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If you have just started writing a book and are already done with your manuscript, that book is among one of the millions and millions of books currently available in the market. The publishing industry in the United States alone is worth around a staggering 113 billion dollars because the U.S publishes 304, 900+ new titles and releases of new editions for classics and old titles each year. You can also check out book cover templates in illustration.
Pressured yet? That’s understandable because the publishing industry is one tough and competitive sector to keep up with. The figures can overwhelm and intimidate any aspiring or new author. With that said, authors, especially self-published ones, must get all the help they can to market their books and get them sold. Here are the most important elements you should include in a cover design that sells:
1. Focus: Since the cover is arguably the most important part of the book, it should reflect the idea that it’s about something. There should be one element controlling and commending a big part of the cover’s attention, taking up space, ergo, the cover’s focus or emphasis. Don’t be dragged into the pitfalls of covers having too much gone on that it fails to mean something, anything at all.
At a glance your prospect readers should know:
Is it a thriller? A coffee table book on warplanes? A travel memoir? Whatever it is, the book needs a cover worthy of telling at-a-glance what you have in store for the target reader.
2. Type: Reduce your cover design on the screen to the size of a thumbnail on Amazon and see if you can read it. Can you make out what it’s about? If the answer is no, you need to simplify. Make sure that the font used is easy to read because an over-reduced and unreadable font makes no sense on the cover at all. Watch out for typefaces that looks lacy and too stylish to be read. If you want elegant styles, get them in full size because the letters tend to disappear when they’re small.
3. Title: When you decide on your book’s title, always think of your target readers. Will the title be provoking in a good way? Does it make sense? Is it powerful enough to be remembered? When choosing a title, you also have to make sure it conveys the message and that the message goes with your design concept. As an author, try not to get too caught up in being able to come up with a unique title when a straightforward title will do. Creativity can sometimes mask clarity.
4. Panel copy: The panel copy is usually a short summary or a paragraph, an overview of the book, if you will, located at the back and taking up much of your back cover. This gives readers a teaser for what to expect when they read your book. Be careful because it shouldn’t be about why you wrote the book. It shouldn’t end up as a table of contents either. It should work like a promotional ad to attract an audience.
It would be so easy to doubt yourself going over such demanding yearly statistics in the publishing industry, but there’s no need to panic. Not when the content of the book is very well-written, has something to tell, and would be useful or entertaining to its target readers. Below are a few steps we compiled to end up with a competitive cover design:
1. Nail your audience: One of the first things you have to consider is who your target readers are, in order to know where to start with your book cover’s design. Speak with the right people and know what they want to see. Go outside and look for inspiration. Most importantly, trust your gut and just go for it. If your book has feminist themes, go for something sassy and in-your-face.
2. Prepare your image: The cover should have an intriguing image, ergo one that leaves something for the reader to be curious about. Most of the time, publishers design book covers putting a lot of effort and money into a design that lures people into the book. Your cover image should have the same goal. One of the first things to look out for when sketching an image or taking one is your book’s genre. Is it a thriller? A historical romance? Is it a poignant memoir? The image you use should reflect this genre, so one more thing you should also consider is the symbolism of the image you decide to use.
3. Stick to the theme and write it down: Why did you write this book? What is the point of publishing it? Write that down and use it as your guide when you check cover design submissions if you’re hiring professional designers or wants to have the final say regardless of the publishing company’s services. There could be many cover designs that will suit your taste but they’re useless if they don’t convey the right message.
4. Stay open-minded: You might be the final say but you need to give the designers all that they need to know regarding the book, such as the target audience, the genre, and style of the book, including the time it was set in, the mood and the most important characters or the highlights of the story. However, you also can’t expect the design to end up exactly as the one you pictured or wanted when you started brainstorming.
Working on your manuscript and trying to “perfect” it is definitely no easy feat. It may have taken you months or years, so make sure you give your book cover the attention it deserves since it’s the first thing that people will notice. Here are a few tips to help you further:
Find out which of these most common types of book covers will work best for your design:
Standard book sizes can vary depending on your genre but they usually fall under the following:
Designers and artists will and rightfully should surprise you with designs that take your concept somewhere new or a few levels higher.
Trade paperbacks are larger editions that are printed with the same size as the original hardcover original and is a popular format for readers. A mass market paperback, on the other hand, is a cheaper, lesser paper quality version.
There’s an average of 200 thousand titles published each year in the United States alone, showcasing books which go on to become bestsellers and bookstores also features critically-acclaimed less-popular titles, with re-editions across aisles and behind rows of about a dozen shelves. Regard to a book’s literary and market potential, your book needs to have a lasting first impression that would get readers hooked, and that’s what a compelling cover would do.