The Making of My Book Cover

As some of you may already know, aside from being a writer, I’m also a graphic designer. If you’re self-publishing your book(s) like I am, and you’re designing your book cover, or if you’re getting it designed, I hope this post will be helpful to you in some way.

The Design Process
Before getting started, I made sure to keep the following things in mind:
1. My book cover has to stand out as a thumbnail and as a large image.
2. The message has to be clear and simple.
3. The design has to fit my genre, which in my case is contemporary fiction.

I knew from the beginning that I wanted two things on my book cover:
Coffee and the color, mustard yellow. If and when you get a chance to read my book, you’ll see why.

Coffee: I thought of quite a few image ideas for coffee. I thought of using coffee rings, coffee mugs, espresso cups, coffee beans, coffee shops and the list goes on. Below are only some of the images I considered, which I took myself, except for the last one on the right.

Because my novel is a love story, I wanted that to be clear on the cover. The challenge was how to show that using a coffee image. I thought about using an image of a cup/mug with a heart shaped coffee froth/foam, but for some reason it seemed too common. Later, I came up with the idea of coffee beans shaped into a heart. I searched the web to see if they already existed and found a few online, but none of them looked right for my book. That’s when I decided to create my own coffee bean heart. In order to do this, all I needed was a camera and a bag of coffee beans that I would shape into a heart on a sheet of paper.

It took many tries. Below are only a few examples.

Mustard yellow: I always knew I wanted this to be the background of whatever image I would end up picking.

In February of 2012, I designed a few versions of my book cover. Below is what I originally picked as my final design.

In September of this year, I went back and looked at my original design and thought that the solid mustard yellow seemed too rich. I wanted it to be simpler but still punchy. That’s when I thought of adding the gradient.

Here is the final design of my book cover, front, spine and back. I’m still editing the copy on the back cover, so what you’ll see here is for placement only.

HIGHCover_Resized

Designing my book cover was such a fun break from writing and editing. I would definitely do it again.

Book Cover Reveal: HIGH

It’s finally here. The book cover for my upcoming contemporary novel, HIGH.

Sometime this week, I will be writing a post about the making of my book cover.
In the meantime, I would love to hear your thoughts.

HIGH is scheduled to release this November.

5 Tips On How to Design a Professional Book Cover

1. Avoid using common fonts.
If you want your book cover to look professional, avoid common fonts like Times New Roman, Arial and Helvetica.

2. Avoid using too many graphics.
If you really want to use a bunch of images, make sure they work together and that they’re professionally done. If not, use one strong image that represents your book and make sure it’s not a generic one.

3. Keep the message simple and clear.
Make sure the book title is easy to find. If you’re going to use a tag line, make it short and catchy.

4. Design a cover that’s easy to read as a thumbnail.
People scan through so many books online. Make sure your thumbnail stands out by designing a cover that looks good big, as well as small. You want people to click on your thumbnail—not skip it.

5. Design a cover that works for your genre.
You want to attract your readers. A good tip is to check out books in your genre and see how their covers are designed. For instance, if you’re a fantasy writer, use “fantasy-like” fonts and images, and so on.

As much as it could be fun to experiment and design your own book cover—hire a designer, if you’re not one. The great thing is you can still share your ideas and they can help make them happen.

Another good tip: If you have postcards, business cards and bookmarks, make sure they match your book cover design. Consistency is important, especially when advertising.

Here are some helpful links:

http://www.thenervousbreakdown.com/jefishman/2011/05/publishing-primacy-–-folio-9-8-book-jacket-design-essentials/

https://www.createspace.com/en/community/docs/DOC-1781

http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2012/06/picking-fonts-for-your-self-published-book/

https://www.createspace.com/en/community/docs/DOC-1511

Before I end this post, I’d like to announce that my book cover for my upcoming novel, HIGH, will be revealed by next week, if not, sooner.

Stay tuned…

5 Tips On How to Design a Professional Book Cover

1. Avoid using common fonts.
If you want your book cover to look professional, avoid common fonts like Times New Roman, Arial and Helvetica.

2. Avoid using too many graphics.
If you really want to use a bunch of images, make sure they work together and that they’re professionally done. If not, use one strong image that represents your book and make sure it’s not a generic one.

3. Keep the message simple and clear.
Make sure the book title is easy to find. If you’re going to use a tag line, make it short and catchy.

