“Don’t judge a book by its cover,” we’ve been told since we were kids. But in reality, Book Cover Design can tell you much about what it’s about.
People are likelier to pick up books from a bookstore shelf if the Book Cover Design is interesting. This is the first thing a reader does before buying a book. So, how do you make a cover that sells books?
Before you start Book Cover Design for yourself or a client, read up on these nine best practices for making a high-quality book cover that sells like hotcakes:
Designing Your Bestseller: A Guide to Book Cover Design
1- Find ideas for book cover design.
Before you start designing, you should always look for visual ideas to help guide the look and feel of your cover.
Collecting different book cover ideas will help you figure out what you like, what works, and what doesn’t, so you can focus on what you want your cover to do.
2- Describe the main ideas of the book.
A book’s cover should match the ideas that the book is about. It should also fit with the tone of the book. About what does the book talk about? Is it a serious look at how people live today? Is it an exciting, fun book about finding yourself?
A serious book should have a serious cover, while a fun beach read should have a different look.
Outline the main ideas of your book and keep them in mind when deciding what kind of pictures to use on the Book Cover Design.
3- Think about the genre
Covers for different types of music follow different rules.
Rarely will you find a hot romance book with a cover that doesn’t show a couple holding hands. Most true crime books have dark covers that hint at the crime.
Look at other books in the same genre to understand what readers expect. If they all do the same thing, you’ll probably want your cover to do the same thing so that people who like that genre can spot it right away.
4- Use how things look.
Visual hierarchy is very important on a book cover. You need to make sure that the most important part of the cover is the first thing the reader sees as he or she looks through the shelves, whether they are real or virtual.
This is the title of most books. But for some best-selling authors, you might want to highlight their name so that it stands out more than the title. Fans of that author can tell right away that it’s one of their books.
The title and cover art should generally stand out the most, followed by a subtitle (if there is one) and the author’s name.
There may also be prizes or endorsements to put on the cover, but they are usually not as big a deal as other things.
5- Clear out the mess.
Book Cover Design with a lot going on doesn’t work well when they are small. Since many look at books online, the covers are usually shrunk down to the size of a thumbnail. You could lose readers if your book cover looks cluttered when it’s shrunk down to a thumbnail size.
Pick one thing to be the main focus of your cover. This could be a part of the picture on the cover or the name of the book.
Once you know your main idea, you can use the rest of the cover to draw attention to it. Make sure there is a lot of white space around the focal point.
6- Think about thumbnails.
When people look at Amazon or other online bookstores, they see thumbnails of the Book Cover Designs of the books they are interested in. Most of the time, they are less than 200px high.
That means that your title won’t be able to be read if it isn’t big enough on the cover. It also means that if your cover has a lot of small details that are important to its meaning, those details will be lost in thumbnail size.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put those details on the cover. You must ensure your cover is still powerful when it’s shrunk down to thumbnail size.
7. Pick the right font and color palette.
It can be hard to choose a font for your book’s cover. It needs to look good on the full-size cover, but it must also be easy to read on the thumbnails.
Try to avoid typefaces that have a lot of details or are hard to read. When looking for the perfect typeface, try it out at both large display sizes and smaller body sizes to see if it’s still readable at 12px or 14px sizes. You can take help from a book writing company and let the professionals do the work for you.
Color palettes can be the best thing about a book cover or the worst thing. The right color palette will catch the reader’s eye and give them an idea of the tone and mood of the book, while the wrong colors could confuse your audience.
8. Your title should be noticeable.
We’ve talked about titles already, but your title must stand out on your Book Cover Design.
If a person is looking for a title that isn’t clear from the cover, they may skip over it. The title can also tell you a lot about what the book is about.
Make sure your title can be read at both small and large sizes and stands out from the graphics in the background.
9. Don’t forget the spine or back of the book.
The front cover of a book gets all the attention, but the spine and back cover are also important parts of the design.
When a reader looks at books in a store, where most books are stacked so that only the spine is visible, the spine is especially important.
You should also remember that the way offset printers work means that your front cover, back cover, and the spine may not always line up perfectly.
By keeping the background design around the cover, printing mistakes won’t make the spine or back cover look bad. This ensures that your book’s whole cover looks professional and put together.
With the rise of online bookstores and ebooks, book cover design has changed, but the basics of good design are still the same. The key to a book’s success is a cover that makes people want to read it.
Also, if you don’t know how to use design software like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, you can find a lot of helpful book cover design templates online. But we think you should find a professional freelance graphic designer who knows how to make a cover that stands out and sells.