Monday, March 3, 2014

Designing a Cover for Your Indie Book

For many authors, writing the book is the easy part and then there’s the rest. For the indie author there is marketing and many other associated tasks such as the book cover. The cover of a book is a very important element as it is the first impression a reader gets of your book and its contents. Studies have shown that nearly 75% of a reader’s decision to purchase a book is based solely on the book’s cover. The cover makes a powerful statement about your book and can effectively make that much needed connection with the reader. The human brain is capable of processing images a lot faster than words. When we see an image it evokes certain emotions and an immediate reaction. Upon viewing a book cover, the reader has a concept of what the book is about. For readers, the old adage, “don’t judge a book by its cover” simply does not apply. The reader will make an immediate judgment about a book and create preconceptions about the book before they even pick it up or put it in their shopping cart.  Here are a few basic cover design tips for self-publishing authors.

Don't Judge Me By My Cover
Essential Features of a Book Cover Design
In order to design an effective cover for your book, you will want to start with some market research which focuses on your targeted readership. There are several considerations that need to be made and your choices should be geared toward what will be most effective with your primary audience. Here are the primary features that you’ll be considering:
  • The book’s title
  • The image used on the front cover
  • What colors will be used
  • Types of fonts that will be used
  • The blurb for the back cover
Even though each of these features has a distinct purpose, they all need to work together to create a unified object that is more than just aesthetic in appearance. Each year there are more than 200 thousand new titles published, now that makes for a very competitive market. You have only a few seconds to catch the eye of a potential reader so you want to design your cover to stand out in a positive way so that it rises above your competitors. No matter how great your content is, your cover is what will initially help a person choose if they want to venture into the chapters it contains or pass it by. It’s important to bring these features together to create a design that catches the eye and attention of your readers.

Purpose of Your Book‘s Cover
When choosing the features to include on your book cover there are some things to keep in mind. You will want a design that is characteristic of your genre but still stands out as unique from the rest. It should be compelling to readers and appeal to them in such a way that they want to take a closer look at what’s inside. Images, color and fonts should all be reflective of the type of content that is in the book. You want to design a book cover that convinces the reader to come on this literary journey with you.

Design Best Practices for Book Covers
While a book cover is essential for encapsulating the book’s content, it should still be simple. You will want to use a single image for your cover so that the reader is not overcome visually. Color is a very important element for a book cover and it alone can have a huge impact on influencing readers to purchase a book. Colors can evoke specific emotions and this is an important consideration to keep in mind when you are choosing your cover design. As a general rule, warmer colors can also seem to appear to be closer to the viewer which also makes them attract attention from a distance. Cooler colors like blue or green tend to evoke feelings like calmness, tranquility and relaxation. The title needs to be large, bold print and it is important that the indie author’s name be including on the front cover. A bold title is easier to read and makes the book easier to identify for readers. For authors who self-publish print books it is important to remember to put the title and your name on the spine of the book so that it is easily identified when it’s sitting on a shelf. Once the reader has been enticed by the front cover, they are likely to flip it over to glance at the back cover as well. The back cover of nonfiction books typically contains information about the importance of the topic contained in the book; and fiction books might have a short excerpt or brief synopsis. In some instances, the author’s bio is contained on the back cover.