By Samantha Palmer
Independent authors don’t have it easy when publishing their books. Every aspect of creating a book; from writing it, designing it, and publishing it, falls on them. So, it’s not difficult to understand why they have such a hard time identifying whether their book will be a success or not. However, aside from a book’s content, the most defining feature of a book’s success is its cover. A book’s cover is what sells it faster than its content within.
People aren’t going to pick up a book, read it standing there and then decide to buy it. No, they are going to take a look at its synopsis that’s on its back and the cover art on its front, and if it intrigues them, then they will decide to buy it. A book cover is a piece of art on its own and tells a lot about the author, the general idea of its content, and if it will be worth buying. While there are a lot of book cover design services out there, you can take things into your own hands.
What Is The Pre-Designing Process Of A Book Cover?
Since independent authors have to do it all on their own, researching the pre-designing process of a book cover is very crucial for them. To create a book cover design, you must decide upon a few structural elements of your book cover that will have an impact on whichever art style you pick for it:
- Setting up a budget.
- Choosing between printing formats.
- Determining a genre.
Top 11 Tips For Designing A Book Cover For Independent Authors
These tips below will not only assist you in designing your book’s cover but will also give you some inspiration that will get you out of your mental art-block.
1. Focus On The Book’s Feel
Writers get too caught up in the specific subtleties of the book, and they need their cover to coordinate with it. However, their buyers who haven’t read the book yet couldn’t care less about these subtleties. This is why it is important to focus on portraying your book’s general feel and mood rather than focusing on making a book cover so artistic that it doesn’t even connect with the content of your book.
2. Choosing A Good Cover Illustration Begins With…
There is no need to go hard on yourself if you cannot come up with very artsy illustrations for your book’s cover. What you need to remember is the relationship between success and simplicity. A good book cover illustration all subjective. Choosing a simple picture that successfully ties a book’s content with it can ensure its success rather than showy ones.
3. Pick The Correct Tones
Who said you needed to be some graphic designer mastermind to come up with a book cover illustration? As an independent author, you can take things into your own hands with apps like Photoshop or Canva.
You can transform an average-looking picture into a cool book cover illustration by playing around with tones. If your book is about mystery, play around with greys and blacks with some splashes of red or orange. If it’s motivational, going all out on primary tones won’t hurt either.
4. Find Contrast In Contrasting
A great way to add some pop to a book cover is by adding contrast to its illustrations. Use contrast while editing an illustration’s brightness or darkness. Play around with its sharpness and slopes. Use it when editing the color theme too. If it’s an illustration about trees or woods, focus on the green to make the trees stand out.
5. Stray Clear From Blurring
What is the reason behind many indie or independent authors failing when they release their debut books, aside from their content? Blurred or cheap-looking book covers. They just focus on making the title of the book and their name sharpened and the most defining aspect of their book cover and don’t pay any attention to their cover art. You need to stay away from this practice no matter how much you see it on the internet or in bookstores.
6. Find The Element Of Balance
An element of balance integrated into a book cover ensures its success. However, that being said, it is quite possibly the most cumbersome thing to nail down if you have no idea how to design a book cover. The simplest way to do it? Make sure every element of your book cover—book title, your name, and the illustration—aren’t overpowering each other. Find fonts and colors that play well with each other.
7. Opt For A Natural Theme
Do you know what sells like crazy in book covers? The use of natural themes in them. Using natural illustrations such as trees, blossoms, lakes, mountains, or even animals gives the illusion of a creative book cover illustration. People lean more towards books with covers that use this art style to address their subjects or setting because it emits familiarity and comfort.
8. Stay Far Away From Stock Images
You may find several articles that claim to guide you to change stock images into beautiful book cover illustrations. While that may be possible for some, it is not viable for you to risk it. Even after tons of editing, stock images tend to look like, well, stock images.
All in all, they instantly throw off a customer if they see them used on a book cover. You need to stay far away from them no matter how tempted you may be to try to turn them into artistic illustrations. It’s simply not worth the risk.
9. Experiment With Illusions And Depth
A book cover art style that includes illusions that may portray the element of depth or shallowness is a great way to make your cover illustration stand out among various books. This is a great optical illusion trick that the book covers with illustrations of skies, oceans, or mountains use to engage the customer at first glance.
10. Go Brutalist
You may have heard about minimalism, but have you ever heard the art style of brutalism? A brutal art style is more unique and avant-garde than minimalism and can leave your book cover with an illustration that is one of a kind. This art style is more for people who are looking to make an impression upon their buyers.
11. Bold And Beautiful
Who said that you had to stick to certain trends when designing your book cover? You can make quite an impression on your audience market by going all bold with your font style and color plan. If your book has a genre of motivation or lifestyle, you can include this art style on your cover with bright colors and bold typography.
Designing A Book Cover When You Are An Independent Author
While publishing houses have entire creative teams that are experts in designing a book cover, independent authors have to do it all on their own. However, although this process might have been a head-scratcher for independent authors once, nowadays, the internet has made it much easier. It is very straightforward to search for inspiration online and get the creative wheel in your head going.
Samantha Palmer is a professional freelance content writing and marketing consultant who works at Ewritingpro.com.