The Ultimate Guide to The Perfect Book Cover for Indie Authors

Getting a look at your first book cover is one of the most exciting parts of the publishing journey. We all want the perfect book cover for our book. Todays post is all about finding the best book cover.

The Perfect Book Cover: How to Write a Book Cover Design Brief

Anastasiya, MiblArt

With thanks to ALLi partner members MiblArt for their contributions to this section of the post, all about creating the best design brief. Anastasiya is a Content Writer at MiblArt– a book cover style business for self-published authors. They think that book cover design is the most important marketing tool and help authors make the most out of it.

Well, it doesnt need to be by doing this.

Sometimes, all you need is a well-written book cover design brief. Comprehending how to produce one assists you check lots of boxes to wind up with the book cover design of your dreams.

Interacting with a book cover designer can be stressful and intimidating, to state the least.

Were here to help. Keep reading this extensive guide and find out:

what is a book cover style brief and why you ought to have it;
what every author should know prior to composing a short;
main design quick aspects;
most common design quick errors;
best examples and templates that will help you craft the very best quick;

Lets get started.

The Perfect Book Cover: What is a Design Brief?

What gender would read a book?
What age are your prospective readers?
Whats their earnings level?
What education has your readership gotten?
Whats their family status?
How about their profession?
Whats their social status?

What is the message you are attempting to provide to potential readers?
What is the spirit of your book?
What are the plot elements that you want to utilize on a book cover?
How can I describe my book in a blurb to give the designer the essence without overwhelming him with too lots of information?
Do you have an idea for the setting?
Would you like the lead character to be on the cover?

Multiple clashing top priorities.

Contrary to over-complicated style with too much info, some authors offer hardly any info. Well, its not enough to copy-paste the blurb, and after receiving the initial draft complain that its not what you wanted. See what occurred here?

Tip 5: Stay in touch.

Paperback/hardback or dust jacket. It doesnt affect the front cover much, however this information is crucial for the general book cover style..

Lots of authors want to do A/B testing for their covers on social media. The readers can inform you what they believe about the cover and provide some suggestions. If thats not an alternative, reveal the book cover variation to your household and friends and see if they have some important ideas.

Start speaking with your designer ahead of time, not to put excessive pressure on yourself firstly. And dont forget to interact frequently. The designer may have some additional concerns when they begin working on your cover, so examine your e-mail box (or whatever platform you use), and reply on time.

Now, lets go into the psychographics. Well be dealing with your readers activities, opinions, and interests. Lets take an appearance at the list of questions:.

The Perfect Book Cover: Design Brief Template.

Not clear and particular enough.

What worths are my potential readers trying to find in the book?
What life obstacles might they be dealing with?
Whats their cultural background?
How about their desires, fears, and requires?

The Perfect Book Cover: Most Common Design Brief Mistakes.

Lets take a look at a couple of suggestions on how to compose a brief for a book cover designer.

If suitable), tagline (. Its a brief, catchy sentence you may want to utilize to pique the readers interest. The tagline will assist a designer capture the soul and spirit of your book.

Author brand name details. Working on establishing your author brand? Great. You may desire a designer to include an author logo, lets say on the spinal column or back flaps of your dust coat. If you are utilizing a color combination or a specific graphic aspect that links your books together, do not forget to discuss it.

Tip 6: Give useful feedback.

Disclaimer: Good style is as little design as possible.– Dieter Rams.

Platform or publishing house. Various platforms have different technical requirements. The expert designer knows how to adjust, lets say, your image pixel dimensions so that itll not get rejected.

Start the discussion by deciding on the following elements:.

Depending on the agreement, in some cases you do not have to stress about the last number of pages, book size, spine length, and blurb text. The designer can add this details later on without extra charge.

What would you like to see on the cover? Weve been through this already. If you have any ideas about your book cover design, spell them out. And if you rely totally on a designers innovative mind, you can still help them out by offering some extra details.

Idea 2: Share your tastes and ideas.

Category. You definitely must discuss the book genre, so that a designer will perform their imaginative research. Honestly speaking, representing the category well is one of the main duties of a terrific book cover. Please consist of a description of the main qualities if you are composing in a not so typical (specific niche) genre. If this specific book is a combination of a couple of categories, describe whats going on.

Now, you might be thinking this implies you must consist of all of this information in your book cover design short. Not really. Once once again, compress all the details you have actually gathered about your audience into the crucial ideas, and itll do. Have a look at the example.

Do not forget to leave some area for the designers imagination. Just saying.

Now, we are going to let some daylight in. Have a look at the vital cover style short pointers for authors. Lets get cracking.

Now, lets also go through the most typical book cover style quick elements. Bring it on.

Description of your book. An excellent book cover need to captivate prospective readers, so its finest if the designer also doesnt understand how the story ends.

