Guidelines in Achieving Effective Book Covers

Competition is inevitable. It is a non-negotiable fact that serves as grounds for distinction. To stand out is the key. It means going out of the way and undertaking unusual details to bring out the best. In this fashion, mediocrity is the enemy.

A book cover design goes along with the principle of distinction. Most people in the publishing industry believe that a cover is a book’s most powerful marketing tool. Judging a book by its cover applies in book publishing. Covers take a great deal on readers’ impression.

For authors to achieve an effective book cover design, here are some tips:

1. Do not show much of the character.

Better: Generate excitement.

If necessary, consider using a silhouette of the character or perhaps showing them in either small part or from behind. Enable readers to open and widen their imagination. Leave an element of mystery as to what the cover suggests. A really good book cover “talks” to its readers through choice of typography, imagery and metaphor.

2. Do not use over-thought typography.

Better: Use fonts and stock images carefully.

Over-thought typography is the main offender but using stock imagery can also destroy a book’s visual credibility. Fonts like Comic Sans or Papyrus are not advisable. These fonts are only acceptable if you are writing a humor book. Usually a cover should not use more than 2 fonts. Avoid the temptation to put words in caps, italics caps, outlined caps, etc.

3. Do not restrict the book’s imagery.

Better: Explore various graphic design elements.

Humans are visual creatures so give careful consideration to the book’s imagery. The design should draw and intrigue the readers.

4. Do not use cluttered and complicated covers.

Better: Be minimalist. Less is more.

Minimal style is timeless. It helps to focus on the book’s title and authors name. It shuns clichés. Also, the use of stock images is usually not the best way to tell potential readers what your book is about. Come up with a simple eye-catching idea that anyone will understand upon first sight.

6. Do not think like a writer.

Better: Nail your audience.

Think like a reader. Familiarize the book’s target audience. Make sure that the cover’s message will be conveyed clearly to the audience.

7. Do not entertain mediocrity.

Better: Seek assistance from a professional.

It is a fact that book covers are important in marketing. Do not pass up the chance of obtaining an arresting and compelling cover design. As a line goes, ‘two heads are better than one’.

In designing book covers, do not fail to remember that the output should call for distinction and excellence. Piles of books are waiting to be read just like yours. Do not miss out the opportunity of standing out. A quick glance on the cover should let readers feel something. Release that artistry in you.


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