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Six tips from wicked good book cover designers

Even with the growth of ebooks, book covers are still an important issue for authors to consider.  So I asked some book designers I respect to offer some keys to creating a great cover for print and digital formats. Here are six simple things you can do to make sure your cover stands out from the rest.

Pick something to be the focal point. On the cover to the right, type and image are too similar in size.

Pick something to be the focal point. On the cover to the right, type and image are too similar in size.

  1. Do your research. Sounds simple, but it is the important first step. Go to a local bookstore. Observe the customers. See what books stand out on the shelves. Do thesame thing online and on e-readers.  Also, pay attention to the thumbnails. Some designs work well on a bookshelf, but don’t work as a thumbnail.
  2. Pay attention to your genre. You don’t have to do a cookie-cutter cover, but you should look at the best covers in your genre. Notice any common elements and trends. Pay attention to the images being used.
  3. Pick a focal point. Everything can’t be important. So you need to decide whether the typography or the image is going to be the focal point. When they are similar in size or the amount of visual space they occupy, it can hinder the eye from being drawing to the cover.
  4. Image matters. Make sure you choose an image that is relevant for your genre but that is also eye-catching. Avoid cliche or what I call, computer desktop imagery. Also, one striking image is almost always better than a collection of images. Collections typically violate point three.
  5. Check the thumbnail. Once you have a cover you like, make sure you reduce it down in size and see what it will look like as a thumbnail. The rise of e-books has made the thumbnail more important as you think about designing your cover
  6. Choose your colors carefully. If you are publishing in the US, colors convey a message in themselves. Here is a general guideline as to what colors communicate.
  • Red – High Energy, powerful, passionate, excited, strong, sexy, fast, dangerous.
  • Blue – Male, Cool, conservative, trustful, reliable, safe.
  • Yellow — Warm, bright, cheerful, sunny, cheerful, happy
  • Orange – Warm, playful, vibrant, bold.
  • Green — Natural, fresh, cool, organic, abundant.
  • Purple — Royal, spiritual, dignified
  • Pink – Feminine, soft, sweet, nurturing, secure, gentle.
  • White — Pure, clean, bright, virginal, youthful, mild.
  • Black — Sophisticated, elegant, seductive, mysterious
  • Gold – Expensive, prestigious, affluent
  • Silver – Cold, prestigious, scientific, clinical

Crafting a well written manuscript is the most important task of an author, but making sure the cover is inviting, eye-catching and relevant is an equally important job. Using these tips will help you make sure you have a cover that is as good as your book deserves. What other tips do you have for creating a great cover? Use the comments features to share your ideas.

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13 thoughts on “Six tips from wicked good book cover designers

  1. Pingback: Six Simple Book Cover Design Tips | Self Publishing Advocate

    • keithogorek says:

      Looks like this has been reblogged to a blog called The Self Publishing Advocate. Glad to know others find this information helpfup.

  2. Pingback: The Importance of Cover Design for a Self-Published Book « Self Publishing

  3. Pingback: More thoughts on Self Publishing | A World in Words

  4. Pingback: Six Simple Book Cover Design Tips | Self-Publishing World

  5. Pingback: Indelibles, Shareathon, #Row80 News Updates & Resources. #amwriting | Shah Wharton

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