Tag Archives: fonts

Secret of Great Book Cover Design and Layout



In a former blog: “Becoming Your Own Publisher” the book production process, you can find lots of tips and links for your book layout, cover and formatting process.  Many new authors are complaining about the pre-print process at CreateSpace, other POD service companies or the printing company they use for larger quantities of paperbacks and books. They are suddenly confronted with fonts, typography, page and other book layout requirements. However, not only for printed books, but also for e-books it is essential to know a bit about the possibilities and rules.

To familiarize yourself with this (often) completely new field, read Joel Friedlander’s beginner

Understanding Fonts & Typography

Understanding Book Layouts and Page Margins

Joel Friedlander explains the basic building blocks that books are made of, and the typography:
type fonts and they way they are arranged on the page. He says: “There are so many tiny details
and decisions that go into formatting a book that you pretty much have to be someone who enjoys
working on that scale to appreciate book design. It may involve differences of a hundredth of an
inch one way or the other. That’s true for the decisions you make about margins, too.”
He cautions for example that “the “minimum” margin of .25″ that CreateSpace refers to is too small for most books. This margin measurement is meant to create a “safe area” so that nothing on your page is in danger of getting trimmed off.”

Michael N. Marcus explains why book margins are so important: “One of my basic rules of thumb
is that the a book’s outside margins must be large enough to comfortably fit human thumbs without
covering up any text. It’s really annoying to have to constantly re-position pages while reading
through a book.” His blog is another great reading for new author-publishers how book-layout works. He also wrote a great cautionary book “How to NOT Get Screwed by a Self-Publishing Company“.

Want to read and learn more about book design? If you are a writer working with a publisher (large or small) or if you are a small or first time publisher, these books will help you to understand the book production process and the principles of good cover and interior book design.

Book Design and Production

Basics Design Layout, 2nd edition




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Top Ten Tips for a Great Book Cover

Crime pays
A stunning book cover is one of the best marketing tools for any writer!

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:

  1. In the Western world, people read left to right, top to bottom. Position your elements in appropriate levels of importance.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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).
  6. 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.
  7. Don’t center all the text on your cover or title page–this looks unpolished and unprofessional. Left aligning produce much cleaner lines.
  8. 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.
  9. You can create a bar at the top to put in any important info about your book – awards won, important testimonials, etc.
  10. Put your title “above the fold” – somewhere in the top half or third of your cover.



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