Designing Your Own Book Cover from Scratch
September 11, 2013 | Book Marketing, Design, Planning, Self-publishing | 8 comments
| Author: Wise, Ink.
As the old saying goes, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” But let’s be honest—we all do it. Readers walk into a bookstore and are drawn to the book with the most eye-catching and graphically pleasing cover before even reading what it’s about. That’s why having the right cover design is essential for reaching your goals.
If you’re publishing your book on a budget, you might be thinking that you don’t want to pay for the assistance of a design firm or freelance designer when you have some decent concepts yourself. This might work for some authors but can also be very damaging for others.
Ways it can help:
- You will save a good amount of money. Hiring any professional service can be expensive. If you have done your research, you can probably find a firm that sticks close to your budget but not spending that money would be ideal. There are many applications, like Adobe Photoshop or Gimp, which can help you create a nice book cover for lower prices.
- No one knows your book as well as you do. You know the ins and outs of your plot, characters, and themes, giving you a ton of insight into what the book is really about. This can be an advantage when designing a thoughtful cover that is inspired by the book.
- Designing your own cover would give you gratification. It would feel great to write a whole book AND design the cover yourself. The book would be entirely yours and that would definitely be something to be proud of!
Ways it can hurt:
- You might not know enough about book sales to design the right way. Designers who specialize in book cover art know exactly what appeals to the public and what generates the best sales. With hundreds of thousands of books being published each year, you want yours to stand out and professional designers know how to achieve that.
- Your book might not look as professional. Though you may be a great designer, you could also be too close to the project to look at it objectively. The cover design could look tacky and unprofessional, giving you a great disadvantage with book-buyers and sellers. This lack of credibility could ruin your book before it’s even released. It’s best to get constructive advice from someone who is trained in design techniques.
- You might not know your target audience. Professional designers will know exactly whom you are targeting and what they like to see, while authors might perceive their audience differently. This disconnect could be very damaging to a book’s reception. Different genres garner different designs and this is something that book cover designers are in tune with. Their insight can influence how your audience receives your book.
Though it might seem like a fun, creative process, we recommend hiring a professional service to design your book cover. Book covers are a big part of your marketing campaign! They attract the buyers and lead to sales, reviews, recommendations, etc. Designing your own cover could make it extremely difficult to sell to big book buyers and could really hurt your publicity.
There are many cost-efficient book designers that are experienced in the art of cover design who have the skills and knowledge to make your book truly stand out.
While your vision is still extremely important in the design process, it might be better to leave the physical part to the professionals. Most designers will give an author a few options to choose from, giving you the authority to decide what the final outcome of your book really looks like. And if you don’t like their ideas, just tell them! Designers value an author’s opinion, and in the end, you will see your visualization come to life. By collaborating with a book cover designer, you can get the cover you want and the sales you need.