Book Cover Design
In order to create a successful book cover, there are a few things to keep in mind. The title has to be legible. It’s important that potential readers can easily determine the title and/or subtitle of your book. The same is true for the spine. The likeliness of your book being displayed on its own table at Barnes and Noble is very small. If your book is on the shelf the only thing a potential reader can see will be the spine. The spine is important real estate, and it needs to be used wisely. It should be bold, and it needs to stand out. The typeface used on the spine does not have to match fonts used on the cover. You are competing with thousands of other books, so making yourself stand out is paramount. The cover or spine, depending on how your book will be displayed, is what initially draws enough interest for your book to be picked up.
Once the book is picked up, hopefully the potential reader will flip it over to review the back. Aside from the back cover text giving a brief summary about the book’s content, the following should be considered. If an author picture will be included, it should be a professional headshot or no picture at all. In this case, bigger is not always better, and the headshot should be kept to a small size. If used, the author biography should be kept brief, and no longer than a few lines.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let's dive into how your book can benefit from good design choices.
Choose your fonts wisely. Each genre of books (romance, science fiction, thrillers, etc.) has similar typeface characteristics. It’s important to recognize these patterns and consider them when selecting cover fonts. For example, typefaces used for books on sympathy may not be appropriate for a murder mystery.
Equally important is the imagery. Don’t try to tell the whole story with the cover artwork. Rather, garner a potential reader’s interest and make them want to know more. Keep it simple on the front cover; it’s the back cover’s job to summarize the plot. Always employ your designer’s knowledge and experience when creating the cover. You are the writer, not the designer.