Book Covers

We’ve all heard that old adage ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ and I think we all agree that these are words to live by, but, here’s the thing…it’s entirely different when you apply this saying to actual books. When you stand in a bookstore or browse eBooks online, you can be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of choices available. Some kind of process of elimination has to occur, and that usually begins with what we see: the book cover!

A Worded Life: Writing and Editing Services

One book cover I really like.

Book covers are vitally important if a book is to stand out on crowded shelves and so cover design has become an integral part of book production.

Colour, typeface, image and layout create an impression on us, the potential reader – they appeal to our senses, they give us our first insight into what the book may be about. We glance across the covers, deciding in a matter of seconds if we will pick it up to read the blurb. The book might be the best ever written, but if you have never heard of it before (you haven’t read any reviews and no one has recommended it to you) then it is the cover that will first draw your attention.

There are so many things to consider when designing a book cover: if the type not clear or is too small, it will not be ready easily as a thumbnail online, or be readable from any distance in a bookstore.

The colour gives an indication of the mood or tone of the book – it is unlikely that the cover for a horror will be happy yellows and pinks, for example – it just wouldn’t be in keeping with the style of story within.

If the cover is designed poorly, giving an unprofessional look, we dismiss it as perhaps also being written poorly.

Covers can also be key to branding – think of any series you have read and the similar ‘look’ of the covers in that series. Visual branding in this way, makes a series more easily identifiable.

As you can see, book covers are important sales and marketing tools and as such are just as important to self-published indie authors as to publishing companies.

In the blog post ‘How Much Attention Should You Pay to Book Design?’, Jane Friedman (editor, publisher) discusses the importance of book design with designer Joel Friedlander from The Book Designer

DIY: How to Design an Indie Book Cover’ is an interesting article to help indie authors start to think about what is involved in book cover design.

But before you go running to a cover designer, or start putting your own cover together, it is important to know what kinds of covers you like and readers like:

Pinterest is a great way to create images of covers that you particularly like. I have begun my own Pinterest pinboard for this purpose.




Follow me

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *