Alongside Createspace, Ingram Spark is one of the more popular print on demand publishers available to the indie author (and small publisher), with connections to all of the major book retailers in North America, The United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand (along with countless online connections too) it’s easy to see why so many authors choose them to publish their book with.
They also give you more options when it comes to the specific format of your printed book (other than just a paperback), they offer 29 different trim sizes for paperbacks alone and 14 variations for hardbacks, going from 4” x 6” to 8.5” x 11” in trim sizes, you’ll also find that they offer their hardback designs with a choice of either a laminate cover or a cloth bound cover with a dustjacket.
Ingram tailor their services for the type of book that you’ve penned, so an author who’s created a graphic novel with have an option that’s specifically for them and differs to that of the writer who has created a book destined for the business world or school class room.
The planning which goes into the design of a book cover may surprise many authors, but it is something which needs to be meticulous for a great design which is true to the book itself, and this planning starts with gaining a complete understanding for the concept of the book. The concept is normally summarized by the author’s synopsis (something that normally only goes out to agents or publishers), this information includes the essence of the book and so the most important aspects, the alternative is reading the entire novel to gain this insight.
With most authors the timeframe doesn’t allow for the reading of the book, the same goes for your designer, they will also have a full workload and so reading an entire novel and then having drafts ready within a week or two can be a big ask. Having said this, we have read chapters of novels to gain a thorough understanding of the work, but this has been two to three chapters at most, the more detailed information coming directly from the author.
The main element within any book cover design is always the image that you choose to represent your idea or concept for the book, having said this (and I know what some may be thinking) there are of course books which have covers entirely made up of text and nothing more, but even so, you could argue that it is then the text which becomes the image at this point anyway.
The point I’m making is that any book cover design will need a focal point to draw in the viewer and portray a message in a clear, concise and effective manner. And this will vary from genre to genre, each individual section within the literary world will have its ‘standard’ (and to some degree, expected) format when it comes to the art work upon the front page.
Your book cover design is the first layer of advertising that a reader will see when browsing the book store or searching through the countless pages of Amazon, it becomes the very face of your book and the tool which will either entice the individual to look further or move on to the next title upon the shelf.
Add to this the sheer volume of new titles being published daily (at last count it was 1,200 per day in the USA alone) and you can see just how big your competition is. We also live in an age where information is very quick to hand and the senses are bombarded with so much choice and distraction with each look upon the internet, what this means is that people skim through information, when given a large choice people have become very quick to ‘swipe’ past and move on to the next, therefore having a book cover design which captivates immediately is crucial to any author.
So, what does this mean for the writer who wants to publish their new book and at the same time ensure that a wide audience gets to buy and read it? It means that a business-like approach should be adopted in the preparation of your book and (most importantly) its publication along with launch.
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