Thursday, 12 July 2012

3 Things to Consider When Creating a Book Cover

Today we have a guest blogger with us, writer Mariana Ashley, who brings her insights on creating that perfect book cover:

3 Things to Consider When Creating a Book Cover

People tend to say "don’t judge a book by its cover," but unfortunately that's exactly what happens—especially if you're an "unknown" author. If you just graduated and want to get your creative writing thesis published, or perhaps you just want to make sure that your first book is produced the right way, then it's important to carefully ask yourself all of the questions below when meeting with your creative director. These questions will help ensure that once your book goes to press (or goes online), your book cover has enough pizzazz to attract readers.
Does it Help Summarize the Book?
First and foremost, you need to make sure that the book cover actually helps the reader easily identify the genre as well as helps give some sort of clue of what the book is about. All too often, publishers are so concerned with stamping the book with raving reviews from critics that there really isn't much said of what the book is actually about. It can become quite frustrating for a customer blindly picking up your book. If he or she can't grasp the concept, the book will most likely stay on the shelf. So does your book cover help summarize what the book is about? Or is it too conceptual and misleading? For example, drawing crosses for a sci-fi book could make it look like a religious book instead.
Is it Gender Neutral?
If you want to appeal to a larger audience, then it's best to create a book cover that can appeal to both men and women. Although The Hunger Games is a young adult novel, it's one of the best examples on how to accomplish this. The book cover has only one central color and only one motif to represent the book. It did not appear too "manly" or too "girlish" and adults were not embarrassed to have the book cover showing when reading it in public. That’s the trick— you want both genders to feel comfortable reading your book in public.
Does it Look Good as a ThumbNail?
Last but not least, you also have to consider how it will look online. A good majority of your book sales will be generated online. If you choose to self-publish your book then of course naturally your sales will be generated 100% online. Because readers choose to surf their iPads and tiny smartphones when looking through book galleries, you need to make sure that your book cover still seems appealing even as a small little thumbnail. Otherwise, no one will click to see what your book is about and you won't make any sales.
Hopefully the tips above will be able to move in a smarter direction when formulating a design for your book cover.

Mariana Ashley is a professional writer and blogger with a penchant for researching and writing about personal growth, education, and how technology changes the way we communicate. Mariana is technically retired after years of teaching middle school creative writing in Nebraska. However, she still devotes some of her time to professional projects that involve online colleges in Nebraska. Please send your questions and comments to Any feedback is welcome!


PT Dilloway said...

The last one is one sometimes people forget. A lot of people--like my publisher for instance--use these tiny fonts for the title so when you shrink it down on Amazon or B&N's site it's hard to read.

Of course you also want to make sure the title stands out against the background so that especially when it's smaller it's still legible.

A. F. Stewart said...

So true.

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