How many books have you passed over because the cover design did nothing to attract your attention. It happens far more often than we think. A poorly designed book cover is a disaster in many ways. In many ways, it screams “amateur.” And that is not to say that all mainstream publishers produce great book covers. Plenty of them scream “amateur” as well, and the price they pay is the worst one of all: a lack of attention. That’s what your book cover has to do: it has to attract attention. The right kind of attention. Why spend hundreds and hundreds of hours slaving over your book and then allow it to go out on the market with anything less than a game-changing first impression. Because that is exactly what the cover is: a reader’s first impression.
Smart, creative book cover design is not limited to either mainstream publishers or self-publishers. Both sides of the book industry offer good and bad cover designers. Pick wisely. At Graham Publishing Group, our designers have more than experience; they have proven track records. That’s what you want. Someone who understands what makes a smart, creative cover. Here are a few interesting elements.
You want professionalism, yes, but you also want a cover that gives the reader a sense of what your book is about, what genre you have targeted, and who your audience is. That’s a tall order, but you deserve no less.
Book covers are more than graphics. They are more than layout. They are more than color, font, and imaging. It’s about the combination of all these elements. Yes, you will have to factor in things like your budget and your production schedule, but we can tell you that an expensive cover does not in any way guarantee a winning book cover. At Graham Publishing, we recommend you choose your cover designer based upon aesthetics, taste, and communication. Yes, communication; if your designer cannot articulate your vision and his or her point of view, you’re off to a bad start.
In a lot of ways, smart, creative cover design is like smart, creative writing. A practiced author doesn’t beat his or her reader over the head with text. Overwriting is just as bad as overdesigning your cover. Less is generally better. Let the images on your cover have an equal say as the wording. You don’t need to know about things like margins and texture and font manipulation, but your designer should. And your designer should know when and where to implement such techniques. More importantly, when not to.
There are lots of cover designers out there. Only a handful them know the art of a smart, creative cover. Choose wisely.