The cover of your book is the first thing potential readers will see. It’s what sells books, and it’s what creates an emotional connection with your readers. A good book cover is the prime marketing tool for your book and helps it stand out in a crowded marketplace. But how do you make sure your book cover stands out? How do you create an eye-catching design that makes people want to buy? Here’s how to design a book cover that will captivate your readers.
Ten steps of designing a book cover
Designing a book cover is a daunting task. It’s easy to get lost in the details, but there are some basic steps you can follow to create a professional-looking cover that will sell your work. These ten basic steps will teach you how to design a book cover.
Step 1: Do your research
Before you even think about how to design a book cover, you need to ensure that it’s even worth the effort. This article explains how to evaluate whether or not your book is likely to sell. If you’ve decided that your book is viable, then the next step is to do some research. Look at other books in your genre and see what they’re doing with their covers.
You can search for books on Amazon (or wherever) and look at their covers. You can also browse through the bestsellers in your genre on Amazon to see what’s selling well and why. This will give you a better idea of what makes a good cover and what doesn’t, which will help you avoid making mistakes when designing yours.
Step 2: Figure out the genre
If you’re writing a novel, it’s essential to know what genre it falls into. If you’re writing non-fiction, there are still different sub-genres that help readers find books they’ll like. For example, if you’re writing a book about wedding planning, it’s in the “self-help” category. If your book is about how to bake bread, it might be in the cookbook category.
If you’re writing a mystery novel with an amateur detective as the protagonist, it could be classified as a cozy mystery or cozy crime fiction. The right genre can help your book stand out from others in its category and attract more readers. It also gives you some guidelines when it’s time to learn how to design a book cover and how to choose a cover design that fits your book’s style and tone.
Step 3: Create a mood board
The third step of how to design a book cover is to create a mood board. A mood board is a collection of images, colors, and fonts that reflect the tone of your story. You want your cover to be attractive, but at the same time, it needs to convey the right feeling for your book.
For example, if you’re writing a horror novel, you might want to include images of skulls and blood. If you’re writing a romance novel, on the other hand, you may want to have photos of beautiful people kissing or holding hands. The best way to create a mood board is by using Pinterest.
This site allows you to create boards that can be shared with other users and viewed by anyone who has an account on Pinterest (which is free). Once you’ve completed your board(s), adding more items is as easy as you find them online or through other sources like magazines, advertisements, and even photos from your collection.
Step 4: Choose a layout
Once you’ve got a rough idea of how to design a book cover and what you want your design to look like, it’s time to choose the layout. You can either go for a simple cover or a more complex one. If you want to go for a simple cover, then make sure that the color scheme fits with the story and genre of your book. If you’re writing a horror novel, then don’t use bright colors on your book cover.
The more complex covers will involve designing artwork, illustrations, and text to look professional and eye-catching. There are several types of book covers, including:
Traditional covers have been around for hundreds of years and consist of a title and author name on the front cover and your blurb/summary on the back. They’re great for fiction, but they don’t work well for nonfiction or memoirs because they don’t give readers enough information about what they’ll find inside your book.
Text-only covers are also called “clean” designs because they lack imagery or illustrations. They’re perfect for nonfiction books that need to convey information quickly. Text-only covers can be used for fiction as well. Just make sure you use straightforward typography and include links to buy the book!
Illustrated covers feature images that convey elements from within your stories, such as characters or settings. If you want readers to see themselves as part of your world, an illustrated cover may be perfect for you.
Step 5: Create a striking title
The title is the essential part of your book cover. It can make or break whether a customer takes the time to read your book description, let alone purchase it. Think about making the title engaging and eye-catching without being too gimmicky or gimmicky when deciding how to design a book cover.
It’s tempting to use the same title for your books as you do for your blog, but this isn’t always what works best. You want to make sure that your title stands out on Amazon and other sites, so you might consider changing it up a bit.
To create a compelling title, think about how people search for books online. You can look at Amazon bestseller lists and see what keywords people use when they search for books in your genre or topic area. Think about how these keywords relate to what you’re writing about and use them in your titles.
Step 6: Find a font that matches your typeface
The typeface, or font, is the next step of how to design a book cover. If you want to design a cover for your book, you’ll need to find the perfect font. If you’re making a cover for someone else’s book, choose a font that matches their typeface. To select the right font for your book, you’ll need to research. You can start by looking at other books in your genre and seeing what fonts other authors have used.
