Book Cover Design … Let’s talk About Design.
Book cover design is easy, right? Slap a title and author on the cover, add a nice picture, play around with it for a few minutes, and voila, your done! Great book cover design? Not so fast. Let’s slow down and dissect what goes into a cover to make it a book cover design that sells your books.
Increasing potential book sales requires strategic things you can do to help it along. You can create a professional cover that looks like it was designed by a professional designer. Star Print Brokers offers book interior design and book cover design, and we format books with Adobe InDesign.
We have these 10 tips to share, so that you too can maximize your potential for increased book sales.
Sell more books with great Book Cover Design principles
1. Concept … Know your audience.
Who is going to buy and / or read your book? Since you’ve already written it, you have a pretty good idea of the person’s identity that matches the book’s genre and subject matter. Keep that person in mind for the book cover design.
2. Classic typography or be unique.
Choosing the typeface for the title is so important, as it conveys a visual message for any great book cover design. Want to play it safe? A classic typeface is a great choice because you can count on a typeface that stood the test of time. Helvetica has been around forever, but why not try a new twist, like Helvetica Neue? Stay away from any typeface that comes pre-loaded on computers. Everyone sees the same thing, and the typeface becomes too recognizable, and boring. Try something a little different for your book cover design; even wild, or grungy. Let the content of your book help you determine the typeface for the title.
3. Use no more than two typefaces on the cover.
You can certainly use one really expressive typeface for the title. Then use one typeface family for all other text. You can use bold and regular, or light and black. But, using all style in the typeface family make the cover look cluttered.
4. The title is where when size matters.
They are great covers that have little tiny titles. It is a style this is currently very popular, but where will your book be sold? Can that small title be seen when viewed on Amazon? Imagine what that small title looks like when it is side-by-side on Amazon with other titles of the same genre. You are in competition, you know.
5. A cover image to wow the reader with great book cover design.
This is pretty easy if your book is about your photography, art, or illustrations. Maybe you’ve written a dessert cookbook and have a great photograph of one of your desserts. If you don’t have a professional image, use stock photos. Be sure to read the license that goes with the image(s) you buy. Most will allow use for books, but there are some caveats. Do they need a credit line? If so, this usually goes on the copyright page. How many books can you print using this image? Do you need to buy an extended license?
6. Images at the right size.
Regardless of where you find your images, buy the size that will fit the book’s dimensions, or even larger. For instance, you may have a soft cover book or a dust jacket that has an 8.5″ x 11″ front cover. You may want it to extend off the page, or bleed. Then, you will need an image that is 8.75″ x 11.25″ or larger.
7. Images at the right resolution.
Resolution is the number of pixels per inch, or ‘ppi’. Images and photos need to be 300 ppi or larger when they are printed. Again if your cover image will be 8.75″ x 11.25″, the resolution must be 300 ppi or larger. A 5″ x 7″ 300 ppi that is enlarged to 8.75″ x 11.25″ won’t work. Why? Because when you enlarge the image, the effective resolution diminishes. When printing on press, we can use images that exceed 300 ppi, but you will lose quality if the resolution is low.
8. CMYK, not RGB.
Convert images from RGB to CMYK. Printing on press requires CMYK. Monitors use RGB.
9. Use the back cover to sell too.
Book cover design is not just for the front cover, it is also the back cover. When a reader is handling the book, the back cover is a secondary place where the reader can find reasons why they should buy your book. Place an image on the back cover too. Ideas for text that sells are quotes from someone with authority, expertise, or even someone famous. Make sure to add the title and author to the spine. Star Print Brokers will supply you with a spine width depending on page count, book binding, and paper weight.
10. A barcode has its own place.
The barcode goes in the lower right corner on the back cover. The standard sizes are full size at 100 percent, or reduced to 92 percent. A barcode can be reduced to as low as 80 percent, or increased in size to 200 percent. The background color needs to be light, so it can be scanned at bookstore checkout.
That’s it for now. Star Print Brokers can also create a cover with our in-house design team. We can give you a book cover design quote.