At the March 11, 2021, Zoom gathering of the Alliance for Literary Writers, Authors & Yabbering Scribes (ALWAYS), our established authors shared a roundtable discussion about creating compelling book covers. I want to share with you some highlights from our discussion.
- Use large, readable type, especially for the title and author name. The words must be visible and stand out in thumbnail size, which is how most readers will first see your book.
- Make sure the cover art/photo fits your genre. Just a visit to a section of a bookstore or Amazon page with your genre will give you the idea of what to strive for.
- One strong image attracts the eye more than several small ones.
- Use colors that mimic the mood of your book contents.
- If you use a photo of your characters on the cover, they must match the characters descriptions in the book.
- Here is a blog I found from “Creative Indie” Derek Murphy describing eight traditional publishers’ cover design tips.
- Use author/creative writing professor Deborah Chester’s “Story Question” as starting point for your back-cover book blurb. These two sentences cover all the main points in your story:
WHEN SOMETHING HAPPENS*, *YOUR PROTAGONIST* *PURSUES A GOAL*. But will he succeed when *ANTAGONIST PROVIDES OPPOSITION*?
- End your blurb with one word having to do with death, enlightenment, or love.
- You can update your covers any time you want. You might even try testing a “split” cover, giving readers two options, to see which image sells the book better.
Logistics and resources:
- Design rates for covers can range from $25 (fiverr.com) and premade (Getcovers.com) to $300-$500 for custom designed covers. Well-known graphic designers may charge $600+.
- ALWAYS member Laurie Fagen’s graphic designer is firstname.lastname@example.org, whose fees start at $100 per cover.
- Here are a few sites offering premade book covers:
- Getcovers.com/book-cover-design, a recommendation from the Amazon ad school
- GoOnWrite.com and rockingbookcovers.com are two websites touted by ALWAYS member Karen Mueller Bryson. She says they offer artists who do good work, are reasonably priced, and offer lots of options.
- Just for fun: The worst covers of all time at teaandinksociety.com/terrible-book-covers.
If you have ideas or resources to share, please include them in the comments below.
Ann Narcisian Videan, Book Shepherd
Write • Edit • Publish
P.S. Learn more about my novels on my Amazon Author Central page.
Find me elsewhere online.