How To Make A Book Cover

By on February 8, 2016

If you choose to go down the self publishing route an important decision is how to make your book cover.

Iit is relatively easy to knock up a simple cover design. You could also just to chose from the generic stock Amazon offers. However, the best option is to create a professional cover for your book, before trying to sell it.

How To Make A Book Cover- The Golden Rules

Unless you are a whizz with Photoshop we would recommend getting your cover professionally designed. There are lots of places  that offer this service. When you choose a self publisher to work with, you should do your research. Find out exactly what they can offer you with regards to your cover design, and take that into account.

Your book cover is your store front, it is what potential readers will first see. Therefore it's important to makw sure it is noticeable and interesting. Most self publishers are happy to work with their authors creating a cover design that works well for them. Therefore it is important to think about what kind of cover you want. Pull together some ideas for the publisher to look at before they start work. You can make some suggestions for change once the design has been created, but these will be extremely limited. So without giving a brief you could end up with a design that you are unhappy with. You'll have little choice but to go with it, or spend a lot of money trying to get it changed.

If you do want to design your own book cover here are some tips, including how to make your cover stand out.

How To Make A Book Cover Tip #1 Make sure the title is large

People want to be able to read your title. No doubt your title is something you have taken great care in thinking about too. So let people see it. Remember these days many people are looking at books on their phones or tablets.  Therefore the image will be smaller than on an actual book. It needs to be readable. Also consider your font carefully, there are some fonts in the industry which are looked down upon, namely Comic Sans or Papyrus. Avoid these if you can.

How To Make A Book Cover Tip #2 Select your artwork carefully

Using your own artwork may be a great idea to you, but is unlikely to look fantastic on your book cover. Don’t use low quality images such as cheap clip art. Think about what will look striking, but not overly complicated, an image that will compel readers to want to find out more about what your book contains.

How To Make A Book Cover Tip #3 Keep it simple

Too many colours, loads of different font types, font placed in an arch or at a gradient, borders around pictures, overuse of caps - the list goes on. Try to keep your book design simple, eye catching and classy. Having an overly detailed cover will make it difficult to see and could put people off. While you want your cover to be relevant to your story, don’t try to tell the story with your cover. You want to hint at what is inside, not shove it in people’s faces. Keeping your cover strong and symbolic is the best way to keep your book visually exciting and interesting to potential readers.

How To Make A Book Cover Tip #4 Take your time and do your research

There are hundreds of thousands of book covers out there. Have a look at them. Understanding the many different ways in which you could design your cover before you start is a great idea. Your knowledge will help you ‘think outside the box.’ Take pictures of some of the book covers you love and build up a picture of the design elements that appeal to you the most. This way you can include these in your own cover.

How To Make A Book Cover Tip #5 Know the technical guidelines

If you are going to design your own cover, make sure you know the technical guidelines required for a professional cover. If you don’t your design will be useless. You’ll have to go back to the drawing board, thus wasting all your time and hard work.

If you want to hire the help of a professional, here are some of the best freelance book cover designers in 2021.

Designing your own book cover can be great fun. Just remember that unless you have experience in the field it might be a good idea to leave it to the professionals. This doesn’t mean you can’t give direction, but ensuring that your cover is one that readers are drawn to is crucial. It is what will make your book sell. So working collaboratively with your self publisher is often the best (and safest) way.

Want to learn more about book covers? Read our post, What Makes A Great Book Cover?

Bethany Cadman -contributor

Bethany Cadman -contributor

About Ty Cohen

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