You can also check out free fonts websites. Some of these sites even have search engines to help you find what you’re looking for. Once you’ve found a couple of fonts that work well with your text, use them on sample covers until you find one that looks good with both writing styles on the front of the book.
When deciding on a font, it’s essential to consider the style of writing used in your book and whether it fits your cover’s tone. Try a casual font like Helvetica Neue or Arial Black if you have a modern-looking cover design. If you have an elegant cover, try something more classical such as Garamond or Times New Roman. If you have a retro feel for your book, try Futura or Helvetica Rounded Bold.
Step 7: Test out colors
In this step of how to design a book cover, it’s time to choose the colors finally you’ll use in your book cover design. You’ve already selected a color scheme and tested out some different variations of that scheme, so now it’s time to lock it down. The best way to do this is to test out all of your options by putting them all on a single page, then ordering them from least appealing to most appealing.
This will allow you to see which ones work best together and which ones clash horribly. If you have any photos or illustrations in your book, try placing those next to each other. If you have multiple versions of any one image, try putting those next to each other.
Once you have all of your options laid out before you, take some time and consider each one carefully before making any decisions about what will be included in the final design. This is where you need to decide whether or not this color scheme fits with the overall feel of your novel or not. If it does, then great! If not, go back and tweak things until you find something that works better for your story and its audience.
Step 8: Add illustrations, symbols, and other design elements
When you have a good idea of your book’s look, it’s time to add the finishing touches. If you’re creating a print book, consider adding illustrations and symbols. Make sure they fit with the overall aesthetic and feel of your book. For example, if you’re writing about fashion, maybe use an image of a model wearing one of your outfits.
If it’s a cookbook, include some food-related icons and images in your design. Keep in mind that different markets will have other requirements for what should be included on the cover of your book when learning how to design a book cover. For example, if you’re publishing an eBook for Kindle, some guidelines dictate what should appear on the cover.
Step 9: Finalize the cover design
Once you’ve come up with a few ideas, it’s time to bring them to life. You’ll now need to create a mockup of the book cover to ensure that everything is working together and that the colors will look good once printed on a physical book. There are several different ways you can go about creating your mockup when deciding how to design a book cover:
- Use an online tool like Canva or Visme. These sites offer free templates that you can customize using your photo and text, which will help you get some ideas down quickly without spending too much money.
- Use Photoshop or Illustrator if you have access to these tools. If not, consider hiring an illustrator or designer on Fiverr or Upwork to create something for you — make sure that they have experience with book covers!
- Print your mockup cover to see what it will look like on physical copies.
Make sure that the colors and fonts match your brand identity. You should also make sure that all of your text is readable on dark and light backgrounds. This process may take a little time, but once you’ve done it, you’ll know what works and what doesn’t for your next book.
Step 10: Don’t forget about the back cover
The back cover of your book is a great place to include information that isn’t included anywhere else. You’ll want to make sure it has at least one eye-catching image since it’s the last thing people see before deciding whether to purchase.
There are many ways to utilize this space. If it’s an e-book, you can put links to your website, social media profiles, and other websites where readers can learn more about you or buy more books. You should also include any endorsements from notable figures who have read your book.
Six common mistakes of book cover designs
Book cover design is not an easy job. The graphic designer visualizes the book title and tries to convey the same through a book cover design. But sometimes, things get out of hand, and mistakes are made which can’t be rectified afterward. What are the common mistakes when learning how to design a book cover?
1. Not having a focal point
It is a common mistake that many authors make when they create their book cover. They put too much information on it, which makes the cover look cluttered and unprofessional. A good book cover design should have a focal point, which is the essential part of the design. The focal point can be anything, such as an image or text.
The title and author name are also essential parts of the book cover design. You can use them as part of your focal point by using them creatively. For example, you can use them as part of an image or use them in a different color to make them stand out from the rest of the design.
2. An overcrowded design
Sometimes to convey a message or make an impact, we can get so caught up in showing all the things we have to offer that we forget about the purpose of the cover – to sell books. This is especially true in self-publishing, where authors are often so excited about the work that they want to show everything they have written on their cover.
An overcrowded design is a sure way to turn off potential readers. A cluttered book cover makes it difficult for people to identify what they’re looking at and can be off-putting if there’s too much happening on the front of your book. When designing your cover, use restraint and only include items that enhance the overall image of your book rather than distract from it.
