This is a guest post by Jodie Hanson, a writer at Uphours.com. She likes to cover stories in careers and personal development. When not working, you can find her online chatting with her friends or reading industry blogs.
7 eBook Cover Design Tips and Best Practices
Some authors are also artists, but these talents don’t always overlap. If your main focus is on the story (or work of nonfiction) you’ve completed and want to release to the world, your cover is one of the most important tools you have to draw in the readers you’re seeking. Contrary to the old adage, people really do judge a book by its cover. So make sure people browsing for eBooks have a positive judgment of yours – it may just help you make a sale.
Choose Your Colors Wisely
Colors set a mood, and you want to make sure the colors you’ve chosen are setting the mood that you want. Colors that clash are unappealing to the eye, and they may inadvertently cause confusion or anxiety among your potential readers. Play around with color schemes until you find one where all the colors work harmoniously and send the right message.
Avoid Fonts with Dubious Reputations
Old style gothic fonts, Comic Sans, and Papyrus all have the same two things in common – they’re over-the-head characterizations of a certain feeling, and they’re universally laughed at for how overused they are. Fonts that are too stylized may come across as juvenile. Stick with a clean classic that’s easy to read. For some great ideas, check out Google’s free fonts.
If You Aren’t a Graphic Designer, Don’t Act Like One
If you want graphics for the cover of your eBook, you may feel overwhelmed about how to approach creating those graphics. Rather than searching far and wide for tutorials and attempting to learn to make the graphics yourself, skip the wait and hire a professional. Explain your vision and post an ad on a site like Gumtree and enlist the help of a pro. In the end, you’ll be glad you did.
Create an Aura of Intrigue
You don’t want too much text on your cover, especially if it details too much of the contents of a book. Have you ever watched a movie trailer that showed so much that you feel as though you’ve already seen the movie over the course of two or three minutes? Don’t do that with your book. Leave enough up to a reader’s imagination. They’ll have questions that can only be answered by actually reading your book.
You Aren’t the Star of the Show
You’re probably very proud of yourself for completing your eBook – as you should definitely be. It’s never easy to see that process through from start to finish, and many aspiring authors rarely find themselves in the position that you’re in. That having been said, your cover should be more about the book than about yourself. Don’t include pictures of yourself on the cover, and don’t make your name the largest line of text.
Don’t Let Things Get Crowded
Awards, reviews, and taglines are important parts of marketing your book. If your cover is full of them, it isn’t so much a cover as it is a testimonial. Those things have a place in the marketing of your book, and they’re very important, but the cover isn’t the best place to display them all. Put all of that information in the text description of your eBook, rather than on the image.
Use High-Quality Images
When all is said and done, you deserve to have a cover you’re actually proud of. If you feel as though you need to defy convention to get your message across, no one is going to stop you. Just make sure you’re able to step back and look at your prospective cover design from an impartial perspective before you commit to it.
Great things to know!
Thank you, Traci 🙂
They say here that you shouldn’t have your photo on the cover. But my publisher (I am not doing e-books, but regular books with a small publishing house) requires always the photo on the cover.
Are you saying they want the author’s photo on the front cover??
Back cover, where the blurb/ book recomendation is.
Actually if you look at my blog, it has on its header both my novels, how they look on face and on back, so you;ll see what I mean.
Oh, right. I think the post was referring to the front.
Fantastic tips here. So many details involved in making our covers, that’s why I leave it to the pros, even though I know how the elements should work, it’s not my expertise – I just write ’em. 🙂
Lol – fair enough 😀
this is one of the most powerful post, with great definition and details.
Thank you, Mihran 🙂
Thanks for the link to Google free fonts. I hired a professional designer for my novels, but made my own covers for some free short stories I published. Another good resource is The Book Designer’s Monthly Ebook Cover Design Awards — lots of covers with comments.
Thank you, Audrey! Do you have a link for that?
Sorry, should have included it in the comment. https://www.thebookdesigner.com/2011/08/monthly-e-book-cover-design-awards/
Many thanks for sharing that 🙂
7 Reasons why I no longer make my own covers! Ha ha. Excellent post 🙂
Lol – yes, I guess that’s a better title for it 😀
Great tips! I’ve hired professional cover designers for each of my books and it’s where I spend my money (besides editing). The cover can make or break your book, in my opinion. 🙂
Couldn’t agree more!