You should be accurate and clear with the designer concerning your expectations and needs..

To put it merely, its a substantial part of any style process given that the quick acts as an interaction medium in between the client and the designer. This piece of composing is necessary to develop an outstanding author-artist partnership. Hence, if you wish to prevent misconceptions, save money, time, and energy, pay a lot of attention to what you consist of in your quick. In a perfect world, the designer would need to read your book before crafting the book cover, but unfortunately, time is money, so just high-end designers (read: extremely pricey) still do it. Get in the book cover style quick. The tables have actually turned, and now its up to you to locate and determine your books essential concepts. Think of all the essential details the designer ought to learn about your book. To offer you an idea, have a look at the examples listed below. Can you identify the distinction?.

Book title & & Author name (#duh).

Supply a designer with an approximate concept of the book cover design you would like. Make a couple of screenshots, and notes, and connect them for the designer to look at. Thats why you need to constantly look for sources of motivation.

We strongly recommend describing all the do nts when it concerns some particular style components. Discuss to the book cover designer which images, colors, and font styles you d rather prevent. Trust us: its so much simpler to note the things you do not want to see, instead of the ones you d actually like to see. Just think on it for a bit, and supply the designer with the elements that you dont wish to appear on your book cover.

The Perfect Book Cover: Main Design Brief Elements.

Suggestion 4: Provide the designer with recommendations and graphic examples.

The Perfect Book Cover: Before the Brief.

Have a look at this template. Do not hesitate to come back to it every time you are not sure what to compose in your book cover style brief.

To figure out your target audiences demographics, ensure you address all these questions:.

When creating a book cover design quick, we have actually put together a list of errors authors frequently make.

You cant think of how much this helps. Pay attention to all the things you d like to see on the cover and make sure you explain them.

Take an appearance at the checklist of book cover design elements. Make certain you discuss all of them in your creative quick.

Prior to you even start employing designers and working on your book cover, do appropriate research on your target market. A great concept is to create an audience personality, and examine their needs and expectations based on psychographic and demographic aspects.

Idea 1: Determine and determine your target audience.

Lastly, we d like to provide to you a book cover design brief design template.

It can get difficult to choose what should be the centerpiece of your book cover. Shall we make a typography-oriented style?

Overcomplicating the style.

Its a common practice for the author to include whatever on their book cover. They more frequently damage rather than help the design perception.

Audience (scroll up). The excellent idea is to squeeze your target market description into a few sentences and pinpoint just the crucial factors that might straight affect the book cover design.

Suggestion 3: Discuss the restrictions.

Why do not we discuss the most typical book style quick mistakes too? Buckle up.

Back cover details. Were discussing the tagline, blurb, author bio, and testimonials.

Are you curious to see what book cover design emerged from this innovative quick?

Lets utilize Linzé Brandons book, Keeper of the Dragon Sword, as an example.

Book Cover Design Case Study: Helen Baggott.

Great Contrast: Contrast will make a cover truly stick out. Here weve got a stark contrast in between the male figure and the background behind him, together with the paleness of her face, which makes the cover jump. This can be accomplished in other methods, such as using strong colours, light on dark and dark on light.

Discover more about Posted in the Past here.

Got any other concerns? Drop them in the comments section listed below, and well be right there with an answer..

The colour combination was Jessicas idea. I would never have recommended it. Once again, its another piece of careful style. I write in an extremely conversational style, but it would be easy to think about that a book about social history– thats actually what it is– could be dry and, dare I recommend, even tiring. Jessicas design complements my own and, I think, has actually produced the ideal cover for my book. When I show it to potential stockists, they all talk about the style and images. I expose the stories behind each aspect on the cover and theyre sold. Actually.

Although I understand the work of numerous designers, I chose ALLi partner member Jessica Bell Design. A cover designer can only work from the information offered by a client. I finished a survey and consisted of examples of covers I liked and did not like, and described why. I supplied Jessica with several postcards to select from for the cover. My only specification was that any images utilized were my own.

No, most likely not. It needs to work in thumbnail is one of the most tired phrases in publishing these days. Its likewise one of the least comprehended.
When your book is postage stamp size, not whatever on the cover has to be noticeable. This in fact depends on your category and market. Not all markets lean towards the title and author name as being crucial, for instance.
So whats the point of having a quote or strapline? Well for beginners, it will be noticeable if not clear, so a reader will understand its there. Great deals of traditional books have one or the other or both, therefore your book can appear more professional. It likewise provides a subtle indication that youve been endorsed by a big name author, or that the strapline may mention that you are a NY Times Bestseller.”.

The back of the cover is of equal significance and as much as individuals tell me they love the cover, my blurb seals the offer. The barcode area with my image and contact details is the last professional touch. I have experienced cover envy when other authors have actually dealt with the book and seen that essential however small section so skillfully and expertly produced.

