It is absolutely crucial, especially if you are self-publishing, to have an excellent book cover that grabs attention – from a 1-inch-size image.
Your cover image and title are your attention tools. If they attract a reader, this reader will have a look at your book’s content (“Look Inside”) and check out the book reviews to make a purchasing decision.
Top Ten Book Cover Tips:
- In the Western world, people read left to right, top to bottom. Position your elements in appropriate levels of importance.
- Use light (but never, ever white) on dark for dramatic effects (novels, spiritual, etc.) and dark on light for easy readability (self-help, how-to, business). There are always exceptions to the rule when you want your book to stand out with a certain color or theme.
- When setting up your cover layout, allow another 0.25inch from the trim guides. This will ensure enough space around the cover’s edge and provide a more professional look.
- Give your finished cover the thumbnail test. Make sure it will look crisp and polished when reduced way down for display on online bookstores like Amazon or Barnes&Noble.
- In a bookstore the viewer will first look at the front cover; then flips to the back cover to read further. Draw him in with a catchy back header and short description of your book (blurb).
- Visit local library and research as many book cover designs as possible. Identify what works, and what doesn’t work for you. You can learn just as much from badly designed books as from beautifully designed books.
- Don’t center all the text on your cover or title page–this looks unpolished and unprofessional. Left aligning produce much cleaner lines.
- Don’t use more than two different fonts on your cover – this includes counting bold, italic, underline etc. variations as different fonts – better less. This confuses the eye and sends a negative message to the viewer.
- You can create a bar at the top to put in any important info about your book – awards won, important testimonials, etc.
- Put your title “above the fold” – somewhere in the top half or third of your cover.