Never judge a book by its cover, they say. But in marketing terms, book covers matter greatly when driving book lovers’ attention and compelling them to buy. With a unique cover design, it becomes easier for publishers to sell a book. Moreover, potential readers can get a hint of what they can expect inside the pages by glancing at a book cover, provided it is excellent design work.
Fortunately, creating a book cover with unique design ideas is no longer a difficult task. While a designer can brainstorm design ideas, assistance from a book cover maker comes in handy. The DIY software will generate dozens of book cover ideas while responding to your design brief.
But whether you do the design all by yourself or hire a designer, your book cover must tell the book’s central theme. A reader should be able to know about the type of story the book tells. Is it a romantic novel or deals with tours and travels, or is it about an adventure? Does the book tell a horror story? Whichever may be the genre, the success of a book cover design is in conveying the story to potential readers.
However, to create an attention-grabbing book cover with a purpose, prepare well. There are some key things you must first put in place before setting out to design.
Consider These Before Starting Your Book Cover Design
01. Know More About The Author
The very first consideration to make is to find out more about the author. Is the author a well-known literary name amongst the audience, or is it just starting? If the author is already an established name, with many books published, the quality standards of the book cover will be much higher than average.
02. Consider The Genre
Consider the genre of the book. For example, is it a romantic, horror, or sci-fi novel? Your book cover will have a design that speaks for the genre. Since the goal is to sell books, each genre has its design history that people can easily relate to.
This means that each genre has its symbolic elements that quickly tell what the book is all about. For instance, if there is a planet image, it is science fiction, and if the cover has a couple, it could be a romantic novel. Likewise, a fantasy-styled may signal that the book is about magic.
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03. Keep Print or Digital Sales In Mind
Find out if the book will be mainly sold online or in a physical store. The design will be different in the case of an eBook, which is primarily meant to be created and sold digitally. For instance, if the publisher intends to sell a book only on Amazon, its thumbnail design will be entirely different. In that case, fonts will be much larger to be seen among hundreds of book thumbnails when a customer scrolls down the screen.
Since consumers can pick the books from the shelves and touch and flip through them, the design looks different for print books. You should also know the book format and book cover size for print.
04. Think Of Extra Costs
A book cover design may incur extra costs that a designer and author may not be aware of initially. These costs continue to add up during the design process. For instance, you need to buy font licenses and stock images. You will also be spending money on barcodes and ISBN identifiers.
Tips For Making An Attractive Book Cover
01. Look For Inspirational Designs
Before setting out to use a book cover maker or hire a designer, you should have a good look at some inspirational designs. Many book covers are iconic designs. You can learn a lot and get inspired by studying the design strategy.
Visit a nearby bookstore to look at different cover designs or see them virtually. As you go through a large variety of designs, you start sorting out them in your mind for their design qualities.
A good comparison of multiple covers will give a fair idea of what the cover should look like. Likewise, dozens of book covers will provide insight into what should go in an attractive cover design.
There are many online platforms, such as Dribble and Designhill, to find inspirational book cover designs. Write down the design patterns and visuals, imagery, layouts, and themes of impressive book covers. Keep them in mind while planning your book cover.
02. Know The Main Theme
Keep the central theme of a book in mind while designing its cover. The theme should be such that it supports the mood depicted in the book. For example, what is the book all about, and what is the overall mood? Answer such questions when designing the cover.
So, outline the book themes that should serve you as a guide when making the cover attractive. But you do not have to read the entire book to know the theme. Read just one of two chapters to get the feel.
03. Create A Visual Hierarchy
You want a potential buyer to see some key design elements while standing in front of a bookshelf, physically or virtually. So, know which is the first element that your customer should see first. Of course, it is the title of most books. But if the author is well-known, their name might be the most critical element. That is because the author’s name will sell the book.
Usually, a book cover design visual hierarchy has the title and graphics created prominently. Then, other elements, such as subtitle, author name, etc., find their place.
04. Don’t Crowd The Design
Make sure that your book cover design is simple but unique. If there are too many images and types of fonts, it will clutter the design. A cluttery design will not be visible clearly when scaled down to thumbnail size, turning away your customers.
Therefore, pick just one dominating element, such as one image for the cover. It could also be your book title. The rest of the few elements should emphasize that main element. Leave a lot of white space as well.
05. Choose The Font and Color Palette Carefully
Fonts and colors are two crucial elements of any graphic design. While making your book cover attractive, ensure a thoughtful use of these vital elements. Color evokes our emotions, which the designer uses as a way to convey a message.
So, choose a color palette that best reflects the theme and mood of the book. Then, pick the color, also keeping the genre in mind. When using book cover maker software, you have plenty of colors and hues to choose from.
Fonts give personality to a design but picking the right font can be tricky for a full-size cover. Choose a font that is legible on the thumbnail. It should be readable at 12px or 14px sizes.
06. Make The Title Stand Out
Your book title should prominently be visible to potential buyers. If it is not quickly recognizable, buyers may not scan it and go past it in a bookstore. Also, note that if the title stands out, it can give a clue about a book’s content.
But the title should also be legible in small sizes, such as thumbnails. Make sure that the title has a contrasting background.
07. Don’t Ignore The Back Cover
While the front cover is the face of a book to impress potential customers, know that the back cover should be unique in its design. The back cover design should consist of the same elements as the front cover for consistency.
Also, the book spine is an essential element. On a bookshelf, the customer sees the spine first when browsing a bookstore. So, the spine design also should be equally impressive.
So, ensure that your essential design work across the front, spine, and back cover is consistent. Keep the design in the middle to escape the printer cutting the elements at the edge.
08. Consider The Printer’s Requirements
You must also create your book cover, keeping the printers in mind. While printing a book cover, printers will trim out all the extra portions of elements that are crossing the trim line. So, keep your design elements well within the boundaries. Indeed, you would not like printers chopping out an impactful image that has extended beyond the trim line.
The industry standard is leaving .125-.25 inches on each side of the book cover. But each printer has its standards and so talk to your printer so that you can set your file accordingly. Also, note that printers mostly want to get the design in high-quality PDFs. Some printers may ask you to send design files in .ai or .eps.
So, these are the tips you should consider when planning to design your book cover and make it attractive to potential customers.
You can design your book cover on your own without having an experience in the field. Designhill book cover maker can help you get dozens of new design ideas. All you need to do is to give your preferences about colors, fonts, images, and other elements. The AI-operated tool will automatically generate book cover ideas. You can customize the one design idea you find suitable to represent your book theme.
A book cover should promptly convey what is inside of its pages. With a thoughtful book cover design, you can compel the potential customer to pick the book from the shelve and buy it. To make the cover attractive, ensure that it is a simple but unique design with the uncluttered use of fonts, images, and colors.