Look at your subject and set up your shot to a grid. Whereas the horizontal structure is built of the guy on one half and the woman on the other half, with the sword running through the middle.

” The very first rule of online publishing success is this: never ever undervalue the power of the thumbnail. Its how readers buy books online, so your cover ought to be developed to look excellent at thumbnail size.
Creating exclusively for print implies lost sales. A wonderfully comprehensive cover which draws bookshop readers wont look the very same online. Not only will tactile style components like hindering and embossing be lost, however style that looks unbelievable at 9″ x 6″ will be crunched and squashed down to a measly couple of centimetres.
To rub salt in the wound, if you purchase into the option of Amazons tasting facility, it will add a look inside banner, which further crushes the cover, and draws the eye far from the design. For lots of books that look fantastic in print, you cant even check out the title online, let alone the critical bestselling text, which has actually been shown to make readers buy.”.

Helen Baggott, Author.

Image Credit: JD Smith Design.

The Perfect Book Cover: Online Thumbnails.

With thanks to Simon Avery from for his contribution on why you require to think about thumbnails in your design rundown:.

Good Typography: The composition of the title and author name are truly crucial in producing an expert feel. Keep in mind that the left hand edge of the K of Keeper is lined up with the left hand edge of the R of Dragon and so on, whilst at the exact same time Of The is best lined up with the last letter of Dragon.

We happily present you “To Kill a Queen” by Nancy Uliano.

Although Jessica had other images to select from, that specific pier remains in my home county and has aided with local promotion. That was a fortunate coincidence and something I will be bearing in mind for the next in the series.

Wrapping up.

The Perfect Book Cover: What to Look for from Your Cover Design.

Author member Helen Baggott tells us about her experience of discovering the ideal designer for her cover.

In addition, the background behind the text is darker so that the text is visible and does not blur into the background, making it tough to check out.

Good Imagery: Imagery must appropriate to the period in which the book is set. Here, in a dark-ages style dream epic, the images chosen are relevant– the hair on the guy isnt a contemporary cut, neither character uses modern clothing, the sword is ancient, and the lady isnt wearing cosmetics or looks like if posing for Vogue.

Good Font Choice: The font requirements to be something in keeping with the design of the book. If you look at covers in your genre, youll notice a trend: Chick-Lit utilizing curly, girly fonts; Historical Romance script typefaces; Action solid, effect design typefaces; Literary Fiction often utilizes light sans-serifs or classic serifs and so on.

Excellent cover style doesnt simply describe the amount of time or cash invested in it. A cover Ive developed isnt better due to the fact that Ive spent two times as many hours on it as another book, or two times as numerous images. A cover can be basic and similarly as effective. It can be the very first style Ive done for a particular book rather than the 3rd. Its everything about striking the right balance in between images, text, colour and so on. There are lots of elements within a cover that make it work.

The other essential secret here is that the overall cover is made up of numerous images. A common mistake is to mix images into one another, however not correct the colours in the images so they match. Here a yellow filter has been put on the image of the lady so she fits with the general yellow-ish tint of the rest of the cover.

It was important that I worked with someone I knew wouldnt hesitate to bring my focus back to a professional level. I needed them to take control of this stage– and then permit me to bask in the glory of their imagination.

The central image of a pier draws the eye into the scene and suggests a Victorian/Edwardian style. The cards selected for their handwriting all tell various stories– love, youth, travel, and disaster games. That isnt obvious from the cover, however is revealed inside– and is an excellent talking point that takes a conversation beyond Ive composed a book.

Now, you understand how to compose a killer book cover design quick.

Jane Dixon-Smith, author and graphic designer.

Here, Jane explains the elements of a great book cover. While you may not be a designer yourself, its important you understand what good cover style looks like.

Image Credit: JD Smith Design.

Excellent Colour Choice: Its essential to use colours which stand apart; black and white here. When utilizing a colour, it ought to be a shade selected of the images used, or a direct complement. It shouldnt just be a random colour, which clashes with whatever else.

We all desire the perfect book cover for our book. Anastasiya is a Content Writer at MiblArt– a book cover design business for self-published authors. In a perfect world, the designer would require to read your book before crafting the book cover, but regrettably, time is cash, so just high-end designers (read: extremely expensive) still do it. Get in the book cover design short. The back of the cover is of equal importance and as much as people inform me they love the cover, my blurb seals the deal.

Another technique is to line the text up so that its of equivalent distance from, say, the top edge of the page to the right and left hand sides. If its not going to be equal, it needs to be deliberately unequal, otherwise it simply looks poorly placed. These are simply examples, not worldwide rules, of subtle things designers do unconsciously to ensure the cover is balanced.

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