BLOG: Eye-Popping Tips

From Karen Saunders

Your Branding, Marketing & Self-Publishing Coach

How to Create an Eye-Catching Book Cover

Last month I revealed layout secrets from typesetters of best selling books. A professional book interior layout is just one ingredient in a recipe for designing a book that grabs attention and sells. Another ingredient is to create an eye-catching book cover. Here are some things to consider before designing your next cover.

A book cover is like your bait. You have four ways to get consumers to bite, which are the front cover, back cover, spine, and possibly inside flaps. E-books are changing the face of book sales a bit, which makes it even more important to have a powerful book cover. If it looks good in the thumbnail on a web page, it will look great enlarged.

First, Create an Eye-Catching Book Cover for the FRONT of your Book

On the front cover you have your title, subtitle, and your name. Pretty basic, right? OK, so what if you add an endorsement or a short testimonial from a VIP? Now your cover is working for you. The whole design should give people, at a glance, a sign of what’s inside.

All of your graphics should be bold and colorful, but uncluttered. Simple is better. You also want to make sure the colors you choose are going to convert well to black and white. That way you know your cover will still look good in black and white ads, catalogs, and flyers. Here are a few recent covers I’ve designed:

create an eye-catching book cover : Galahad 3

create an eye-catching book cover : Stomp the Elephant in the Office

Create an eye-catching book cover : The Night of the Witching Moon

What to Put on the Spine

This one’s for the library, folks. Put your name, title and publishing company logo. Again, bold, contrasting colors will show up well. Use a clean font that is uncluttered and legible.

Don’t Forget to Enhance Your Back Cover

Help the bookstore out by putting a category name in the upper left corner of your book so they know where to shelve it. Now you do a little sales. You need a great headline, addressing who should buy the book. Then some sales copy, telling readers what the book is about. Finally, a bullet list of benefits.

Testimonials are great, and can sell the book for you. Keep it to no more than three, though. And don’t forget your picture! Readers love to see who’s talking to them. Credit for your book cover’s illustrator, photographer and/or designer should also be included here.

Then you give them the “bottom line,” a line of sales copy close to the bottom that closes the sale, so to speak. Position the price in the lower left corner and the 13-digit ISBN number in the lower right hand corner, and your back cover is complete!

Inside Flaps Add Space for More Sales Copy

If your book has inside flaps to work with, you have even more room for sales copy. You can also do a short “teaser,” giving readers a small taste of what they’ll find inside – just enough to whet the appetite. Now you put your photo and bio in, and give people the chance to get to know the author.

It’s all about presentation, and your book needs more than just a pretty package. Create an eye-catching book cover design as powerful as what’s inside, and you have a winning combination!