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

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 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.

Professional book cover design for the self-publishing author

Book cover design prices range from around 100 pounds for an ebook cover to 289 pounds for a bespoke illustration.

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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