Designing a book cover that will excite readers, sell copies, and stand the test of time.

You’re publishing your first book. It’s your dream to be an author and you’ve poured yourself into every page. The next step is to dream up a book cover that will make your title pop off shelves. Whether you are self-publishing or publishing traditionally, your job as the author is to advocate for the very best cover to represent your story.

So, what makes a book cover great and where do you start?

  • Point of Emphasis
    • Decide what the most important element of your book cover is. Is there a mysterious title? Is there a specific image or portrait being used?
    • While you may have many ideas to choose from, try to narrow them down to give the designer an opportunity to create a powerful cover that will compel readers, not confuse them.
  • Genre
    • Specific genres have established styles that draw in regular readers. While your cover doesn’t have to mimic competing titles, it should reflect elements of the genre’s trademark styles.
  • Current Styles
    • Cover trends change over time. Visit your local bookstore to browse the current styles. Notice books on end-caps and in the best-sellers section. Take pictures of books that you gravitate towards within your genre.
  • Your Brand
    • Do you have a personal brand as an author that the book should reflect? Consider color schemes, logos, and how your book cover will look on your existing marketing materials.
  • Font Selection
    • Readers should be able to easily read the title of your book, but that doesn’t mean your font can’t be stylish. In the current book market, brushstroke fonts are very popular (i.e.: The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave), as are bold, clean fonts (i.e.: It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover).

Remember, cover professionals hold the skills to design your best book cover, but no one knows your story better than you. Dream up a cover that you believe will best sell your book and work collaboratively with a cover professional to make it come to fruition.

About the Author: As a published author, editor, and all-around creative, Desiree Micheels has collaborated with Writer’s Tablet for over five years to empower and equip aspiring authors on their journey towards publishing. Utilizing skills in marketing, editing, copywriting, and web design, as well as firsthand experience in the publishing industry, Desirée is passionate about supporting creatives to share their stories with purpose and professionalism.

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