Now, let’s talk about book cover design!
In order to release a respectable, high-quality, book, it’s absolutely critical to think about book cover design as the art and science that it is.
It’s true that what makes for a good book cover can be (a bit) subjective. from an aesthetics perspective, what one person likes, another won’t. That being said, there are some tried-and-true DOs and DON’Ts when it comes to book cover design because, while cliche, both you and your book will be judged by the cover. If your cover looks like it was designed by an amateur, the public will respond accordingly.
Essential Do’s and Don’ts for Book Cover Design
✅ Think about the emotion you want the cover to evoke. Is your book a business guide written with serious undertones? Is it a self-help read with a humorous slant? Is it a great beach read or hammock companion? You need to know the answer, and it’s the job of a great designer to translate the feeling you want your cover to evoke in a prospective reader into the design.
✅ Make a list of covers you both like and don’t like. It’s like getting your hair cut. It helps the stylist if you take photos of styles you like as well as styles that are absolutely off-limits (and be clear about what you like and don’t like about each of them).
✅ While this isn’t a video on title/subtitle specifically, both are main components of the cover. It’s important to clearly convey the book’s benefit in the title and its features in the subtitle (for non-fiction, specifically). There is a fine line between a sterile, boring title and one that is short and sweet but also conveys the benefit and/or makes someone curious to learn more. (Examples of great titles/subtitles and why they work are noted in video above, starting at 4:44.)
✅ When you receive the first set of drafts from your cover designer, pause before reacting. (Why this is important and how this approach led me to my favorite cover of all, watch from the 9:02 mark in above video.)
❌ Create the cover yourself. I know it seems an easy way to cut cost corners, but this is an area where you do NOT want to cut corners (remember the aforementioned “you and your book will be judged by the cover” statement). The only reason to consider this option is if you are a designer (one people—beyond friends and family—have paid for design work). You would also need to be well versed in the specifics of book cover design and actually want to take this task on instead of outsourcing it—for more reasons than just a cost savings. (Several more unknown benefits of hiring a professional cover designer are discussed at 3:13 in video above).
❌ Overlook the value of or mistake the point of your back cover copy. It MUST—in a succinct manner—let the reader know how his life will be better for reading it. People don’t buy non-necessities logically; they buy them emotionally. More details on exactly how to do this and what to absolutely avoid starting at 7:20 in video above.)
What most overwhelms YOU when it comes to cover design? Post your comments below, or share them over in our amazing, supportive (free) Facebook group!
Are you thinking about cover design but haven’t finished writing your book yet? I get it. I’m a classic “18-carts-before-the-horse” girl.
But in all honesty, stop thinking about cover design for right now, and get that book finished (or started)!
If you’re stuck, take 49 minutes and dive into my latest FREE book writing masterclass. Because remember, someone out there is waiting for precisely your words and they can’t wait to put your book in their shopping cart. But if you’re so focused on title and/or cover design that you never finish writing, it won’t matter! 😉