Where to start when designing a book cover
by Kat McCarthy, Aeternum Designs
An engaging and evocative book cover is an essential marketing tool for every author. When designed correctly, it will stand out on a crowded shelf and communicate with a reader in the briefest of glances. The following are a few tips for designing an engaging book cover that perfectly complements your manuscript:
Less is more
A book cover should be simple and uncluttered. It needs to represent the theme of the manuscript or the conflict within, however, not every plot point needs to be shown. One element should dominate and take charge to provide a hint of the atmosphere of the book.
Each genre has a formula per se, and if your novel falls in that genre, your audience will be expecting to see certain elements. For example, if your novel is Romance, the audience will expect to see an image that evokes love, passion or longing. Each of these feelings can also be achieved through the right font choices. Yes, even the typography needs to be genre-appropriate. In our Romance novel example, your audience will expect to see a title that is curvaceous rather than straight or block letters.
Engage your reader on an emotional level
The image you use needs to give readers a sense of excitement and something they can relate to. Again in the case of Romance novels or ones that are character or relationship-driven, designs with people on the cover will sell more over an obscure image. Showing conflict or drama on the cover is a sure way to hook a reader looking for that type of reading experience.
Use strong typography
Along with being genre-appropriate and well crafted, the typography for the title and author name should be readable at thumbnail size. The choice of font can make, or break, your book cover.
Be consistent within a series
If you are writing a series, use similar thematic elements, typography or structure to provide consistency, recognizability and branding.
Use the same eCover & Paperback Cover
There isn’t as much of a gap between eCovers and Paperback covers anymore because all print covers will be shown somewhere online anyway. Choose images and typography that work well for both because the major advantage of this is recognizability in the market.
Don’t wait until your novel is complete to design your cover
Participating in a Cover Reveal campaign with bloggers and posting your cover on GoodReads early generates hype about your novel, and reduces stress from a last minute rush if you have to wait for your favourite designer. You might find you need to allow additional time for a special photo shoot or image production. Starting early is always best. That said, you should wait until the major themes and storylines are fleshed out in case any changes to the plot could impact the image choices for your cover.
About Aeternum Designs
Aeternum Designs is a graphic design company specializing in professional book cover art for fiction & non-fiction authors. They design covers for ebooks, paperbacks and dust jackets for hardcovers, and work closely with authors to design a cover that perfectly complements a manuscript. They will work until you are 100 per cent satisfied that your cover will engage a reader emotionally, that the cover’s message is clear and stands out on a crowded shelf. View their book cover art gallery, as well as numerous premade book covers currently available for purchase.