Book Cover Design in 5 Easy Steps
Author Advice

Book Cover Design In 5 Easy Steps

Posted On October 26, 2016 at 9:42 am by / Comments Off on Book Cover Design In 5 Easy Steps

Your book cover design is single handedly one of your most important sales tools as an author.

Here are 5 steps to help you make it the best cover for your novel.

1 Write Your Synopsis

Once you have written your novel or have an idea for your novel write a synopsis. The goal of a good synopsis is to give the reader enough information to make him want to buy your book.

This is a fantastic exercise because it forces you really think about what your novel is about and how to summarise it.

The synopsis also becomes a useful tool for briefing your designer. If you get it right, your designer will be able to get the idea of how you want to present the novel to the world.

2 Test Your Synopsis 

Often authors are just too close to a story and struggle to really get the synopsis right. To help, test your synopsis on your beta readers, spouse or anyone who has read the book. They will be able to tell you whether of not the tone is correct and what information is missing or unnecessary.

Use their feedback to tweak the synopsis. This will not only help your designer but a good synopsis will help you sell more copies.

Give this synopsis to your designer to help him understand what your book is about.

3 Research Covers In Your Genre

Go to Amazon and look at the best selling novels in your genre. You will see similarities in fonts and colours used. This is because using expected visual imagery makes it easier for readers to identify the genre.

Pick five or six books that convey a similar theme to yours and copy the images to use as references.

This will allow you to give your designer a good brief that includes images of covers that you like. This, in turn, makes it easier for your designer to create the right book cover graphic design for you.

4 Find Pictures

Finding a good picture is one of the more difficult tasks because of picture licensing. You may not use just any image you find because most of them are copyrighted and you need to pay for the right to use them.

Our suggestion is to find images that suit the mood or theme of your novel, rather than the actual final image. You then use these to create a mood board which will convey the idea to your graphic designer. A good designer will know how to buy photos with the right to publish.

5 Create A Mood Board

Not only is using a mood board one of those fantastic book cover design tips but it can really help you as an author. A mood board is a useful tool before you even begins to write. This can act as inspiration for characters, incidents or even just help with the general tone of your book.

If you don’t already have a mood board then think of creating one using the images and covers you have found.

Graphic designers respond to visual imagery better than written or verbal concepts and you will get more accurate book cover design ideas from your designer if you use the right imagery in the initial brief.

OR Use A Pre-designed Cover

Often pre-designed covers are a lot simpler because you find a cover that works and buy it.

We have had clients who have purchased a cover before they actually wrote their novel because it inspired an idea for a novel.

A pre-designed cover is often a cheaper option while still achieving a high quality cover.

What we don’t recommend for book cover design

We don’t recommend using a book cover design template.

Templates are great for getting sizes and positions of text correct. But enhancing the image, finding the right font and the million and one other tweaks that a precessional designer can do just isn’t available on a template.

However, if you have a good image and a knowledge of graphic design then a template can be useful for sizing.

We also don’t recommend you try find anyone who promises a free book cover design. These are often not actually free or they are terrible quality.

You want to put a product into the market and a professional cover is an important part of marketing your book, so while a good book cover design costs money, it is worth it if you want to appear as professional.


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