comparing book covers

What are the most basic requirements in book cover design?

The most important thing to remember is that your book cover is a marketing tool to attract new readers. It will be the focus of any marketing you do, and it will need to work in banners, advertising, and maybe even posters. Established readers of your work will buy your books if you wrap it in a brown paper bag. The book cover design less for them, and more a tool to increase your readership.

There seem to be two schools of thought on book covers design. The first one I see espoused is to blend with your genre. Find the best-selling books in your genre and make sure your cover is easily associated with these. This helps for marketability and as a side effect gives the book an unconscious visual recommendation. A viewers mind remembers that they liked X, and this looks like X, therefore I will probably like it too. On the other hand, do you want to be one of the crowd? A good cover that stands out will attract the eye faster than a good cover that blends into all the others. Whichever philosophy you ascribe to your cover must…

Convey who the author is, and what the story is about.

  • To achieve this, you need to have a readable font that is clearly visible against the background image;
  • Fancy fonts are fine as long as they can still be read in thumbnail images;
  • Your author name falls below the title unless you are so well known your name is enough to sell books;
  • Your Title must be both predictive (hinting at the story) and evoke a positive emotional reaction in prospective readers.

Be eye-catching so it stands out on the shelf or webpage.

  • Your cover has to be attractive. People do judge a book by its cover.
  • Your cover has to look professional. If the cover isn’t professional, people will assume the writing isn’t either.
  • If you make your own covers or pre-purchase them make sure you avoid overused stock photos. Check out the Gallery of Clones.
  • A substantial part of the population has vision problems. Do yourself a favour and don’t discourage buyers with confusing imagery, blue/green colour grades, or small text.

Convey the feel (if not the content) of the story.

A picture paints a thousand words [circa 1% of your word count] so if a reader picks up your story based on the cover then finds it bears little resemblance to the story you will have an unhappy reader/reviewer. Some common examples to avoid are

  • A romantic looking couple on the cover when there is no romance.
  • Space battles in Sci-Fi books that don’t feature space battles.
  • A figure on the cover who seems to be the protagonist who almost the opposite of how the character is described.
  • Dark stories with neon-happy covers, such as stories focused on abuse and domestic violence with a ‘flowery romance’ cover.


49 thoughts on “The Basics of Book Cover Design

  1. off white x jordan 1

    My wife and i felt so comfortable that John managed to complete his web research because of the precious recommendations he came across using your site. It is now and again perplexing just to continually be offering tips and hints which others may have been making money from. Therefore we do understand we have got the writer to appreciate because of that. The specific illustrations you have made, the simple site menu, the relationships you can make it possible to foster – it’s everything terrific, and it’s facilitating our son in addition to our family feel that the idea is excellent, and that’s quite mandatory. Many thanks for the whole lot!

  2. yeezy 350

    I precisely desired to appreciate you again. I’m not certain the things that I might have tried in the absence of the type of aspects provided by you about such a situation. It truly was the scary problem in my opinion, but discovering your specialised mode you processed that forced me to weep for contentment. I’m just happier for the guidance and in addition pray you really know what a powerful job you are always providing teaching other individuals thru a web site. I know that you’ve never got to know any of us.

  3. supreme

    I in addition to my guys have been following the nice tips found on your web blog then quickly I had a horrible suspicion I had not expressed respect to you for those secrets. These ladies appeared to be for this reason excited to read through all of them and have now undoubtedly been having fun with these things. Appreciation for getting so accommodating and also for picking out this sort of high-quality ideas most people are really eager to discover. My honest regret for not saying thanks to earlier.

  4. kyrie 5 spongebob

    I and also my guys came looking at the good helpful hints from your web site and then at once I got a terrible suspicion I had not thanked the site owner for those techniques. These young boys appeared to be totally joyful to study all of them and have now in reality been enjoying them. Thanks for getting simply accommodating as well as for choosing this kind of impressive useful guides millions of individuals are really needing to discover. My personal honest apologies for not expressing gratitude to earlier.

  5. yeezy 700

    Thanks a lot for providing individuals with an exceptionally marvellous possiblity to check tips from this website. It’s usually so great and as well , stuffed with a lot of fun for me and my office mates to visit your website really three times weekly to see the latest items you have got. And definitely, I am just always impressed concerning the magnificent principles you give. Some two facts in this posting are truly the simplest I’ve had.

