A Note from a Graphic Designer on Book Cover Designs
I cannot stress enough how important it is to have an attractive and professionally designed cover for your novel. The cover is the first impression any potential reader will have of your book. And despite that old adage ‘Do not judge a book by its cover‘, nearly everyone does! Even before I became a graphic designer, I would only pick up books in the shops that had covers that I found attractive and were obviously well done. A cover quickly pasted together in a word processor or novice-level graphic program sticks out like a sore thumb, and people automatically assume the book inside is just as un-polished as the cover without even picking up the book! You’ve no doubt poured your life’s blood into writing your book – let it be represented in the best possible light with an expertly designed cover. The investment is well worth it.
When you begin planning the cover jacket layout for your novels, take the time to research existing publications within your genre, and consider what attracts you to various covers. And then talk to a designer about representing your novel with a well crafted cover. Only a professionally trained designer knows the tricks to attracting potential buyers, what makes people want to pick up a book, the layout rules, printing specifications and appropriate software, image resources and copyright regulations, and can successfully bring your novel to life through that cover jacket. We are visually marketing you as a writer through the book covers; branding your name as a reputable novelist, and thus the choices made in regards to your cover jacket matter greatly!
I recommend providing a designer with a synopsis of your manuscript and any particular elements that should be included on the cover, such as a detailed character description, landscapes or objects that figure prominently within your book. Have a keen sense of what would best visually express your story – think of how romance novels are instantly recognizable by the industry standard formatting of nearly every book printed in that genre for example. The overall design of the cover should properly reflect the genre in both the choice of fonts and images incorporated into the design. One should not choose a futuristic title font for a book about Ancient Egypt with a cover model dressed in modern day attire for example.
A professionally designed cover gives your novel that extra polished and marketable feel needed to generate maximum interest. The bottom line is that a well designed book cover can instantly boost your exposure and your credibility as an author.
Cathy Helms, Graphic Designer
Owner: Avalon Graphics
Home page: http://www.avalongraphics.org