4. Design a cover that’s easy to read as a thumbnail.
People scan through so many books online. Make sure your thumbnail stands out by designing a cover that looks good big, as well as small. You want people to click on your thumbnail—not skip it.

5. Design a cover that works for your genre.
You want to attract your readers. A good tip is to check out books in your genre and see how their covers are designed. For instance, if you’re a fantasy writer, use “fantasy-like” fonts and images, and so on.

As much as it could be fun to experiment and design your own book cover—hire a designer, if you’re not one. The great thing is you can still share your ideas and they can help make them happen.

Another good tip: If you have postcards, business cards and bookmarks, make sure they match your book cover design. Consistency is important, especially when advertising.

Here are some helpful links:

http://www.thenervousbreakdown.com/jefishman/2011/05/publishing-primacy-–-folio-9-8-book-jacket-design-essentials/

https://www.createspace.com/en/community/docs/DOC-1781

http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2012/06/picking-fonts-for-your-self-published-book/

https://www.createspace.com/en/community/docs/DOC-1511

Before I end this post, I’d like to announce that my book cover for my upcoming novel, HIGH, will be revealed by next week, if not, sooner.

Stay tuned…

10 Book Cover Designs for Inspiration

Although we say not to judge a book by its cover, we still do.

Book covers are like mini billboard ads. They need to be catchy and memorable. They also need to represent their genres and their stories effectively. With a strong title and a strong design, you can achieve an effective book cover that will make readers want to buy your book and read your story.

If you’re a self-published author getting ready to design or get your book cover designed, here are only a few examples of book covers you can use for inspiration. Pay attention to the elements of each book cover below. As you’ll see, not all successful book covers need to be busy and colorful. Some can be simple but still powerful.

Scroll down and let me know which one makes you stop and look closer.

 

A Poem for You

LOVE

Love gently sings
Boldly dances
And sometimes stings

Love tightly grips
Softly carries
But often slips

Love blindly follows
Quietly rushes
Like there’s no tomorrow

Love swiftly flies
Blissfully travels
And reaches a high

Love calmly holds
Carefully armors
Your heart as a whole

A HUGE thank you to Cara for her pledge! 

If you would like to help support my writing project, please click here.

Again, any pledge would mean the world to me. Remember, there are perks too for helping.

BONUS perk for writers who are self-publishing. I’ll even design your book cover!

Thank you for support.

Book cover design for only $50

Do you need your book cover designed, but have a tight budget? I can help.

Before I became a stay-at-home mom, I was a Graphic Designer for 10 years. I know how expensive it is to get a book cover designed. It can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to even a thousand, or sometimes even more.

So, I am offering my services…for free. Well, sort of. I am offering my Graphic Design services in exchange for your pledge.

As some of you may already know, I launched a small writing campaign on Indiegogo yesterday called, Poetry for Paris. The aim is to raise funds to help me make my writing trip happen. The idea is for every pledge of at least $25, I would write you poem. If you pledge more, there are other perks included.

Well, aside from the other perks, I’m adding a BONUS:
If you’re self-publishing your book, I’ll even design your book cover!

Here is how it works:
You have to pledge at least $50 for your name to be entered in a drawing.
One winner will be picked and the results will be announced on June 1st.
If you pledge $150 or more, you do not need to be part of the drawing. You automatically become a winner and will receive my Graphic Design services, plus, you get the other perks included in your pledge.

What to expect, if you win:
I will design your book cover! I can do just the front cover for e-books or design the whole thing: front, back and spine, or do both!
I will provide you with 2 versions/concepts you can choose from.
You get 3 revisions. This means once you’ve picked a concept, you get 3 rounds for any tweaks or any last minute changes.

NOTE:
We will be working together through email.
My services will be designing and laying out your book cover. If you need illustrations or images, you will need to provide those prior to me designing your book cover.

The day before my campaign ends, which is May 31, I will put all the names (only of the writers who want to participate) in a hat and pick one winner. The winner will be announced on my blog on June 1st. (Depending on how many join the drawing, I may pick 2 winners.) Detailed information will be emailed to the winner(s). The winner(s) and I can start working on their book covers, after I get back from my trip, which is in July.

What are you waiting for? Pledge NOW and get a chance to get your book cover designed for only $50.

Send me an email after you’ve pledged (at least $50) and let me know if you want to join the drawing.
My email: coreympanergo@gmail.com.

If you just want to pledge without joining the drawing, any amount will do. Any help would mean the world to me.

For more information on Poetry for Paris, click here.