Design a Compelling Book Cover

Now that your manuscript is finished you need to design a cover to showcase book. This is the selling part of all your great content inside. It needs to sell itself just from looking at the cover. They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression, neither does your novel.

This maybe a  more difficult part if you do not have any design skills. However, less is more. You do not need a really fancy cover to get someone’s attention to buy your book. It should be simple and bold. Think about a billboard for instance. Companies have about 30 seconds or less to get your attention while you are driving 70 miles per hour on the freeway. Most billboards have few words with a large picture, plain, bold fonts. The same should be with your book. You should think about how it would look sitting on the shelf 5 or 10 feet away. Can you read the title? Can you see the pictures? Does it intrigue you enough to walk over and take a closer look? Do you get the overall concept within 30 seconds?

A tip from a graphic designer, (that’s my college degree) is to every now and then during the process get up from your computer and walk across the room to view your design. How does it look? Sometimes we get caught up being so close to it, you forget to look at it from another perspective. Think of the books that you have purchased in the past. What did you like about the cover or didn’t like? Mimic the design that compelled you to buy a book. I personally like to place my professional photos on the front or back of my books because I’m branding myself. It also gives a human touch to my advice so others can relate to me. Deciding if you want your photo on the cover depends upon the kind of book you’re writing. If the story is about depression, you wouldn’t want a bright eyed, smiling face on the front. Make sure the images portray the content accurately.

Since  I am a graphic designer, yes I do have an extra talent to be able to design my own book covers. Nonetheless, you can do it too. I have used Photoshop and Illustrator on my first 3 books. Photoshop is the best tool to use because you need layers and be able to know the resolution of your images,  300 DPI (dots per inch) minimum for printing purposes. If you do not want to buy Photoshop, you can download a free 30 trial period that will give you enough time to create your cover. Or you can hire a professional to do it for you. We have a lot carte services & can create a great cover for you.

by Tara Richter

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