Never forget the art of it all.
You have written your book. Whether it is a work of fiction, a business book, biography, or self-help book, it is special to you. The book cover you design, or have a professional book cover designer help you design, should be just as special to you. You can rely entirely on the designer to create something amazing, but I recommend sharing all of your ideas with that person. What does your eye see? What image from your book stands out to you? Put all of your ideas into a file called: “My book cover.”
Start early in the process, even when the book is just coming together.
Make sketches. Take photos. Think about colors. You are going to share these with your book cover designer. Don’t be shy. Don’t say, “I’m not very creative.” This is a collaborative process, so trust yourself. A good book cover designer will welcome your input and take it seriously.
Don’t be shy about looking at other book covers from books in your genre.
You’re not going to copy what someone else did, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find inspiration there. Go to the bookstore in your neighborhood. Explore books on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Takes notes. Have fun with it. A book cover is part of your marketing strategy, so take it very seriously. It’s all about exposure, and a memorable book cover can draw attention to your book purely as a visual.
Don’t forget who your audience is.
This may sound obvious, but it’s not. Are you targeting men or women? Baby boomers or millennials? Are photos best for your cover or graphics? Whose eye are you trying to catch?
Don’t go cheap just for the sake of going cheap.
Make sure the designer you are working with has the ability to create the images you want or has access to high quality images. There can be a huge disparity between amateur and professional presentations. Do your research. Make sure you see plenty of samples of your designer’s work, and do not settle for less than you want.
This is your book.
This is your heart and soul bound up in a book cover that will last for a very long time. Settle for nothing less than exactly what you want.