You must have heard, “Dont’s judge a book by its cover”. However, it is rarely the case as everyone judges the book by its cover. A book cover is the only thing people can see before making a purchase. So, they will make a decision largely on the basis of the design of the book cover.
You can design a book cover for your own book by hiring a designer or you can follow the top tricks and tips given below on how to design the best book cover in 10 simple steps–
Find Book Cover Inspiration
First of all, you need to look for book cover inspiration. You must know what you want before choosing a book designing software or hiring a professional designer.
Find ideas on Pinterest
Pinterest is filled with aesthetic and beautiful content which you can get loads of inspiration from. Browse boards and pins of book covers or anything that sparks your inspiration.
Stick to Genre Expectations
It is advised to stick to your genre expectations to impress your target audience. The genre standards are the reasons why a book sells. So, google the bestsellers in your genre and observe their book covers carefully. Look deeply into the layouts, fonts, images, color schemes, and other common elements.
Choose Book Designing Software
You must select a book designing software to create a professional cover for your book. Do you want to tackle the project all by yourself? If you have a little expertise in the design field then you can try designing your book cover on your own. This can be quite useful in cases when you have a low budget.
You can save your time and money and invest it in creating a book cover for your book. No one knows your book more than anybody else. So, you are the best person to give that book a face.
Here are a few tools that you can check out for designing your own book cover at minimal costs-
- Book Brush
- Designhill Book Cover Maker
- MS Word
- DIY Book Covers
Hire a Professional Designer
Moving further, you can also create a book cover by hiring a professional designer to do so. If you have little or no experience in design, then stop wasting your time and do not create a useless and unpleasing book cover. Get a professional designer as it will be worth your money.
It can cost you between $500-$2000 to hire a book cover designer. You can enjoy benefits such as a professional book cover, better marketing which eventually leads to better sales, no wastage of your time and money, etc. However, there are some cons like high costs and lesser creative control.
Select Cover Dimensions
Before you start designing your own book cover, you must select the book cover dimensions to meet your market expectations. Next, you need to choose the right width-to-height ratio so the design fits.
Each market has different needs for cover dimensions. For example, Apple Books prefer a cover size of 1400 x 1873 or 1600 x 2400 pixels and at least 1400 pixels wide. Next, Amazon Kindle direct publishing prefers 2560 x 1600 pixels in the ideal ratio of 1.6:1.
Amazon is quite flexible in the book cover ratio. They only want that one side of the book cover is 1000px long. They recommend that your book cover height-to-width ratio should be 1.6:1
Know Your Format
You must be aware of the unique requirements for various book formats that your book can launch in. These formats include eBook, hardback, or paperback. Most professional designers charge less for eBook cover designs as compared to paperback and hardcover designs.
In the case of paperback or hardback book covers, you need a spine design and a back cover design. Whereas, in eBooks, marketplaces allow you to use a simple JPEG format for your book cover.
Next, using print-on-demand services, you must always check their file requirements.
Pick Images for Book Cover
Simplicity is the key to a great design. Finding images for your book cover can confusing, and time-consuming and you might feel blocked at times.
Make sure that your designs do not look too complicated or too busy. Use a lesser amount of colors in the book cover design. The cover image should create an emotional response in the viewers. They should feel suspense, intrigue, excitement, lust, innocence, etc.
You can use either pair or free sites to get images for your book cover. You need to have rights to any images you use on your book cover. It is best to declare that you have permission on the copyright page.
For images, you can either go with illustrations or pick photographs. Find free book cover images on Flickr, Pixabay, Pexels, Unsplash, etc.
Select Your Colors
Colors are one of the most important and deciding elements of your book cover that will convince a viewer to stay. The two or three colors that you pick should create a mood and convey the message right away. Complementary colors work well together and analogous colors of combined dark and light tints also go great together.
Most blockbuster movie posters go with the blue and orange color palettes or black/white/red colors as they work great together.
Furthermore, each color has a different meaning and triggers different emotions. First, figure out which emotions you wish to target, and then use those colors creatively.
Choose Your Fonts
Some authors only focus on the cover image but other elements like typography or fonts should not get overlooked. Pick a font that conveys a clear message, triggers the right emotions, and reinforces a genre.
The title of your book cover should be treated like a logo design. Choose a font that is memorable and stands out in people’s memories. If you want a fancy font for your title, use simple for the author’s name. You need to create a balance and use visual hierarchy to draw major attention to important details.
Test The Book Cover
Finally, it is time to test the book cover design. To do so, you can ask your family, coworkers, friends, followers on social media, and even strangers. Create a few designs and see which cover people prefer the most. It is best to take advice from the target audience and get related and enlightening results.
There are tools like PickFu where you can split your test covers and see which people like the most. It will help you get honest feedback from your potential customers.
Create a Mockup Cover
At last, you need a sleek mockup for marketing purposes. Creating a mockup for your book will make your book cover feel more real to you and others. Turn your flat 2D design into an amazing 3D book mockup to create a professional and more appealing look.
You can download free templates or logo samples online to create mockups at really cheap rates.
Designing a book cover is a lengthy and well-thought process. You cannot just come up with a raw idea, draw it on paper and call it a day. This thorough guide contains all the steps you need to follow to create an amazing and responsive book cover design by yourself.