After trying to find answers to so many other questions, I tried to find out, how important the book cover is for a book.
Considering the common saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” I was told that this might apply to people, clothes, situations – and whatever else, but doesn’t apply to books in general!
How do we buy books? Let’s say, we’re trying to find a new author we heard of but don’t know yet. We read a book review we liked; we were told he/she was a good writer, his/her name isn’t generally known. What is next we will do?
Check out his/her books, right?
From what I imagined, the eye does have an influence on our decision. It’s a little bit like with meals:
Let me ask you: Which plate would you prefer eating?
Picture courtesy of: anonymekoeche.net/
I read that a book cover has to be well designed. It is, in a way the first page the reader sees. The cover has to be high quality, in as well content as also design. If a customer discovers “blown up,” ‘pixeled’ images, watermarks, a badly formatted text, a badly aligned title, the reader might think the inside of the book might be just as sloppy.
I surfed through the internet and found quite a few Websites presenting really bad book covers. But then: Do I want to be the judge?
I saw what was wrong with many of the presented covers. But I don’t feel comfortable being the one saying: “This cover is really bad.”
But please, judge for yourself:
I think, except with one of them… please forgive me, I couldn’t resist:
Picture courtesy of: buzzfeed.com/lukelewis/
I imagine that some book covers might be either great or mediocre in the reader’s or buyer’s eyes.
I read: Don’t try to start doing graphic design just because you can buy a program. Designing a great book cover is an art – and hiring an experienced and well-named book cover designer with an impressive cover gallery on his Website is often going to be better than to draw it yourself. (Unless you’re a genius in drawing and studied design for a few years.)
There are many book cover designers online. You can find lists with cover designers. But how do you find yours?
Bryan Hutchinson has created an amazing and very helpful list of tips, hints, and tricks to ask the right questions:
1) Hire someone who has a proven track record. This could mean:
a) Visiting several different designers and comparing their portfolios or
b) Hiring a designer who created a cover that impressed you (maybe you saw it on Amazon, or it was a cover of a fellow writer’s book).
I recommend sending inquiries to authors who had book covers designed by the designer you are considering. Visit the designer’s portfolio, get a couple of author names, visit their websites and send inquiries. Who doesn’t want to talk about their book? You’ll want to know if the designer is easy to work with, open to ideas, reliable (responsive and meets deadlines) and are the authors happy with the services rendered and final product?
3) Is the designer’s website professionally designed?
If the website doesn’t look professional then how can you trust that the book covers will?
The website should detail in an easy to read manner what all is included in the design, what factors could increase costs during the project and what type of files you will receive at completion. (.PSD,EPS,PDF, .JPG. etc.) Is a 3d cover included for display on your website? Also available on the site should be a portfolio of completed projects. It always makes me cautious when there are only one or two book covers in the portfolio.
To read his entire article, check out:
I think his entire article is very helpful and gives us excellent advice.
And don’t forget: A professional book cover will cost something. The cheapest isn’t always the best. You might want to save up for a decent book cover. But still: It is the first thing, your readers will see. And it is the cover they judge the book by!