Tips for Designing a Great Book Cover
Even a great book may never depart from the bookstore if the cover doesn’t capture the reader’s eye. Bottom line, the way your book cover looks is likely the most crucial part of the entire book design and marketing process.
Here are a few pointers to be sure you’re on the right track with your book cover mockup:
Look at similar book covers.
Visit local or online bookstores and scan books in the same category as yours. When you go to the part of the shop where someday your book might be, what’s the first cover that attracted your attention, and what is the reason? What made the cover more noticeable than the others? In the same manner, pay attention to those covers that you thought were the worst. Be sure to look into the said questions as you create your book cover mockup.
Be smart with colors.
Take note of the psychological impact of the colors you choose for your cover. If your book is about yoga, you may not want a red or orange cover because these colors tend to be exciting rather than relaxing. Try white or blue in your book cover mockup, and you will find them more soothing and probably more suitable. Again, scan other books in your same category and notice the colors they use. How do you want readers to feel about your book? What are the colors that make you feel like that?
Put your title and name in the right places.
Unless you’re John Greene, your name should be placed at the bottom of the cover. Instead, your title should be on top and as large as your name or preferably bigger. Once you have made a name for yourself as a writer, you can put your name as the main attraction of your cover. In any case, the letters must stand out and be easy to read. It’s always best to use simple fonts in neutral colors, like black or white, and on your book cover mockup, make sure the text won’t blend in fully with the color it sits on.
Match the art.
Be sure the artwork fits your book’s content and does not change what the book is really about. Following her death, some Agatha Christie’s murder mystery books had covers with gruesome illustrations, such as blood streaming out of someone’s mouth. The covers caught attention, but that’s it. Most people have an aversion to such gruesome images. So don’t be content with getting their attention – they should be inclined to dig deeper.
Simplicity is key.
Be sure the cover is not chaotic. Try to do a distance test. Reduced your book cover mockup to one inch in height – the size it will be on the Internet. If your artwork could not be easily distinguished at that size, it is too complicated. Also set the cover art at book size and look at it from ten feet away. If you can’t distinguish the artwork, it’s not right for your cover.