Four tips that your book cover designer wants you to know!
Working with a book cover designer shouldn’t be a stressful experience if you know what they need. You have likely spent thousands of hours painstakingly crafting the manuscript for your book, and now, at long last, it is time to design its cover.
The cover of your book will provide potential readers with their first impression of your story and will be a crucial factor in their decision to purchase.
Maybe you have had a clear vision of your cover from the conception of your story, or maybe it all feels much too overwhelming, and you have no idea where to start.
In either case, if you are planning to approach a professional book cover designer, there are a few key tips your book cover designer would love you to know! If you’re ready to start designing your book cover, feel free to contact us today to discuss how we can make your dream cover become a reality!
4 Tips for Working with a Book Cover Designer Every Author Should Know!
One. Is Your Manuscript Ready?
In theory, you should have your manuscript finalized or at least be well into your writing and editing process before you engage a book cover designer. This is particularly relevant if you are planning to have your book printed in paperback or hardcover format.
To produce a finalized book cover layout, your designer will need to know the desired trim or layout size (e.g., 6 x 9 inches, 5 x 8 inches, etc.) and your page count. Some printing services will also allow you to choose your interior paper type and weight.
The number of pages in your manuscript affects the width of your spine, and this, along with the size of the book, determines the dimensions of the printing template.
To finalize the layout, your designer will also need the ISBN and/or barcode, the title, subtitle, your author name, the blurb, and any publisher’s logo, if applicable.
Two. Know your genre and target audience.
Undoubtedly, the target readership for a non-fiction business education book is going to be vastly different from a young adult fantasy novel, and therefore, the covers should exhibit their genres appropriately.
It is essential that the book’s cover gives your potential readers a clear idea of whether it may fall into the same category as other books they enjoy.
It is often helpful to do some research within your genre and target readership to find out what you like and doesn’t like, and then be sure to communicate your findings with your designer. Head onto any online book platform, such as Amazon, to do some research in your chosen genre.
Three. Decide which design style you prefer.
Do you prefer a bespoke illustration or a photographic style?
Don’t be put off by the idea of stock imagery on your cover. It is an industry-standard practice and is usually a lot more involved than simply ‘slapping’ a photo on your cover and calling it a day.
The process involves compositing stock imagery and elements, which are seamlessly blended together, color corrected, affected, and balanced with typography to create unique and striking designs.
A custom illustration, on the other hand, whilst incredibly special, is generally even more involved and requires more design time and revisions, which can significantly add to your costs.
Be sure to have an idea of your budget and weigh up the pros and cons of each option before approaching your preferred designer.
Four. Communicate your vision.
Once you have decided on the style of design that you prefer, it may be helpful to gather some sample imagery to provide your designer.
If you feel strongly about including a particular color palette or typography style etc., be sure to explain this to your designer and provide examples if you can.
Have a think about whether you want your cover to include images of your character/s or if there are any specific elements from the story that you feel must be included (e.g., a sword or compass, etc.). On this note, however, try not to get carried away with asking to include too much on the cover. Attempting to depict an entire scene from the plot or including several characters or elements can make the design feel unbalanced and cluttered, which may cause confusion and a loss of interest in your potential reader.
Throughout the design process, remember to provide constructive feedback and also try to be open to suggestions and input from your designer, as their knowledge, experience, and creativity are the reasons you engaged them in the first place!
4 Tips for Working with a Book Cover Designer – Conclusion
There you go! 4 tips for working with a book cover designer that every author needs to go before they head into the cover design stage.
Your book deserves the best chance of success, and a premium book cover design is an important part of the self-publishing process. If you would like to find out more about how you can get a premium book cover designed for your ebook, paperback, fiction, non-fiction, memoir, biography, or children’s book, please don’t hesitate to reach out and contact us directly. Our friendly and professional team is standing by to assist you with your book cover inquiries.
Written by Brittany, our talented and professional book cover designer! If you would like to talk to Brittany about your cover design, don’t hesitate to reach out!