Sunday, February 20, 2011

Book Cover Design

How Do I Decide On A Book Cover?

Now that you have a completed your copyright page, purchased an ISBN, and an editor (along with several other trusted people) have gone over your manuscript with a fine tooth comb, it’s time for you to consider your cover.
This, in my humble opinion is the most important part of your book. The front cover is the first thing a reader or interested buyer will look at. If it looks cheesy or unprofessional – no one’s going to look twice at it. Remember that most buyers only take 2-3 seconds when their scrolling down a long list of possible purchases. It’s not a lot of time to make a sale.

I did a small survey when I was working on my book covers. I, fortunately, had someone I hired to give me more than one cover. He was awesome and I will continue to use him as the designer. I wanted the cover to look professional, clean, and catchy.

I placed three possible covers in front of students, teachers, and librarians and asked them which one looked better. Which one caught their attention and asked them why. Many chose for color, picture on the front, title of the book, whether the cover had too much or too little, some even complained about the font.

I finally went with the cover that didn't show a full face. Have you ever read a book and then went to see a movie? Most times you don't agree with what the producer's vision is when selecting a character. Same with covers. If you give them a person to focus on when they are reading they will not be able to use their own imagination when reading the book. This is what my students have told me anyway.

I also realized (and later found several articles) that found that drawn or painted book covers are often overlooked especially by young adult fiction readers.

If you’re creating a book cover on your own, make sure you do your homework and have a professional program like Photoshop, InDesign, or find a program online you like. There are several available for free.

Go to the nearest bookstore, library, or browse through the books you’ve purchased and analyze books that are in your genre. Think about what it is that catches your eyes and draws your gaze to that particular cover. Take a look at the best selling books as well. Is it the font? The colors? The picture? What is it about the cover that made you look twice?

Also, be sure to follow the requirements set out by the publisher. Their printers will have specific specs that you need to follow. Many will have a template. I would download it and use it as a guide. Just be sure to delete the lines before you save for publication or they will print. Happened to one of my friends. Not a good thing.

I am interested to know what you, as the readers, have to say about cover design and programs. Post a comment for others or questions if you have any.

By the way, if you want a quote for cover design, shoot me an email and I will forward it to the right person.

1 comment:

  1. Commenting on covers is difficult for me because there are times the cover photo or drawing affects my choice while at other times it doesn't. If the title and synopsis cateches my attention and peaks my interest, I can overlook the artwork or photography. On the other hand, if I feel the synopsis doesn't tell me enough about the book, I then look at the over-all cover design. A professional looking cover that shows me something about the plotline might be enough to get me to buy the book. Unfortunately, I've found a few authors who design a great cover or have someone else design it for them and then find they didn't out the same effort into the plotlines and characters inside.