Gerald C. Anderson, Sr.
Book Cover Design Considerations
You work really hard to create your book. You put time, thought, energy and maybe money into creating your book’s contents. If you’re like me you’ve read it a thousand times then had it formatted, edited, and even read by test readers. Your goals are balanced on the success of your book and the inside matters most, right?
Well, the truth may be a bit different than that. The truth is that we do judge a book by its cover. It’s important to put a lot of attention into your book cover. After all, the stronger your cover is, the better your chances your book will sell.
Yes, the inside matters too but to get to the good stuff, you have to motivate people to buy first. What should you consider when making your book cover? Let’s take a look at some important things to think about.
What Is Your Genre?
Different genres have unique cover styles, and what attaches a reader for one genre may not attach them to another. For example, a mystery book cover looks a lot different from a self-help book cover. A textbook cover looks different from a coaching manual. While you want your book cover to stand out and grab attention, it also should fit within your desired genre. You want your readers to recognize that your book fits into their genre and you want it to match their expectations.
If you’re not sure about your cover bounce it off a few friends or family. The best way I test my covers is to bounce them off strangers. You’ll likely get a genuine answer from strangers. Family and friends try and soften the blow.
Should You Create It Yourself?
You can create your own book cover. There are enough tools, stock photo sites and tutorials to help you create a cover. In fact, some technologies make it look easy. However, you also want to consider your own graphic design skills. If you don’t have a keen sense of design or an artistic background, then you may want to hire a designer.
Here’s the great thing: you can find a top-quality designer to create your book cover for a relatively low fee. Yes, you have to pay money but in return you’ll get a professional quality book cover. If you want people to trust what is inside, the outside needs to be professional quality.
I learned how to use Photoshop myself, but I have discovered that hiring a designer is a better way to go. If you have a design in mind, you can get clouded by the outcome. Remember, you want your cover to attract people to read your book. You don’t want your bias to impede that goal.
It’s Not Just the Front That Matters
If you’re printing your book or offering it in print, you’ll also need a binding and back cover. Digital, audio, and print books all require different formatting for the cover (another reason to hire a designer). For example, a print cover will require much better resolution than a small digital book cover. Each publishing service or distribution service will tell you their specifications. Shar
e those with your designer or pay attention to them when you are creating your book’s cover.
During several book signing I attended I have watched people go through their purchasing process. They all follow the similar habits when looking for books. They will come to your table and look at your books. If the cover attracts them, they will pick it up, then flip it over to the back. Here’s where you need to have a strong back cover to lure them in because if they like what they read there, they have developed a desire for the book. The last phase is you have to convince them to buy. That’s another article for another day.
There are many considerations to make when you’re publishing a book, and the cover is often the last step before launching. Make sure that your cover fits your audience’s expectations, grabs attention, and has professional quality and design.