It’s fair to say that your book cover is the first thing that most potential customers will see. So the title in combination with your cover are such an important part of your book design process.
From my perspective as a designer, here are some important things to consider when designing your book cover.
COPYRIGHTS – Make sure that you know where images, fonts and illustrations from outside sources come from. If you are dealing with a designer with a lack of integrity, they may take a photo off the internet that you do not have a legal right to use for a commercial purpose. Or they could use a free font but it is free for personal use, so you have violated the agreement with the author.
LICENSES – When you purchase a photo or illustration there can be different license choices. (i.e. standard license, enhanced license) You want to look at the number of copies that are permitted with your license. One standard license might allow 10k while another may allow 250k. If you hire a designer, make sure they give you a copy of all the licenses.
FONTS – Sometimes fonts can really date a piece of design – really consider if the font you are choosing is a trend right now. Really think about about the message of your book and choose a type face that further communicates that message. (i.e. your book is about how to be a great public speaker – pick a font that exudes confidence, charisma, integrity and leadership) Click below to see an example.
QUALITY – Please make sure you are using hi-resolution photos. 200 dpi(dots per inch) and above. Do not settle for bit mapped images they will cheapen your cover. Please, do not keep a white box around images.
BUDGET – To keep your costs down, do your due diligence. The clearer an author is with what their cover design is, the quicker the process. If you already know what images and fonts you want, production will go very fast.
PATIENCE – If you want an image of a winged white horse with an olive branch in it’s mouth dancing on a rainbow while flying over a city, that’s fine. But that is a very specific image that is going to have to be built and will take hours for a designer to create.
RESOURCES – photos and illustrations: lightstock.com, shutterstock.com, dreamstime.com, canstockphoto.com
fonts: dafont.com, veer.com, fontsquirrel.com
All the best with designing your cover!
Katie Keller; Designer and Founder at Graceful Works