In order to create a cover design for your book you have to take in to consideration many factors and be quite subjective with yourself (as an author that is), because while you’ve been writing the book itself you may have started to form a theme for the front cover design, and (with time) become very attached to that individual idea.
But is that a bad thing? Not necessarily, many authors have great ideas already at the forefront of their minds when it comes to the design of their book cover, however, being open to other ideas and the opinions of a design team makes for a stronger concept and a cover which is designed to help sell your book too.
So, when designing a book cover you should try to remember its main purpose, which is of course grabbing the attention of your next reader, the book cover is the face of the book and ultimately advertising. When you understand that the book cover has a job to do (as well as look great) then you have an advantage during the design process.
Knowing that your book cover is advertising certainly helps to focus your mind when looking at what needs to go upon the cover. This is a fine line between hooking your reader in and not giving too much away (more so with fictional books) and then making a statement for non-fiction (for a reader who is looking to gain something through reading the book).
Putting too much upon the cover is something that appeals to many first time authors, there is an urgency to sell the book by throwing lot’s of hooks at the viewer, in the end you have a book cover which becomes confusing and/or gives too much of the story away, condensing a book down into a couple of main elements presents a more organized and enticing cover which gives a clear message and has a better chance of being picked up and bought.
To condense the themes and concept of your book you should take your synopsis and write a newer and smaller version of it, if you had to shorten it to one sentence what would it be? This can take a while to complete, but it’s worth doing, this process really helps you to understand what the main focal point of the book is and what should belong upon the book cover.
Once you know what your main focal point is you can then start playing with ideas based around this, again, don’t feel the need to over work it either, some of the most powerful book covers use simple ideas to make their points, in some cases the art work may be elaborate, but the concept is still clear and concise.
Just remember, your book cover design is advertising that should grab the attention of your viewer, it should have a clear message within it, it should not give too much away but let the viewer understand what the concept and theme of the book is.
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