Tips For Successful Book Cover Design

 Authors pour their hearts and souls into their books. They’ve spent countless hours over a keyboard whipping characters and plots into shape. Once the story is done, authors want people to read their story. The book cover design entices people to buy and read the book. Without a great cover design the book will languish on the shelf. No one will click on it online.

When starting the design process begin with a vague concept. Don’t be too stringent in the beginning. For instance, your idea should be a couple sitting on a park bench rather than an old gray haired couple sitting on a park bench eating ice cream. Review available stock photos before limiting the concept.

Don’t show too much of your character. Studies have shown that readers like to build their own character image. One of the problems with converting books to movies is the actor doesn’t match the visual image of the reader, and the movie will bomb. Let your reader build her own mental image of the protagonist.

Keep the cover image strong, simple and symbolic. People scan a web page or walk past a bookshelf. They don’t stop and work out the details. The cover needs to jump off the shelf, and grab the buyer’s attention. Romance novels use scantily clad men and women on the cover. They possess flat stomachs and big chests. The consumer won’t notice high cheekbones and blue eyes.

Do research. Look at other published books in your genre. Pay attention to the covers being used by the top sellers in your genre. Walk the aisles in bookstores or look at covers online. Notice which ones grab your attention. Model your concept around what works.

A few technical concepts to consider when using pictures for the book cover. Determine the copyright of the picture before you send it to the printer. Look for common market pictures. Make sure the objects in the picture have crisp edges, and the photo is in focus.

The book cover grabs the buyer’s attention. Keep the book cover design simple, but attractive.

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  1. Any tips on formatting in Scrivener using Windows? Absolute pain in the arse.

  2. Great tips. I know that my book, Almost Human, is partly sucessful because of the wonderful book cover. After several submissions by the art department of my publisher, it was apparent that artists had not actually read my book! Finally, I submitted one myself created by a friend and colleague. She had read the manuscript!

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