We’ve all heard that cliché phrase: “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”, While, this may be true when we’re talking about judging people or situations, when we’re talking about actual books, it’s a whole other ball game.
So yes, the truth is: people do judge a book by its cover and that wont change.
So, what can we do about this? Well, this is what this article aims to help you with; from choosing how you’re going to print your book cover to how to draw up ideas.
Who will you choose to help you?
First things first, are you self-publishing or are you paying someone else to publish for you?
If you are enlisting help you need to bear in mind the cost. Getting a designer can cost you anywhere from $150 – $5000, depending on the experience of the designer. I know, I know – it seems like a lot of money to come up with for just designing the cover of your book. But, it’s not just the cover of your book, it’s how your book with sell. If your book cover design comes across well with your audience, then it’s going to sell well.
Don’t worry, if this is simply not an option, you don’t have to pay the big bucks to achieve good results. If you have a creative friend, or if you yourself are creative, why don’t you have a go at drafting some designs yourself? Don’t worry if you’re panicking about coming up with ideas. Try creating more then one concept.
If you are doing it yourself, you need to be careful with getting images off the internet as this may cause some trouble in terms of copyright, etc. If you don’t want to risk it, you can pay to obtain the rights to use a photo you really like. Even better, you can go out there and take a picture yourself. This is all assuming that your book cover design does feature picture. If it does, you need to know that it has to be around 1,700pixels wide, which is a higher definition than the ones demanded of computer screen resolutions and it has to look good as a thumbnail (say hello Kindle and any other ereading app).
Before we move on, one more great idea is to ask your friends on Facebook or another social media platform what they thing. Do this after already coming up with a selection of ideas – you may be met with silence if you give them nothing! By sharing to your Facebook friends, not only are you getting help designing your book cover, but you are also promoting your book at the same time!
How to draw up the ideas
So, you’ve had a look at who is going to help with your book cover design? Great! Now we need to think about some tips on where you get your ideas from. There’s so many factors to consider when thinking about your book cover design, but again, don’t panic.
The genre of your book is really important when you start to think about what your cover should look like. You don’t want to have written a thriller, but for some reason people in the book store thinking it’s a romance novel. Not only will you be slightly offended (I’m guessing!), but you won’t be hitting the right fan base. You want to be thinking about what other book designs in your genre look like. A good place for this is Pinterest! Not only do they have a list of book cover designs people find awesome, it will give you a great idea of what your fan base is looking for. Just remember, when you choose to go down this route, be careful that you’re not copying someone else’s idea. Not only will this cause you some trouble, you won’t be original. Just like using over used stock imagery, people have already been there and done that, they don’t want to see it again.
So, we’ve hit your target audience. What next? You want your book cover to reveal enough about your book, that the reader wants to buy it. This is where judging a book by its cover comes in. When someone sees a book cover design they like, that’s what makes them turn the book around to look at the synopsis. The actual content of the book is what’s finalizing the purchase (well done, you!), but it’s the book cover design that gets them there in the first place.
Mood boards are a great place for drawing all your book cover design ideas together. You can start with the usual; font face, patterns, colors, picture, no picture. This is a great way to get the ball rolling and also cover the basics of what a book cover design needs. It’s when you delve deeper that you’ll start having to think about other aspects.
One of these things is what do you want to reveal on your book cover. There is a message in your book you want to impart on your readers, but how much do you want your readers to see before they learn that message for themselves? Or, think of it in another way. There are parts of your story you don’t want to give away and there are some parts that would help attract an audience before they get there.