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13 Top Tips For Working With Cover Designers – Part 1

A short time ago, Bookbub, a leading promotion company, carried out a test and concluded that, on its own, the cover of a book can make a significant difference in whether a book is selected from a listing or not. That testifies to just how powerful the cover is – let's face it, it is the first thing you see and if it isn’t appealing, people are less likely to choose your book.

You can design your own cover using one of a number of free tools but, be aware; get it wrong and your book won’t get the attention it should have. As such, the cover must be a central part of your marketing and must be given the same level of importance as you did to your writing.

The best way is to hire a professional designer, someone who can bring your vision to life so cast your eye over these tips to come up with a cover that truly sells.

Study Your Genre

You might have read plenty of books in your genre but how much attention did you really pay to the cover? Head to the top-selling books in your genre and look at the covers. What stands out? What draws you to it? Compare it to the lowest sellers and see what the differences are. What you draw from this exercise will give you a good idea of what your book cover should convey to your readers.

Write a Clear Description For Your Designer

No doubt you have an idea in your mind what you want your cover to look like. Or you may be happy to let someone else do it all for you. No matter what, your chosen designer is going to need a set of expectations, clear expectations; if you don’t do this, expect a  lot of frustration ahead! When you write your description, bear these things in mind:

Share your plot – describe it in detail, define who your audience is and why they might want to read your book.

Provide your title and subtitle – the design will include these along with your name so make it clear how you want them laid out.

Share your concepts – if you have any and evaluate each one from the perspective of your audience.

Share your preferences – for typography, color, mood, layout, images and so on. Don’t be too narrowminded here, your designer needs to use their creativity.

Share the bigger picture – if this is one of a series, your designer can come up with a theme common to all the books.

Decide on your format – an eBook only has a front cover whereas print books have both front and back. If you are going for print, specify what trim size you want and make sure you supply your ISBN barcode and what you want to be written on the back cover.

Don’t forget your preferences – if your designer needs to draw some inspiration from other published books, tell them which ones.

Keep it concise – and to the point. Don’t waffle; your designer just wants clear instructions, not a fluffy piece of writing.

Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Anne-Marie Reynolds