Book Cover Design Tips for Self-Publication

Because book covers are not merely ornamental but rather crucial in forging an emotional bond with readers

Since cover designs are a major selling point, you need to invest a certain degree of poetic license and extensive research to come up with ideas that would fly.

Avoid being too Ambiguous to Readers

Of course, the purpose of a cover is not to convey the story visually through images, but it should be inspired by the theme and plot of the story. Using characters or a recurring motif on the cover is also pretty cool to help readers with an authentic sneak peek into the story. Cover design should allure the readers into buying the book; it should be influential in the decision-making process of the readers.

Be Mindful of the Genre

If cover design elements are divorced from the genre of the story, it would create an unpleasant discordance. Cover designs practically lead readers into buying the book, and, therefore, any discrepancy in it would hint at a lack of creativity, insight and consistency. It would affect sales.

While designing covers, be sure to avoid too much subjectivity, obscurity and abstractions since that would again diminish the selling point. If the genre is gothic, it would be prudent to dig deeper into the archetypal gothic elements chronicled in the annals of literature. In that way, you play safe.

Pay Attention to the Typography 

You would zero in on the vibe when you are deciding the typography style which would book title, mini reviews and snippets from the book. Consulting a professional could be resourceful especially if you are struggling to navigate through the fonts and associated emotions. While Sans Serif could be used for maintaining a neutral tone, Modern Serifs are prevalently used to signify haute couture. Browse through a couple of iconic covers to acquire a concrete idea about what might work for your literary project. You can select different sets of fonts but the entirety, when finished, should not jar the viewers.

Avoid Crowding by Juxtaposing too Much

When you are using too many details—imageries, words, colours etc., it nullifies the entire purpose of a deft design. Visual elements should judiciously hint at the narrative and not convey every single aspect of it. Pictures and designs are effective weapons in conveying messages, mood and tone. Avoid overlapping or overdoing by infusing too many ideas into it.

The back cover should, however, include the essentials: blurb, reviews, author bio, ISBN and barcode.

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