As they say, you should not judge a book by its cover; but let’s be honest, one of the factors we consider when choosing a book is the book cover. It is important for books to have a well-designed cover to capture the readers’ attention. This is why authors and publishers make sure that an effective book cover is made before the book is released to the public.
With that said, it is important to conceptualize a book cover design that will allow you to express or give a hint as to what the book is all about. Since it is the first interaction a reader has with the book, the cover must immediately present a visual story that will entice the reader to flip the pages.
Although a book cover is not enough basis if a book is good or not, it still affects the readers’ interest. Therefore, a book cover must satisfy the visual expectations of the reader. Simply put, as the front of the book, the cover must be enticing and interesting to look at in order to gather the attention of the audience. With that said, here are the elements a book cover should have:
1. Title: Since it is a book cover, it is important to include the title of the book; otherwise, readers may get confused as to what the book is all about. You should definitely make sure that the title of your book is in bold and clearly visible font to immediately capture your readers attention. Making the title all depends on what you think best fits the overall content of your book, what matters most is that it should the right message.
2. Subtitle: Including a subtitle on the cover of a book can help you elaborate the subject. When you opt for quirky and indirect title for the book, having a subtitle helps you make sure your reader gets the gist of what will unfold. The subtitle is basically a descriptive line that complements you title to give additional information about the book. It is best to include appropriate searchable keywords that are not in your title.
3. Author’s name: Aside from the title and subtitle of the book, it is very important to include the name o the author. When people see the name of the author of the book on the cover, it allows them to do their own research and make their own judgment if they have a liking to the author’s writing style. Aside from that, it ensures that you make your presence known in the market for a wider reach.
4. Color: Since you are to captivate the visual preference of the reader, it is important to choose the color that best makes the other elements of your cover pop out. It is best to stick to contrasting tones, and at the same time, only use 2–3 colors. Doing this ensures that the book cover is organized and pleasing to the eyes.
5. Images: Aside from that color using strong and artistic images can surely help you captivate the interest of the readers. Using images is the best way to give a visual representation of what the book is all about; it is also the easiest or safest way to complement the title of the book. The image you use should be related to the title or subject of the book.
6. Spine: When books are filed on shelves, the spine or the cover of the actual binding on the book is the only thing that readers see. The spine is still part of the book, and in this sense, it is equally important to make sure that the spine is visually pleasing. The title of the book should be written in bold and readable font so that readers can easily see the book.
7. Back cover: When people pick up a book they also look at the back if it is as interesting as the front page. Thus, making sure that you have an amazing back book cover is also important. In the back cover there should be semblance with what is found on the front; although you have more space to include more words, do not be too wordy. Only include a two-paragraph summary of the book or not more than a third of your book’s overall length. You may also see business book cover examples.
8. Bio: On the inner flap of you book cover or maybe on the back cover you can include a short bio. Only include pertinent information about you/the author and avoid rambling on. Remember that the purpose of the bio is to only introduce you to your new readers; including unimportant information is unnecessary.
9. Endorsements and reviews: If you want to encourage more readers to read your book including a short glimpse of your endorsement and reviews, preferably on the back cover, adds to the credibility of your book. However, only include endorsements and reviews from prominent people/organizations/companies to make it more relevant.
10. Repeat book title and subtitle: Reiterating the title of the books as well as the subtitle ensures that your audience remembers your book. It also helps ensure that you audience’s attention and interest are consistently on your book. You can do this on the top part of the back cover in a smaller font size.
No matter how hard you try to deny it, you have already bought books just because of its visual presentation. You have chosen to read books that have captured your interest through a captivating book cover even without reading the synopsis or summary of what is inside. However, this fact can be an advantage to authors and publishers; they just need to keep up with the trends and think of a visually pleasing cover design to capture the readers’ hearts. With that said, here is a guide on how to make an amazing book cover:
1. Choose the best design software/application: Before you start drafting and laying out your overall design, you should first consider what is the best software to use in the designing and editing process. You have to consider what will give you the best quality finish and what software will allow you to flawlessly incorporate all the designs and elements that you want. You have to choose the program/software/application that is more flexible to fit your wants and needs to make the perfect book cover.
2. Incorporate all the important book cover elements: In order to achieve the purpose and objective of your book cover, you need to include all the necessary elements such as the title, subtitle, name of the author, and so on. You need to flawlessly incorporate the elements in the layout of your book cover in order to captivate your readers. Aside from textual elements, make sure your design elements are present from the alignment, balance to space.
3. Include all important information: Aside from captivating the interest of the readers, you also need to present pertinent information that will make them understand your book. It is important to provide information that will give a background about the book, the author, publishing house, and so on. This means you provide the accurate title of the book, correct name of the author, publishing house and date, and so on. You may also see children’s book cover examples
4. Choose the most suitable font style and font size: You have to choose the font style and size that best suits all the information you include. For example, choose the best bold font style for your title for emphasis and choose the size that will allow it to be visible without being too “in your face.” Remember to use a readable font style even when set to the smallest size.
5. Use relevant image/s: The image on your book cover ties its overall appearance. Thus, use an image that has a direct or subtle correlation to the subject of your book. Some books prefer to use images that directly refer or relate to the title or subject of the book. Although, there are also instances when you can use a completely different or non-related image to have a play with words and spark interest even more.
6. Proofread and edit accordingly: Lastly, proofread and edit your work accordingly. After you have laid everything out, make sure there are not even the slightest errors like misspellings, grammatical errors, misplaced punctuation, and so on. It is also best to let other people have a say to the book cover that you have made in order to gather objective insight that you can use to edit your book cover to perfection.
As you know, the book cover is the window to the soul of the book. This means you have to be keen and precise in your decisions when on the process of creating it. Since you already have an idea on how make an amazing book cover, here are some additional tips that can help you achieve it:
A book cover has quite a lot of types that you can choose from. Learning and understanding each type ensures that you choose the best suitable or more cost-effective style. Hence, here is a list of the types of book covers you can choose from:
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about book covers:
Of course, this is the window to the overall content of your book. This allows the readers to know and have a basic understanding as to what the book is about. Not including a book cover is like presenting an unfinished output. And as mentioned earlier, this is the last and most important piece of the puzzle to make the book complete.
In order to design and make a good book cover you need to collect information about the author’s preferred format, copy, or the contents to include and where; graphic-related elements such as color, font style and size, alignment, etc.; and how much is the budget for the cover.
If you published your book with the intention of selling it, it is best to let professionals design and create the book cover for you. This ensures that a highly trained individual creates the cover, but you need to be open and hands-on with the entire process to make sure what you want is achieved.