  6. superbeets review

    I blog frequently and I genuinely appreciate your content. The article has truly peaked my interest. I am going to take a note of your site and keep checking for new information about once per week. I opted in for your RSS feed as well.|

  7. superbeets

    What’s up Dear, are you truly visiting this web page daily, if so then you will definitely get fastidious experience.|

  8. webhosting

    Today, I went to the beach with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave
    it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed the
    shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.

    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is completely off
    topic but I had to tell someone!

  9. web hosting sites

    Good day! This post could not be written any better! Reading through this post reminds
    me of my old room mate! He always kept talking about this.
    I will forward this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read.
    Thanks for sharing!

  10. web hosting sites

    Today, I went to the beach front with my kids.
    I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said
    “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed the shell to her ear and screamed.
    There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is completely off topic but I had to tell someone!

  11. black mass

    I used to be suggested this website through my cousin. I am no longer certain whether
    or not this put up is written by means of him
    as nobody else understand such distinct about my trouble. You are incredible!
    Thank you!

  12. black mass

    whoah this blog is fantastic i really like studying your articles.
    Stay up the good work! You realize, a lot of individuals are searching round for this information, you could aid them greatly.

  13. black mass

    Undeniably believe that which you stated. Your favorite justification seemed
    to be on the net the simplest thing to be aware of.
    I say to you, I definitely get irked while people consider worries that they just don’t know
    about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined out the whole thing without having side effect ,
    people can take a signal. Will probably be back to get more.

  14. cheap flights

    Howdy! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook group?
    There’s a lot of people that I think would really enjoy your content.
    Please let me know. Cheers

  15. cheap flights

    When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four e-mails
    with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me
    from that service? Cheers!

  16. cheap flights

    I read this post fully about the difference of newest and previous technologies,
    it’s awesome article.

  17. cheap flights

    For newest information you have to go to see web and on web I found this site
    as a most excellent site for most up-to-date updates.

  18. cheap flights

    Have you ever thought about creating an e-book
    or guest authoring on other websites? I have a
    blog centered on the same ideas you discuss and would really like
    to have you share some stories/information. I
    know my viewers would appreciate your work. If you’re even remotely interested,
    feel free to shoot me an e mail. cheap flights y2yxvvfw

  19. cheap flights

    I was recommended this web site by way of my cousin. I am now not sure whether or not this post
    is written by way of him as no one else know such distinct approximately my problem.
    You are amazing! Thank you!

  20. cheap flights

    First off I want to say terrific blog! I had a quick question in which I’d like
    to ask if you don’t mind. I was curious to know how you center
    yourself and clear your mind before writing. I’ve had difficulty clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts
    out. I do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first
    10 to 15 minutes are lost simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or hints?
    Cheers! cheap flights 3gqLYTc

  21. website hosting services

    You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be really something that I think I would never understand.
    It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me. I am looking forward
    for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

  22. cheap flights

    This excellent website definitely has all of the information I wanted
    about this subject and didn’t know who to ask. cheap flights 32hvAj4

  23. cheap flights

    Right now it sounds like BlogEngine is the top blogging platform out there right now.
    (from what I’ve read) Is that what you’re using on your blog?
    cheap flights 3aN8IMa

  24. cheap flights

    I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this
    post was good. I do not know who you are but definitely you are going to a famous blogger if you are not already ;
    ) Cheers! cheap flights yynxznuh

  25. cheap flights

    obviously like your web-site however you need to check the spelling on several of your posts.

    Many of them are rife with spelling problems and I to find it very troublesome to inform
    the truth nevertheless I’ll certainly come again again.

  26. cheap flights

    It’s not my first time to go to see this web site,
    i am browsing this web page dailly and get nice facts from here daily.

  27. website host

    Your means of telling all in this piece of writing is
    genuinely nice, all be able to easily be aware of it,
    Thanks a lot.

  28. web hosting company

    I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme.
    Did you create this website yourself or did you hire someone to
    do it for you? Plz answer back as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like to know where u
    got this from. appreciate it

  29. adreamoftrains web host

    What i do not understood is in fact how you’re not
    really much more well-liked than you may be right now.
    You are very intelligent. You realize therefore considerably relating to this matter, made me
    individually consider it from so many varied
    angles. Its like women and men aren’t involved unless it is one thing to do with Lady gaga!
    Your own stuffs nice. Always take care of it up!
    adreamoftrains web hosting companies

  30. web hosting sites

    Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article.
    I’ll make sure to bookmark it and return to read more
    of your useful information. Thanks for the post.
    I’ll certainly comeback.

  31. SMS

    Very good article! We are linking to this particularly great content on our site. Keep up the great writing.

Leave a reply