Book cover design for self-publishing authors

Don’t judge a book by its cover

True, I think. You really cannot tell if a book is well written or if you will enjoy reading it by looking at its cover.

Still, we need a book cover to communicate with us. At the very least it should clearly inform us of the book’s title, author, and genre, (no thriller fan will want to pick up a book with a moody, darkish landscape only to find out it is a gardening book) and of course, like all packaging, it should help to sell its contents by appealing to its targeted audience. So in short: We all judge a book by its cover!

What makes a good cover design?

Keeping it vague, leaving the reader to use their imagination, while giving away a little of the story is, in my view, the key to a successful book cover.

In the past, I met a lot of authors who wanted the entire story featured on their cover, but first that is not really achievable – unless it is a book where hardly anything happens, and secondly, why would anyone read something where most of the story is already known?

The very best book covers are the ones that make you curious. Intrigued enough to either click or pick it up to read the blurb. Or they could be just very pretty to look at…

Pretty illustation with sparrow on a fence overlooking a river Pretty illustration with sparrow on a fence overlooking a river[/caption]

Think big!

Big text that is. In today’s market, the first encounter with a book cover is very likely to be via smartphone, tablet or laptop. Which means thumbnails – those little images on Amazon and other online bookshops. And if you can’t read the title, how interested can you be? A legible title on all devices is a must when it comes to book jacket design. An experienced book cover designer knows this and will be able to help you.

How much does a book cover design cost?

How long is a piece of string? Last time I looked, Amazon’s Createspace design service charge around 400 dollars. You can also get a pre-made book cover for as little as 30 dollars. But they are mostly made up from cheap stock photography, which doesn’t necessarily mean they are all bad and you might be lucky and find something suitable. I advise hiring a freelance book cover designer who will create a bespoke design that fits your book and your book only.

Premade book cover design

pre-made dragon eye book coverSome more thoughts about pre-made covers seeing that they are becoming more and more popular among self-publishing authors. They’ve written a cheap book (by that I mean they haven’t paid an editor to take a good look), sell it cheaply and naturally stick a cheap pre-made cover on top of it, so to speak. To be honest, I don’t mind, I can spot those from a mile and it helps me in selecting (or not selecting for that matter) my books.

Don’t get me wrong, I welcome that publishing has become a big market for everyone, rather than an elitist club for just a few. We can’t all be Shakespeare, Jane Austen or Louise Doughty – I love her writing, but I digress… Coming back to of the shelf book covers:  I am designing pre-mades myself. I just don’t sell them cheaply. Of course, less pricey than a bespoke cover, but I don’t even try to compete on price in the bargain basement of book cover design. Sometimes you might get lucky by scoring great artwork for very little but most of the time you get what you paid for!

Professional book cover design for the self-publishing author

Book cover design prices range from around 100 pounds for a simple ebook cover to 350 pounds for a bespoke book cover design with carefully designed artwork from handcrafted illustrations and/or photos.

Give you book a head start with an eye-catching cover design that looks professional, gets noticed and ultimately helps to sell your book.

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