Think about the last book you read. What was it that drew you to the volume? Given the sheer number of books in the average bookstore, the book that stood out with the most interesting cover was probably the book you were most curious about.
Ideally, no one would ever judge a book by its cover and everyone would, instead, judge it solely by the words written within. Unfortunately, that’s not the way the real world works, and having a well-designed book cover is considered an essential element in getting an author’s tome off the shelf and into any prospective readers’ hands. Of course, a fancy book cover designer cannot make up for an author’s empty story, and readers will be quick to notice and judge accordingly. If the stars align, a combination of excellent writing and an eye-catching cover could make for a bestseller.
Self-Publishing and the Art of Cover Design
More authors decide to self-publish today than ever before. In doing away with a reliance on a large publishing house, they lose both benefits and disadvantages. One of the biggest benefits may be the in-house book cover designer services publishers provide their authors. Unless they are graphic designers themselves, authors left to their own devices often find themselves searching for a designer to no avail. Either that or they do find one, who asks no questions, and designs a generic cover that gives no insight into the book’s story or message. This can negatively affect sales.
If you’re an author who will go it alone, without a major publisher behind you, what should you be looking for in a book cover designer? Any candidate who wishes to design your book cover should ask questions about the story, characters and tone. They should want to know which genre they’re designing for, as well as the target audience. For example, if he or she has been writing for Young Adults, an author may want the cover design to be bright and colorful, especially if theirs is a tale of adventure. If there’s time, perhaps the designer can read the book herself.
Does the Cover Do Your Book Justice?
A designer vying to create your book cover should at least read a little of the book, if only to get a general idea of the plot and tone of the story. When ordinary people read your book, the hope is that you’ve written it in such a way that the readers can form images in their mind about what’s happening in the story. When a designer reads your book, even just an excerpt, the images that come to their mind could end up on the cover of your book. This is to the advantage, and if everyone has done their job well, then their vision will match your own, and your dream will be realized.
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