“Don’t judge a book by its cover”; a saying we have all heard many times throughout our lives. As much as we like to apply it in an idealistic sense, it doesn’t always hold much value in the actual book industry. A book’s cover is essentially its first impression, its first sales pitch. When a person is walking through the book store looking to find a new book to read, they are looking at the covers of every book. The front cover is what will lead them to look at the back cover, where your summary of your story is. The picture on the cover, the title, and even how the title and author’s name are written all will play a major key in if that person purchases your book. So, how do you get a book cover that will make people want to purchase your book over the others?
Focus on the message behind the story
The first step to making an eye-catching book cover is to focus on what your book is about. The cover should reflect what your main idea for your book is. Don’t make it too busy however, this can be too much or too confusing for the buyer. You want to be able to get their attention quick while they are walking past, like a billboard or a road sign. Road signs and advertising billboards are for the most part simple and easy to understand, but they also catch your eye. The cover of your book should be able to help the reader quickly identify the genre of your book, the tone of the book, and the general subject.
Pick a good background color
When choosing a background color for your cover, try to avoid using white. White may blend in more with the shelves in the bookstore and you definitely don’t want your book to blend in. Instead choose other colors for the background and then choose a font that will stand out against that color. If you choose to use white as a background, make the font a color and type that stands out. The good things is white contrasts with just about any color so you have a lot of options. Using large red or black as a font with a white background will help your book stand out.
Choose a good font
When choosing a font, choose one that is easy to read and make it large. When you are choosing colors to use for the font and background, choose colors that go well together. If you need help with that, use the internet to your advantage. You can search colors that go well together to help you design your perfect book cover.
Have a relevant image
If you decided to use an image on your book cover, find one that isn’t too direct. Choose an image that helps show the reader the mood of the story, or the time period in history of your book. This will help show the reader what sort of genre you have written within. You have written your story and you are gearing it toward a certain audience. Well, your cover also needs to appeal to that audience. If you are going to use an image that has been used for different covers, such as a cross, you have to find a unique, unusual way to place the image. Make it different from the other covers that have used that image. You can use shapes and colors to make an attractive book cover, such as making the text match the darkest or lightest tones of the background. Using a slight diagonal line or another type of shape in the cover can give your cover a fresh look. So, think about what kind of image or design will appeal to your target audience.
Feel out the book cover
There are a few good ways to get a feel of how to design your unique cover. One is to look at other book covers. Look at books in the same genre as what you have written and other genres just to get a feel of what appeals to readers. Think of romance novels. This genre usually has a typical image that pops into a person’s head when thinking of romance novels; an attractive man with muscles hugging a pretty woman. The readers of romance novels recognize these book covers and are attracted to those covers. There are some book covers that are iconic and you can immediately recognize without the title. One of the best examples of this is the Harry Potter series. From the first book, there was an immediate image that was associated with those books. Even if your book is not going to be one of a series, you can make an image that will stick with readers. Another great way to come up with an image that your target audience will be drawn to is by spending time in a book store. Watch the customers to see which books they pick up; what colors or displays are they attracted to.
So, now you face the question if you should design your own book cover. Usually, it is a better idea to have someone else design the cover for you. You have written your book, you spent time and energy into your work and you are emotionally invested in it. You will want your book to be represented in the best way possible, but usually if you do it on your own you will make mistakes that can hurt your book sales. If you can hire someone who knows what they are doing, your chances of getting your book into people’s homes are much greater. Following these steps can really help you getting your book sold. You’ve written your story and now you know how a well-designed cover plays a key role in getting that book into people’s hands. Enjoy the process of getting your book out to the public!