Often times, SO MUCH goes into the writing of a novel, that authors overlook the importance of a well-designed cover that represents their hard work. Your book cover is an extension of who you are as an author—it's a piece of your brand.
Your book cover is the FACE of your story. It's what your readers see, what gives them an impression, and what instantly tells them whether or not they might be interested in it.
I realized this more than ever the other day when I was in Barnes and Noble. Me and my friend needed to pick out a new book for the month—and I had no idea where to start. I wasn't particularly in the mood for anything and didn't even know what sounded good. So I dove into the endless shelves of books letting one thing guide me—BOOK COVERS. I only stopped and read the back cover of a book after the cover had drawn me in.
While your book may not be sitting on a Barnes and Noble shelf, it is out there: on your website, on your social media profiles... you're sharing it, and that cover is up against every other image that inundates us on the web. It's important that it STANDS OUT and represents your book. It's important that it stops readers in their tracks—in a GOOD way—and prompts them to check it out. You should be putting a significant amount of effort into a well-designed cover.
I've been designing book covers for years. While the publishers I've worked for in the past haven't let me be TOO wildly creative, I produced quite a number of covers (that the authors LOVED). Here are a few on my shelf currently.
When working with a designer to create your cover, ask yourself (and your designer) the following questions to make sure you're hitting the target:
- Does the cover, at first glance, instantly draw me in?
- Does the cover 100% represent what my story is about?
- Is the cover harmonious with the content when comparing it to each other?
- Is the cover within my brand? Does it look like who I am and match my writing style?
After you have your well-designed cover for your story, you'll want to create promotional materials that feature that book cover. Which means that book mockups are ESSENTIAL! Here's a GREAT resource for all different types of mockups.
And to get you started with your promotional materials, I've made a helpful Twitter cover template in Photoshop. This will help you with layout, colors, and incorporating your book mockup.
And, by popular demand, I also put one together for Facebook covers!
The template can be a little confusing for those unfamiliar with Photoshop, so if you have any questions on how to edit it, just shoot me an email and I'll get right back to you!
Book cover design MATTERS. So make sure you give it the adequate attention and focus that it needs so your book GETS NOTICED.