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A good book cover is important. Many readers base their decision to buy a book on the cover alone. Your book cover can influence a potential reader’s decision to buy your book and help your book stand out among the other books.
Whether you design your book cover yourself or hire a professional, you still need to do some research, pay attention to basic cover design elements, and ask yourself some questions.
- Your target reader audience.
- Features readers like/dislike about book covers in your genre.
- The covers of popular books in your genre.
BASIC COVER DESIGN ELEMENTS
- Be aware of image copyright laws.
- Know the pros and cons of using stock images.
- Establish the principal focus of your book cover.
- Principal focus = motivation, incentive, and emotion behind your characters and story.
- Principal focus = the element that takes control and receives the most emphasis, space, and attention on your cover.
- Use fewer images—don’t clutter your cover.
- Sometimes less is more, whether it is the number of images, the amount of detail in the images, or typography choices.
- Avoid white backgrounds.
- All text should stand out.
- The title font should be large and easy to read.
- Ideally, only two font styles should be used at a maximum.
- Avoid using Papyrus, Comic Sans, and other fonts that don’t look professional.
- Don’t go overboard with text effects (drop shadow, bevel and emboss, glow, stroke outlines).
- Fewer colors are better.
- Watch your color combinations.
QUESTIONS TO ASK
View our list of Recommended Cover Designers.