5 Tips on Designing Book Covers for New Authors

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Despite what they may say, you do judge a book by its cover. How else are you going to decide if it’s worth picking up and learning more about it? In a bookstore—brick and mortar or online—packed with enticing reads, what makes yours stand out?

Designing book covers is all about getting a reader to choose. In a split second, they’ll decide if your book is to their taste or not and won’t be by reading the first chapter. Use these five tips to design a book cover that stands out on the shelves.

1. A Prominent Title

The title should be the focal point of your cover. If the reader doesn’t know what your book is called, the chances of picking it up are slim. Make sure your title is visible and communicates the basic plot of your book.

Your title should also be unique, memorable, and easily distinguished from other titles on the shelves. Don’t position other texts or graphic elements in a way that would compete with the title.

2. Easy to Read

If the title of your book isn’t easy to read, then readers won’t know even know what the book is called. This also goes for summaries and reviews that may be part of the back cover or on the book jacket.

Fonts should be easy to read, especially when they’re stylized, and an appropriate size for in-person and thumbnail covers. You should avoid garish or hard-to-look-at color combinations. Colors that contrast in order to catch interest are a definite must.

3. The Right Typography

Fonts and colors are fun; they give personality to your book cover design. But you have to choose your font carefully. The font style should match the genre and give a little insight into the voice of the book.

On a practical level, you should only use one or two typefaces on the cover of your book. What always looks great is one serif font and one sans serif font. Consider the weights and sizes of your fonts as well.

4. Convey the Genre

If you look at different books in the same genre, you can probably tell that their covers share a few of the same elements. There are certain details that convey genres. A few staple Book Cover Inspirations can help spark the design of your cover.

Look at the layouts, the fonts, and graphic elements that are common in your genre. What makes a novel look like a romantic read versus a horror fic? That’s what you have to isolate and convey.

5. Less Is More

There’s no need to throw everything and the kitchen sink onto your cover. While it does need to convey the genre and plot of your book, the cover doesn’t need every element on it. So don’t overcrowd with design elements.

Focus on using one key concept that’s important for your book and carry that through the design. You want the entire cover to work together. Not look like a bunch of pieces thrown on the page, leaving the reader to figure out what’s important.

Designing Book Covers With Ease

A book cover should never be a second thought. It’s a reader’s first experience with the book, so taking time to create a stunning work of art will entice the reader. Designing book covers won’t be hard with these five tips.

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