3. Not using alignment properly
You probably learned about alignment in school, but it’s a skill that bears repeating. Alignment refers to the way objects are positioned on a page or screen so that they’re all aligned. Most people don’t think about this when designing their book cover, but it can make a big difference in how professional your design looks!
For example, if you have multiple objects on your cover, make sure they’re all lined up somehow — either horizontally or vertically — rather than just floating around randomly on the page. This will help you create visual consistency throughout your design and give viewers an easier time looking at it without getting distracted by weird placements or spacing problems.
4. Low-quality images
Using low-quality images is one of the biggest mistakes with your book cover design. People only take a few seconds to decide if they want to buy your book or not, and if they see something that looks dull, boring, or unprofessional, you’ve already lost them as a reader. Another mistake that many people make is using stock photos on their covers.
Stock photos are free images from websites like iStockPhoto and Shutterstock. They’re perfect for blog posts and social media graphics, but not so much for book covers because they don’t look professional enough. If people see a book cover with a stock photo on it, they’ll automatically assume it’s self-published or poorly edited, which will help sell copies!
5. Complicated typefaces
Many authors feel the need to use text on their covers. They might want to add an author name or title, but they don’t know how to do it effectively. The solution is simple, use a simple and easy font to read. If your cover has text on it, make sure it’s readable in smaller sizes and large ones.
Some of the most common mistakes include choosing fancy fonts or scripts (e.g., calligraphy) that look nice but can be challenging to read in small sizes. Instead of spreading it out over multiple areas, it can also be adding too much information (e.g., author name, title, etc.) in one place.
6. Not using color contrast properly
Color is one of the essential elements in book cover design. It can communicate mood, feeling, and even theme. If you don’t use it correctly, though, your cover will look amateurish and unprofessional. When designing a book cover, the first mistake people make is not using contrast correctly between their main color (usually black or white) and their secondary colors (gray, yellow, blue).
This is often because they don’t understand how to use color contrast properly, or they don’t know what colors to use for specific genres. To create a great book cover design, you need to know how to combine colors to communicate what your book is about while simultaneously drawing the eye to certain parts of the image so that people want to click on it.
Frequently asked questions
Here are answers to some of your questions about how to design a book cover.
What is a back-cover blurb?
A back-cover blurb is a short description of your book that appears on the back cover of your paperback or hardcover book. It’s also known as a flap copy, jacket copy, or endorsement.
A back-cover blurb is one of the essential elements of your book’s marketing campaign because it can influence a book buyer to pick up your book off the shelf and read more about it. A good back-cover blurb will make someone who has never heard of you before want to know more about you and check out your work.
The best blurb writers have something unique to say about the subject matter. Think about what makes your book stand out from all the other books out there in its genre, or think about ways you can describe it to make it more interesting than any other similar books in its category.
What are the common types of book covers?
The type of cover you choose will depend on your genre, audience, and budget.
|Text-only covers||These are the most basic type of book cover. They usually feature some combination of text and images or just text alone. Text-only covers work well for nonfiction books, especially self-help or business books that focus on advice rather than storytelling. If you’re writing a novel, however, a text-only cover may not be enough to grab readers’ attention who are browsing for new books online or in bookstores.|
|Mixed media covers||A mixed media cover combines elements like text and images to create an eye-catching design that immediately attracts potential readers’ interest. These covers work best for fiction novels because they give readers something to look at while also conveying important information about your book’s plot or characters without spoiling anything important from later chapters/volumes/etc. A mixed media cover can be great for nonfiction books as well if you want to add an element of visual interest but don’t want to include too much text.|
What are book cover templates?
Book cover templates are digital files that you can use to make your book cover. They’re often used by writers who don’t have the skills or interest in creating their own custom designs. Many writers choose to use book cover templates because they want their books to be as professional and attractive.
These templates are often free or low-cost, and for most writers, it’s worth the investment. Book cover templates come in many styles and colors. Some are more eye-catching than others, but they all have one thing in common. They convey the theme of your book in a way that will catch the attention of potential readers.
Although there are thousands of different books available, book covers have to stand out from the crowd. A designer charged with selecting images and designing a book cover has a lot of pressure on them to make sure the cover captures the essence of that book. You can design your attractive book cover using these steps and tips on how to design a book cover!