How to Design a Book Cover in 8 Simple Steps
A good book cover design can often be the difference between 5000 books sold and 50000 books sold. The design of your book cover is imperative to its sales. Sure, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” is an excellent quote but most people will judge your book by how attractive its cover is.
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As a writer/publisher, you must design an excellent book cover. A good book cover is necessary to ensure that the publishing run of your book is successful. Book cover design matters a lot when it comes to the success of your book. Here are a few statistics to prove our point.
Enclosed in the post below is our guide to book cover design. Let’s go through it together.
The Philosophy of a Good Book Cover Design
A book cover is more than just the title of the book and the author’s name. A book cover is supposed to tell the reader what to expect when they start reading your book. As an avid reader myself, I hate flipping the book around to understand what it’s supposed to be about.
As an author/publisher, it is your responsibility to ensure that the book cover rightly conveys what the book is supposed to be about. The philosophy behind good book cover design requires you to answer a few key questions:
- How does the author brand themselves?
- Where will the book be published?
- Does the genre of the book have an existing style?
- What copy will go on the front cover?
Let us answer these questions.
How does the author brand themselves?
The brand of the author is an important part of book cover design. After all, they did write the book. Sure new authors are still trying to find their brand. Ask them what they would like to see on the cover. Established authors tend to have stylistic elements that they use as design cues for their books. Keep the author’s brand in mind while starting on the cover design.
Does the genre of the book have an existing style?
Some book genres have a unique style of cover. For example, fiction usually has graphic-heavy covers, romance covers utilize large fonts and hints of red in their design, etc. As a publisher, you will have a better understanding of what suits your book genre best. Literary books, for example, experiment a lot with their design with extremely creative cover designs.
Where will you publish the book?
The market you choose to sell your book in is important too. Learn the various trends that the market follows. Take inspiration and design cues from the most selling books on the market. Some markets appreciate heavy design elements while others prefer minimal designs for their books.
What copy will go on the front cover?
A good book cover design will usually incorporate the copy within the design of the cover. Some books such as RL Stine’s Goosebumps use the book title as a design element, embossing the title in 3D, giving a certain tactility to the cover. The font chosen gives off a ‘creepy’ vibe which goes well with the content of the book.
Upmarket books use bold fonts and different colored text to make it stand out for eg. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. The copy will go a long way in designing your book cover. Since you have limited space on your front cover, utilizing it to its fullest is important.
8 Simple Steps to Help You Design Your Book Cover
- Do the necessary research: A book cover has three necessary parts: the front cover, the back cover, and the spine of the book. All three parts must have a homogeneous, flowing, and aesthetically pleasing design. Once you have that figured out, move on to proper research.
Find out what sells in the market and analyze why it sells. Look at some of the best-designed book covers available. Note down the book designs that failed to attract readers. Also look at the outliers, books with bad covers that sold, and books with great covers that didn’t sell.
- Find design ideas: As you’re researching for book cover statistics, find design ideas for your book cover. Take a look at the books within your genre and create a rough idea of what you will want your book cover to look like.
Take a look at the best-selling titles and analyze what makes them stand out in the crowd. Note down everything that attracts your attention. There will be motifs and visual styles that are common among the books.
- Choose the correct book cover design software: You will need the right tools to design your book cover. The best book cover design software help you create beautiful book covers without much effort.
We recommend trying out Appy Pie’s Online Book Cover Design tool. It is a part of our-template based graphic design software. With Appy Pie, you can create book cover designs in a jiffy using its unique interface. By choosing from Appy Pie’s library of templates and customizing them the way you want, you can create the perfect book cover design for your next book.
- Emphasize the main theme of your book cover: You have everything you need. The ideas, the software, and the motivation. What’s next? Designing your book cover!
To get started, choose a particular theme you want to portray on your cover. With that theme in mind, design the various parts of your book cover design. The theme can be anything, from the most important lessons of your story to the most important characters to the setting of the story.
If it is a part of a series, make sure that design is something that naturally evolves for the other books within the series.
- Choose the right typography: Typography is the font and font styles used on your book cover. Font and their sizes need to be well-balanced. They need to be homogenous with the design that you are trying to create.
Avoid fonts that clash with your design. Also, avoid fonts used in everyday life such as Comic Sans and Calibri. Choose a unique font and don’t complicate it too much. Keep things as simple and clear as possible. Change typeface when writing different parts of the copy – say, the author’s name should have a different font to the book’s name.
- Take out a Few Test Prints: Continue & design the sides and back of your book cover. Once you are done, take out a few printouts of your book cover. It is a suggestion to take a hardcover book shroud and try and wrap it around a similarly-sized book.
- Make sure the design is scalable: The design of your book cover should be scalable. A modern author needs to publish their book to every form of media possible i.e. ebooks, audiobooks, and traditional paperback/hardcover.
Test your book cover in all media and make sure that your book cover design fits all sizes with minimum adjustments. If the cover doesn’t fit, don’t be afraid to go back to the drawing board for your cover design.
- Test Your Book Design: Once you have finalized a book cover design, it is time to send it out into the world. Before you publish your book, display it to a section of the author’s fans and gain initial feedback. If the feedback is fine, finalize the cover design.
See how it fits and how the design looks in real-life. If it doesn’t look good, don’t be afraid to go back to the drawing board and experiment a bit more until you find your perfect book cover design.
That was our guide on how to design the perfect book cover design for your next book. Use these tips and also check out our book cover design maker. The tool can be used online for free!
Check it out!