Fact: The best book designers and book cover designers make themselves completely familiar with your book’s content, storyline, premise, and message. If they don’t, find someone who will to commit their time to this critical phase.
Fact: Both your book cover as well as the interior layout of your book will reflect the content of your book. Rest assured that everything from the font and images in your book to the symbols and colors used on the cover reflect the content. Any book designer who says otherwise is not worth your time.
Fact: Keeping both the cover and the interior layout simple is your best choice. Complex designs and symbolism may strike you as cool, but most people won’t take the time to understand any hidden meaning before laying the book aside. Minimalism does not mean boring. It means understandable. And it can also mean compelling.
Fact: You can give too much information on your book cover or jacket copy. This is a common mistake for first books in particular. You don’t want to reveal too much about your story or your message; leave a little to the readers imagination. If your book designer is pushing for every detail, he or she probably doesn’t get it.
Fiction: Anything goes in book design and cover design. Not true. There are definitely guidelines that your book designer had better be aware of. What, for example, is the resolution for your book cover or your personal photo? What are the standards for a photo section? What are the formats that each of the major online platforms call for with regard to your ebook? Do not underestimate the importance of these guidelines and work with someone who does.
Fiction: Never reveal the hook. No, you don’t want to reveal the entire plot with your cover or cover copy. But a professional book designer has the ability to reveal just enough of the book’s hook to grab the reader’s attention and to get him or her to open the book up. At Graham Publishing Group, we realize there is an art to revealing the hook both on the book cover and cover copy and spend considerable time fine-tuning it.
Fiction: Color scheme and typography don’t matter. In fact, they are critical. The color of your cover sends a message, both subconsciously and consciously; make sure your book designer knows this and knows how to use it. On both your cover and interior, the choice of font, the color of the paper, the feel of the paper are all part of the personality of your book. Make these choices very carefully and with great purpose. You won’t regret it.