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After writing a book and deciding to self-publish it you must deploy certain tools to appeal to the right readers. Your cover has a critical role to play in getting your book considered by readers. A cover, whether poorly or richly designed does all of the following things:

Book covers make a statement about the author

Book covers portray the content of the book in simple visual form

What makes an effective cover design?

Simplicity

Keep it simple. Always remember that a potential reader is looking at that cover for only two seconds before deciding to click on it or not. Whatever the cover has to say needs to be conveyed in less time than that. A sign of an amateur cover (and by association, an amateur author) is a cover that is too busy.

Legibility

Far more important than any image on the cover is legibility of the title. If you can’t read what it says at the smallest thumbnail size, it won’t get clicked on. In short, if the image interferes with the title, change the image.

Genre

The genre of the book needs to be conveyed in those same two seconds that the potential reader is viewing the image and reading the title. Certain genres are automatically represented by certain images, colors, fonts or styles. Stick with what works. A good cover designer will already know this.

Emotion

This is the key ingredient for a great cover design that sells. This is what will convince a potential reader to click for more. The cover needs to convey an emotion quickly and simply, whether that emotion is love, lust, suspense, fear, etc.

Many cover designers will continue to create over-complicated covers that try to cram in too much, and this will cost the authors sales as they will be perceived as “amateur”. That is the unfortunate nature of a competitive marketplace, and unlikely to be remedied anytime soon. This will also continue to separate the self-published authors from the traditionally published authors, in terms of quality and sales.

Professional quality covers don’t have to cost thousands of dollars, but until authors let professional cover designers do what they do best, their decisions may cost them dearly in the long run.

Classy Publishing designer will do the following:

  • Read the blurb and understand the genre and target market of your book
  • Bring cultural awareness to all aspects of the cover, including the subject-matter, focus, tone, colours, textures, imagery and text
  • Ensure that your book cover highlights important sales information, such as the title, subtitle and a sales line (if you don’t have a sales line, you can purchase a low cost marketing action plan from us first)
  • Create ebook covers that are visually stunning as thumbnails not just as large images
  • Proofread the text
  • Follow your lead if you have specific ideas, but inform you if they feel these will not work well for selling your book

Images and fonts for book covers
It’s one thing to put together a fantastic cover design, but there are always underlying assets being used, such as images and fonts. So where do they come from and who chooses them? This will differ depending on you and the concept for your book cover.

Classy Publishing has access to a wide range of professional fonts and graphical stock (stock images). We also buy stock images when needed or even create customised graphics and illustrations.

Depending on the brief for your cover, we will either use images you supply, source our own or create them from scratch. Your quote will reflect the approach being taken for your book cover.

Printed book cover designer
Designing a book cover for print instead of eBook is a different process. For one thing, printed book covers have a back and a spine. To be print-ready they also need to have bleed, be in a CMYK colour space, high resolution (300 dpi) and have correct trapping, printer marks and other settings on the PDF.

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