Are you having trouble choosing a book cover?
Attract Your Ideal Reader
One of the most important parts of creating a book is making a cover that will capture the reader’s attention. Some readers base their decision to buy a book solely on the cover. Your book description could be perfect and the book itself could be exactly what the reader is interested in, but if the cover doesn’t intrigue them, then you will BOTH be out of luck!
The right cover will bring in your ideal reader and show them at a quick glance what can be expected from your book. You want it to make a lasting impression so that the reader is encouraged to pick up the book and start reading. The question is: how do you choose the best cover for your book?
In my experience, it’s important to know exactly what you want before you begin (or at least have a strong idea) whether you’re doing it yourself or working with a book/graphic designer. That way you can make the process as smooth as possible. Here are a few tips you can follow to ensure you’re on a good track to choosing a book cover!
Colour and Mood
Let’s start by thinking about the big picture. You know your book, what it’s about, the main characters, their backstory. When you think about these aspects, what mood does it put you in? What thoughts and experiences does it evoke? When your readers look at your book cover, you want them to feel a certain connection, an emotion. That connection is directly related to the colour scheme.
Think of your favourite colours. What comes to mind? Yellow is joyful and happy. Blue is peaceful like the ocean. Green relates to nature and adventure. Red is bold and passionate. Now, bring yourself back to thinking about your book and your moods surrounding it. Write down the moods and what colours they represent. What is the best combination for you?
Here are some examples:
- Romance – Say your book is about young love in the last year of high school. You want the colours to represent hope, love, and becoming an adult. You may want brighter, more positive colours like yellows, oranges, and light blues.
- Fantasy – If your book is about a group of elves on an adventure to save their species, what colours represent it well? Something magical and adventurous. Greens for nature, darker blues, or some reds and yellows for a warmer feel.
- Mystery – What if this book is all about murder and dark secrets with a family? You want to create a tone of intrigue, danger, despair. You may want to choose purples, blues, or even black. Colder colours that send chills down your spine.
What are the best colours for you?
The Defining Object
Now that you’ve chosen the right colours, think about the specific images you want to include. It should be something intriguing and prominent, but not something that could give away the plot. For example, the main character shooting the victim. Sure, that would raise a lot of questions because your readers don’t know that’s the main character yet, but do you want to have your biggest plot twist on the front page?
Think about what your defining objects are. What represents the entirety of the book without giving too much of the plot away?
In romance novels, many times the main characters who are love interests appear on the front together. For fantasy, it could be a castle or the main characters riding a dragon. In mystery, it could be a detective standing in front of a haunted house. Choose images that relate to the main theme of your book, the overall experience. One or two main images will do for a start, then you can fill in other details later to capture a fuller scene.
Read the Text
The final tip I’m discussing is the style of the text on your front cover. The title of the book is the most important thing to be read, therefore it should be the biggest text size and is usually placed near the middle or top half of the book. You also want to include your pen name on the cover so people know who wrote it! That should be in a smaller text size than the title, and it’s usually placed at the bottom. If you have a tagline, that should be the smallest text size, placed somewhere in between the title and pen name.
Now that you’ve thought about the best size and placement, you have to consider the font. Each letter in the font style you choose must be one hundred percent legible. If there’s even a hint of doubt what a certain letter is, try playing with new fonts. The problems come most commonly with cursive. The letters can blend together and look too loopy and unprofessional if you’re not careful.
There you have it! My tips for creating a great book cover. Were there any questions left unanswered? Do you have your own tips you want to share? Leave a comment and let’s have a conversation!
Thank you for reading my tips about choosing a book cover! Have thoughts or questions to share? Comment below!
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