You Can Relax About Your Book Cover Design


1106 Design

January 17, 2011

I’m starting to get the hang of this social media thing…really.

Yesterday, I wrote a blog post about cover design.

This morning, my Wordpress dashboard revealed that “Ellie”,  an author I never met, found the post useful, and she went on to express her own worries about her upcoming book cover. Here’s an excerpt (emphasis added in red):

  • I know what I want, well I think I do. I know from experience that when I have set an idea in my mind in terms of design it has turned out to be awful. I think for me I never see the complete picture, it is always a little blurry around the edges.
  • I have looked at past book covers listed within an archive. I have considered the ones that work for me, the ones that jump off the page. For me personally, it is the most simple designs, with plain texts, and bold colour.
  • So how do I translate that to a designer? I have been in touch with one, we are very much at the preliminary stage. As in, we are arranging to talk soon.
  • Tell me also, what covers appeal to you? The more feedback I get, the more I can work out in my mind what I want.

These worries, expressed in one form or another, are very familiar to cover designers. Most authors who sign up for our services understand that a book cover is very important. Since book cover design is usually new to them, they often feel stress about the subject, just like Ellie. They want to do what’s right, and they’re not sure what “right” is. From there, their thoughts naturally turn to what they want.

In this post, I’d like to tell Ellie, and any other author who happens to be reading, “Relax, we’ve got you covered.”

Above, Ellie articulates two misconceptions:

1. That a book cover should reflect what the author likes; and

2. That the author has to tell the designer what to do.

Grab a cup of tea and sit back. You don’t have to worry about either of these things. Here’s why:

1. A book cover isn’t about what the author likes. A book cover is all about what the prospective buyer likes.  The interior of the book is about the author. The exterior of the book (front cover, back cover, and spine) is all about the buyer. When author and designer remain focused on that fact, all the pressure goes away. Which leads us to item 2:

2. The author doesn’t have to tell the designer what to do. So, how can the designer know what buyers like? Well, we’re not psychic, and we don’t guess. We talk to you about your book, research the competition, and let the market tell us. The best way to discover what buyers like is to look at what they are buying. This is easier to do than ever before, right from our desktop.

Most authors I talk with would really like to sell as many books as possible, or  alternatively, produce a top-quality book that will help them sell their expertise to others.  To get there, it’s important to work with a book designer who does more than browse for images and fonts. A  big picture view is not only more accurate, it’s more relaxing, and more likely to result in a book cover design that appeals to the greatest number of buyers.

What do you want to know? What topics should we explore together? How can we help you along your publishing journey? Everyone here at 1106 Design wants to help. Post your comment here or email us using the Contact Us page.

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