Many at times authors publish great books with amazing content but somehow the books just won't sell.
A good example is Martin Lake's books a couple of years back.
Martin only used to sell 15 copies of his books in a month. This was very frustrating and Martin didn't accept that this was how things were going to be.
So what did he do?
He changed the covers of his books. He didn't modify the writing or hatch up an amazing marketing plan.
He simply changed his design cover and his sales tripled, then doubled. Isn't it amazing how much power a book cover has?
In this article we are going to cover how Martin used his new cover to triple then double his sales. You do not have to be a pro designer for you to hack this. The steps I will lay down are pretty simple, anyone could master them.
In this article you will learn:
● Steps to creating a mind-blowing cover design.
● Where to find book cover ideas and inspiration.
● Ebook cover dimension requirements.
● Best tools and tutorials to help you create your own book cover.
● Where to find professionals book cover design artists.
● How to decide which cover suits your potential customers.
Before you dive into anything to do with your cover, you need to first have a title for your book. Your cover and book title ought to be symbiotic and in sync. Once you've settled on a title, then you can move to designing your book cover.
1. Find book cover ideas
Since you've already selected a title, you should probably have a clear idea of the message you'd like your book cover to send. This message should be clear to the reader.
Novels sell great when the emotional message of the story is portrayed on the book cover. Since nonfiction books generally speak to the brain, an intriguing and witty cover would help with the sales.
Stick To Your Genre Expectations
If you haven't already noticed, certain genres adhere to certain themes when it comes to book covers.
Browse through Amazon best sellers in your genre and you'll notice patterns in color, images, schemes, layouts and fonts. Your book cover needs to be unique enough to stand out from the rest, but not too unique that it seems out of place. It should Naturally fit into your genre. Not adhering to these genre themes may make your book end up in the wrong section of the book store.
Shop On Amazon
As part of your research on book covers, you need to go shopping on Amazon. This will open up your mind to a world of many possibilities. You will see different book covers for different genres. You don't have to stick to your genre. You can get inspiration from anywhere.
When you find an image that you like just save it and hope it will be of use later. I personally have a file full of cover images that I save whenever I go shopping or conduct research on my book cover ideas.
Draw Inspiration From Pinterest
Pinterest is home to everything and book covers are no exception. Pinterest is like a mall of book covers, too many to choose from. Browse boards and pins for keywords on your book's content or message and see how many images line up. You can save the ones you like on your profile for later reference.
2. Pick a Design Tool or Designer
Is this a personal project to you?
Do you want to tackle it yourself?
Or do you want to hire a professional designer?
Below are some of the best places to source cover designers, design software and book cover design templates.
For Self Designing
I. DIY Book Covers - This is a tool, a guide and a template system all in one. You can get tutorials on how to pick a book cover based on the principles that work for bestselling books. There are also hundreds of free templates to choose from.
II. Canva - This is a free design tool that can be used for just about anything. From social media posts, to posters, to book cover templates and so much more. It is very easy to use and does not need professional knowledge.
III. Adobe - This is a super advanced design software that is one of the most popular.
IV. Word - The Classic Word Processor has the ability to help in designing your book covers for free.
For Professional Cover Designers
I. Ebook Launch - I use this designer for all my books. They offer quality book covers at affordable prices.
II. MIBL Art - The cover designs offered are of very high quality and yet affordable. In addition to eBook and print cover designs, they offer other materials such as author logos and bookmarks. Their cover designs are guaranteed to have a fast turnaround.
III. Reedsy - Find cover designers with experience here. These designers are trained better and have very high accomplishments. You're sure you will find exactly what you're looking for here.
IV. Author Packages - Has affordable print and eBook cover designs. In addition to that they also offer proofreading and formatting services. So once you are done with your draft, they provide everything else that would help in self-publishing your book.
V. Damonza - This is a team of professional cover designers with hundreds of books to show from their prowess.
VI. Deviant Art - This is an online community that served as a showcasing platform for artists and their works. You can go through several artworks and once you find an artist that impresses you, or one you think can bring your vision to life, contact them and commission them for a job.
VII. 100 Covers - An affordable option for authors on a tight budget. Their covers are of good quality.
VIII. 99 Designs - You can get a design by creating a design contest with specifications on what you're looking for. Several design artists will join this contest but is is up to you to decide the design that impresses you the most. If you don't find a design you like by the end of the contest then you get your money back.
The best way to give your designer ideas is by sharing your saved cover images. This will help them get a sense of exactly what you're going for. Communication between you and your designer is Paramount to success.
3. EBook Cover Dimensions
There are certain set requirements for e-books that need to be met before approving a book for sale.
Every market is different with different sets of requirements.
Below is a chart with file requirements and dimensions from popular self-publishing sites.
Personally, I use a 1.5:1 ration on my book covers. I set my dimensions to 1500 pixels height and 1000 pixels width. This is my perfect combo.
Ratio and dimensions can augment perceptions.
4. Tips and Tricks In Designing Your Book Cover
You need to select a good cover font. Treat your book title like a logo. Make it stand out for it is also part of the cover. There are specific fonts for specific genres. For example you could use Space Marine, Revolution, Telegrafico, Orbitron and Shortcut for Sci-fi. Montserrat, Block Cond, Valentino, Hursheys and Linux for Thrillers and so on and so forth.
Colors can be manipulated to draw attention to your cover. Your cover should have 2-3 colors, don't overdo it, unless it rhymes with your message. That's another thing, the colors should help create a mood and heighten the message you are trying to put across.
Note that complimentary colors (across from each other on the color wheel) tend to work well together.
Analogous colors (next to each other) of combined dark and light tints also go well together.
Pick out the right image for your cover. It should be simple, not too busy. This image should have the capability of sparking an emotional reaction from readers.
If you are looking for the perfect image, below is a list of places or sites you could get good images from.
I. Free Book Cover Images
The photos from these sites are free to use as long as you give credit to the artist. Most times attribution guidelines on where the artist credit should be given (back cover or title page) are included in the images. The sites are:
● Wikimedia Commons
● Free Images
II. Paid Book Cover Images
You could either pay for every image you use or have a paid subscription with unlimited access to photos. These are the sites you should check out:
● Stock Unlimited
III. Covers for a Series or Brand
If you're an author of series, some elements should remain constant through your books. It could either be the font, theme or image. This helps to strengthen not only your brand as an author, buy also your series.
5. Test Your Book Cover
Remember to look at the small version of your final book cover product. Your eBook has to make an impact even in thumbnail size. Customers should be intrigued and be able to tell what the book might be about at a glance. Testing your book cover will help you detect common mistakes such as titles that blend into the background color.
If you have a couple of covers and can't decide on one, use PickFu to test them and see which one people like better. This feedback cannot be more accurate as it is from people you don't know (potential customers).
Create A Mockup
After you're settled on a cover design, it's time to turn your flat 2D image into 3D book mockup. This will create a more professional feel for advertisement purposes.
You can either pay for 3D cover in your designer package or download free templates. You could also higher a professional to create a mockup for your book.
A simple design change to your book cover may just be what your book needs to boost its sales. Truth be told, people do judge a book by its cover. So no matter how well written your book is, the first thing people look at is its cover. So you better give your readers a reason to actually open your book and read