover designer.
Professional book cover designers are experts in their field. They know what your target audience wants to see and can create a custom cover inspired by your story and genre. When you work with a professional designer, you don’t just get a gorgeous book jacket. You get a thought leader who can produce an attention-grabbing cover.
So, where do you look for good book cover designers? The internet is a great place to start. Established designers have professional websites that give you an idea of their talent and capabilities. So search around, read their online reviews, and see if any particular designer stands out to you.
Word of mouth is another great method for finding a good designer. Try joining a few author groups on social media, and ask for some advice. And if you have any family, friends, or colleagues who have published a book, get them on the phone! Draw from their experience to find a great—not just good—book cover designer.
Your book is a personal achievement. And you want to know your book cover designer is going to take is much pride in their work as you do in yours. So when you search for a designer, first look at their experience. How many book covers have they designed, and how many different authors have they worked with? Do they specialize in your genre, or do they branch out?
There are a lot of designers out there. So take your time and pick the one that will best communicate your book’s message through their cover design.
You already know that cover design is just part of the book making process. And if you’re ready to hire a book cover designer, there are just a few more steps that’ll help you choose the right one.
Before you hire a book cover designer, you should have everything organized so your designer can jump right in. Create a checklist of items to prepare, including the following:
You should also have a budget in mind before you start working with a cover designer. Determine whether you’ll pay by the hour or a flat fee for the entire project so you can have a better idea of what costs to expect. Be sure to communicate any financial concerns with your designer so they can work within your parameters.
Because the cover is one of the most important elements of book design, you want to choose your cover designer wisely. After all, they’re your creative partner and will help you convey your book’s message to the world! The cover designer that’s right for you will understand your genre and demographic. Your cover needs to appeal to your target audience, and the best designers are able to create custom covers that bring you more readers.
In addition, you and your designer need to have a strong rapport. They should believe in your book and be excited to work with you. And that relationship goes both ways! You should be enthusiastic about the author-designer partnership. Don’t just choose the first or cheapest designer you find. Make sure they’re the right designer for you!
Alright, you’ve chosen your book cover designer. The last step before the design can begin is setting up the contract! Because contacts are legal, binding documents, you’ll need to make sure all parties are satisfied with its terms. Make sure you clearly describe each party’s responsibilities, publishing rights, and ownership rights.
Before anyone signs a contract, it’s best practice to have a lawyer review such an important document. So try to set aside a portion of your budget for legal fees. And once you and your designer sign the contract, the fun and exciting design process can begin!
Great books use words to tell a story. And great book covers use powerful images and striking designs. Elite Authors can craft a custom cover design to get your book into readers’ hands. Visit our website today to learn more.