Creating the perfect cover is so much more than just finding the correct image, it's about composition, branding, and standing out from the crowd. The old saying "Never judge a book by its cover" is so not relatable when it comes to selling your book. Your cover is one of the most vital features in drawing in your reader.
I have been a book cover designer now for around 6 years and so much has changed during that time. I have grown as a designer, but also on a personal level about what is needed within the industry. My own designs have changed with the times and staying up with market trends is a mammoth task on its own.
Many authors write their novel and really don't consider the costs involved with publishing it, for a more extensive list on the cost of self publishing check out our blog post here.
Today we are going to take a look at the importance of your cover design and the steps you can take to ensure that it creates exactly what your target audience is looking for.
The importance of your book cover.
Your book cover can mean the difference between a Bestseller and not selling a single copy.
You need to remember that your book cover creates that first impression on your potential readers. If it doesn't look professional you are going to lose sales, many will think if you can't afford a professional design then the likelihood is the editing will also be under par. A successful book cover not only stands out, it makes the reader feel the manuscript rather than tell you.
Accurately reflect your story
If you are writing a historical romance, your book cover should indicate that. Market trends for your particular genre is vital. For example, if you are writing a Young Adult Romance but have an older model on the front you aren't going to draw in the right readers. Readers should be able to look at the cover and have a good feel for what the book is about.
Appropriate design for your target audience
If you are writing a children's novel your book cover needs to be targeted for that audience. If you are writing nonfiction there is a very different design technique than that of a fictional book.
Branding of your book is just as important, I highly recommend that each author uses the same style author name fonts for particular genres to keep consistency among their books. Another thing to consider is that if you are releasing a series or duet, keep the books consistent, they must show that they are part of the same series of books, if they look different the reader will be completely unaware that they are supposed to be read together.
Steps you can take.
Take a look at competitors within your categories and subcategories. Look at the bestsellers within that genre. What covers do they have? What are they portraying to the reader? How can your book stand out from your competitors?
2. What is your book about?
Consider what you are trying to portray to the reader, what tone are you trying to use? What mood are you trying to portray? Is it a thriller that needs to showcase to the reader that there are dark themes involved?
3. Eye catching
You want to make sure that although it fits alongside market trends that it also stands out and captures the attention of readers. You want them to stop scrolling, so make sure your design isn't too closely linked to that of your competitors.
Think about how you can Intrigue the reader to look further into the book? This can be easily done with object covers which is why it is a favourite amongst many authors at the moment because it makes the reader stop and wonder what the story is about. This will then lead them on to read your blurb and hopefully on to want to know more about your book.
5. Hire a designer
Designers do not have to cost the earth, but obviously you get what you pay for. You can either buy a premade cover which works alongside your book so it doesn't have to be an expensive custom cover design although you definitely have more control over a custom cover design. It's important you conduct your research into designers, take a look at their reviews, view their portfolios, ask them questions about the design process, read their terms and conditions and most importantly ensure they are using purchase images that have the correct permissions.
6. Print the book out
My number one piece of advice whether you use a designer or create your own is to always print your book out before publishing, during printing the colours can look different than you envisioned, or something may not be placed right. I know even as a professional designer that sometimes during the printing process something can be missing and I am always happy to go back and review my work. I know at times the printing from KDP can sometimes be too dark and the cover needs lightening just a fraction for print, so be sure to order a proof before hitting that publish button.
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If you would like to book in for a custom design with myself you can do so via my Calendly link here.
Or feel free to shop my premade book covers right here on my website.