Book cover design for your manuscript is an element which many authors leave until the very last stage of the publishing process, once you have finished editing the book and proof reading it you should be at a stage where you need to organize the ‘face’ of your book. So, at this point what should you consider?
1) Look at it with a fresh pair of eyes.
The first thing is to try and put to one side your own preconceptions, the thing is that you will have spent many hours, days, weeks and months in writing your book and as such will have formed ideas as to what the cover should look like (it’s hard not to). However, this can lead you to become blinkered against other options, sometimes the urge to stick to a certain element for the front page may not be the right thing to do.
Knowing that you may need to look for new ideas for your cover is a good thing, it makes you reflect upon the elements within the book, those that are important in selling the book and others that can be left off of the cover. It can be helpful if you have created a synopsis (this is vital when promoting your book to publishers) to list the key components of the book, from here you can brainstorm ideas which represent those elements, it’s important to keep writing and put everything down, then whittle it down to the most important, this should start to show you what is key for YOUR book. Of course if you are hiring a book cover designer, they will do this as part of the design process, they’ll also bring knowledge of the industry and what works for you genre too (make sure you take their advice).
3) Hire a professional
With the sheer volume of books being published each and every day (there are up to 2,000 published daily at the last count), you need to take your book’s cover seriously, it is a key element of the book’s advertising and people will initially judge you by it. A book (along with many other products) will be dismissed or looked at based upon an initial judgment call of the viewer, if it looks unprofessional, then the viewer WILL make the same assumption about the contents, having a great looking book cover will speak volumes and encourage your potential reader to pick it up off of the shelf. So, if you’re not confident about creating a book cover, get a professional to do it for you.
4) Have the information ready
The trim size of your book and publisher/printer (such as KDP etc.) are important aspects of your book and details that your designer will need in order to create the book cover for you, in fairness the cover can always be adjusted, but if you know what size you want from the beginning it really helps.
Most people print their book as a paperback and also have an option for eBook too, this will mean you’ll need two covers, one will be a print-ready PDF and the other as a JPEG. Another option is printing your book as a hardback, there are several formats for this, you can have a traditional dust jacket or without but having a case laminate (this is where the cover design is actually glued over the boards.
Which ever format you choose, the main thing is to ensure that you give your book the professional cover that it deserves, along with a great cover you should also consider some images (3D if possible) to promote online, using social media, a blog and a website (if possible). The more effort you put in the greater the results will be, if you approach your book’s publication with a can do attitude the results will follow.
Book cover designers.