Marketing books is a challenge answered simply by having a good book cover.
Books are not advertised through the typical means. Unlike movies and music, you can’t post teasers or trailer videos for your story. Sure, there is social media. But you can only post so much about your book. What you need is imagery that reflects the masterpiece you’ve created.
Think of it like this: your story is the product, and your book cover is the packaging. Usually, you can’t open the book and sample the story by reading through its chapters to see if you would like it. Matters are made worse because of the pandemic. Now, like all forms of shopping, book buying is done online. In online shops, excluding the posted summary, book covers are the only glimpse buyers have into what they’re buying.
So, whether it’s on bookshelves, displayed on storefronts, or posted on a website, you need a book cover that both represents your story and captures people’s attention.
The Importance of Making Great Book Covers
Millions of books are published every year. This number is rising because of the popularity of self-publishing, which allows almost everyone to be an author these days. So unless you want your work to get lost in this ocean, you need a great book cover that:
- Makes your book stand out
- Reflects the value of your work
- Captures people’s attention
- Reaches its target audience
Make Compelling Book Cover Designs With The Following Tips
There are three parts of a book cover: the front cover, back cover, and the spine. Design all three to look cohesive so people
1. Emphasize your title
Like the cover, titles are essential because it represents the book. The title tells what your story is about. So in creating the cover, the title should be the main focus. It shouldn’t be blocked by other imagery you plan on having. The reader should know the title when they see the cover.
Typography is key. Choose font styles that are easy to read and set it in a size that highlights it as the title. You can mix two fonts, but aim to limit yourself to only two fonts. A key tip is to use fonts like Serif, which are very simple but easy to read and pleasing to the eye.
2. Pick a good color scheme
Choose colors that not only represent the overall tone of your story but work together as well. This rule applies to all the features of your cover. The colors used for your font should make the text pop out against the colors of your background. Like with the typography, choose colors that emphasize your text. Pick colors that are attractive and are overall pleasing to the eyes. Choose colors that sufficiently contrast, but not so much that they clash.
3. Find imagery that represents a central element in your story
Know what your book’s themes are, and it will give you an idea of what to put on your cover. This is how the cover communicates your story. It can be metaphorical, like using the imagery of a butterfly to symbolize metamorphosis or change. Or you can take it literally and feature key elements in your story. If your story is about a dog, put a dog on the cover. However, don’t feature all elements of your story. Doing so would not only potentially spoil your plot but would also overcrowd your cover.
This leads us to…
4. Don’t overcrowd
Most of the time, simplicity is better. Overcrowding could distract the reader from texts on the cover and make the cover look cluttered and unattractive. This also applies to the text – your cover shouldn’t look like a page from the book itself. Feature only important texts: your book’s title, author name, and additional information like a sequel or part of a series. You can also place the awards or critical acclaim you or your story may have gotten, but leave the summary and author information for the back cover. Make sure to leave sufficient “white space” or space devoid of design elements to ensure that your text and imagery stand out.
Designing your cover may be a struggle for some, especially since most editing tools may be expensive. However, an image combiner tool allows for quick and easy designs by blending two or more images so that your covers don’t look overcrowded. An image combiner tool also comes with thousands of ready-made templates, so you won’t need to hire a designer to create a beautiful cover.
5. Acknowledge your genre
Most book genres already have an established design. Books of the same genre typically have similar tones, which then translate to your cover. So embracing your genre means you also reflect the tone of your story onto your cover. But this doesn’t mean you lose your uniqueness. Instead, your genre merely acts as a guide on how you can design your cover to communicate your story while also reaching your target audience properly.
Genres like romance follow a typical style of using bright colors, featuring romantic elements like hearts, and using an image of a couple on the cover. While horror novels often use dark colors and gothic imagery.
Don’t take this tip as a rule to limit your design. Instead, use this as an encouragement to draw inspiration from the other great novels before you and blend that with your uniqueness and creativity.
Simplicity is absolutely important for your book’s back cover. All you need to do is make it cohesive with the front by using the same color schemes and fonts you used in the back and sprinkling in similar imagery you used in the front if need be. But still, keep in mind that you must preserve the white space.
Here are some essential features of your back cover:
1. Your author bio
This includes some personal details like your name, of course, as well as some awards you’ve received and mentions of your other work. However, don’t take this as an excuse to gloat or mention your entire resume. Again, simplicity is key so keep this brief and concise.
2. Your book’s blurb
You don’t necessarily need to put your entire summary on the back cover. All you need is a simple description of your story that can grab the reader’s attention. This may include an interesting quote from your book or a short introduction to your main character.
3. Words of praise
If you have them, include quotes from published authors or reviews about your book to convince readers to pick up your book.
These are the necessities, like the name of your publisher, the bar code, an ISBN, and the suggested retail price.
Book covers reflect what is inside. So, a great book cover communicates to the reader that what’s inside is excellent as well. As the masses say, never judge a book by its cover. But what if we actually could? Nevertheless, people will lose interest just by the impression your books create, so don’t be careless and learn how to avoid a significant