When you enter a bookstore, you will be welcomed by a wide array of books neatly piled on their shelves. There is a certain feature of a book that captures people’s attention, even those who are not really fond of reading—its book cover. Take time to design your cover, for a well-crafted book cover is guaranteed to sell.
Afraid to start? Don’t worry. In this article, we provide you templates, examples, as well as related discussions that would surely help you in creating a perfect and appropriate book cover.
What must your book cover consist of in order for it to be visually pleasing and at the same time informative? Here are the key features—the elements—of a book cover that you must bear in mind while creating your cover.
1. Remarkable title: The title of a book is not just something you decide in a snap; you must carefully think of a title that fully encompasses the content of your book but can also be somewhat mysterious and intriguing. However, a more trivial and confusing one will dissuade potential readers from flipping a page.
2. Supporting subtitle: A complementary subtitle acts as a support in briefly expounding and explaining the main title. It must not overshadow the title but only serve to provide additional details. Commonly, a single-line phrase can be a sufficient subtitle to complement with the main title.
3. Design and graphics: When you are working with photography or children’s book cover, an ideal book cover design consists of graphics and illustrations related to the content of the book. Meanwhile, when you are designing a formal book cover such as for business book cover, the intended audience expect less graphics and photos. Instead, a pure-text book cover would suffice. Depending on the book cover category you are designing, you may opt to include high-quality photos or settle with minimalist designs.
4. Back cover: It is typical that the designs for the back cover are not as remarkable as the front cover since books are usually stored facing up or only the spine is visible. However, taking time to design the back cover is also vital because interested readers will scan through them to look for further details such as information about the publication or the synopsis of the book. Readers can draw impression and expectation through these information.
5. Reviews: Reviews and feedback from celebrities and other influential individuals or groups provide strong credibility to your book, hence an important element that must be present in your book cover. Because they have already established a name in the publishing industry or their respective industries, their notes and comments can be an encouraging factor for the readers to buy your book.
6. Spine: As stated above, books are normally stored either faceup or sideways with only its spine visible. Because of this, you must give importance in the design and layout of your spine, providing not just aesthetics but also information such as the title, author, and the publisher. Through its spine, even when your book is drowned with many other books, it can still be distinguishable even in a glance. You may also see photo book cover examples.
7. Brief author profile: To capture not just the attention of the readers but their hearts too, your book must have a special connection with them, and adding your brief profile and credentials can make them relate to and connect with your book.
Fixing your attention to your main theme is the key to create a book cover that fits the content of your book. Creating a book cover is not necessarily overwhelming. Here’s what you can do:
1. Select a format: In selecting an appropriate format for your book cover, take into consideration the printing requirements, the volume of your book, as well as its overall visual appearance. Before you decide on the size of your book cover, you may refer to nearby or local printers on the sizes allowed for printing. For the orientation, a portrait-oriented book is typically used, but you may also explore other formats so your book and book cover will stand out from the rest.
2. Input the elements: Discussed above are the elements that comprise a complete book cover. Never miss any of these elements for they are useful not just for visual purposes but also for providing information to the readers. Arrange the elements in a way that one complements the other, appropriately putting them in the area where they do not overlap the other elements.
3. Select fonts: Designers are well aware that font styles help in setting the mood of the book. It can convey a certain emotion or feeling even before the reader flips a page. Depending on the book category or genre, the font selection varies from being formal, playful, delightful, among others. More often, serif fonts are used for increased legibility. However, styles may be added for a unique touch of your cover.
4. Add visual elements: Typically, book covers are integrated with graphics and images because people can immediately understand the theme of the book through those visual elements. They help people build expectations from your book. Meanwhile, for formal book covers, pure-text covers would suffice. You may also see notebook cover designs.
5. Experiment on different layouts: Your first layout may not necessarily be your final layout, so be free to experiment on different layouts and styles until you get satisfied with the layout that you come up with. Who knows, you might also come up with a layout better than what you originally planned.
6. Finalize: The finalizing stage includes proofreading and copy editing your work, ensuring that there are no errors, whether material or immaterial, and checking for any elements that are missing. Note that these errors may have a direct impact on your reputation as well as the credibility of your book.
7. Launch: Finally, you can create a printed version of your book cover to be attached to your book or launch it online on your website, in social media sites, and other advertising and selling platforms.
Here are some important things that designers say when designing a book cover.
Before you print your book cover, you will be asked whether you want your cover to be softbound or hardbound. Knowing the differences can save not just your life but your money as well.
These are the standard sizes used by the industry, but you may opt for a custom size for your book cover to be set apart from all the others.
We know you still got a lot of questions in mind. We do hope the following would bring clarification and answer to your queries.
Primarily, a book cover contains information that would give the readers an overall idea on what the book is all about before even reading the content of the book. Clearly, the “Do not judge a book by its cover” rule does not apply here because typically, readers can draw an impression and expectation just by looking at the book cover. Moreover, some book covers are designed to preserve the book pages or to prevent dust, dirt, moist, or stains. You may also see magazine cover examples.
Depending on the tone that you want to achieve, you can use different colors for your main theme. Here are the basic color guides that you may refer to when designing a book cover: