graphic design

More about Book Covers

Related to last week’s extensive post on book-cover design for indie authors and publishers, Roger C. Parker posted over the weekend a few more tips for better book covers.

He also linked to a page of interactive book-cover makeovers at Dunn+Associates Design’s web site. For a kick, check out a few, and think about how the “before” and “after” designs use the 10 elements of book-cover design that I talked about last week. Pay particular attention to the title and front-cover graphics. How do the new designs use these more effectively than the “before” covers. Especially if you’re wrestling with a book cover right now, this little experiment should inspire you, if not give you a spark of enlightenment.

-TimK

P.S. With at least one of the book covers in Dunn Design’s exhibit (Mark A. Williams’s Your Identity Zones), the author rejected the book cover that his publisher preferred. Traditionally published authors should understand book-cover design, too, in order to use whatever influence you have with your publisher to ensure your book gets an effective design. (Although, as far as I can tell, both the “before” and “after” covers of that book were good covers. The “after” version was marginally better, because it had more focus—less clutter—and highlighted the title more. So it might split-test significantly better than the “before” version. Yeah, at some point, I’ll have to write an article on how to split-test a book cover.)

-TimK  Click to continue »

More about Book Covers


Photo © 2005 Jenn Calder CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Click here for the original image.

Related to last week’s extensive post on book-cover design for indie authors and publishers, Roger C. Parker posted over the weekend a few more tips for better book covers.

He also linked to a page of interactive book-cover makeovers at Dunn+Associates Design’s web site. For a kick, check out a few, and think about how the “before” and “after” designs use the 10 elements of book-cover design that I talked about last week. Pay particular attention to the title and front-cover graphics. How do the new designs use these more effectively than the “before” covers. Especially if you’re wrestling with a book cover right now, this little experiment should inspire you, if not give you a spark of enlightenment.

-TimK  Click to continue »

How to Design Your Book Cover


Cover for "From the Ashes of Courage," so that you can see how I made use of cover elements, and how I could have made better use of them. (Click for a larger view.)

As an indie author, you probably need to understand book-cover design. Traditionally published authors have their publishers’ experts to design their covers (whether or not those experts are worthy of the designation). Self-published authors, just printing up a few copies for family and friends, will probably be satisfied with the très kewl cover design tools at Lulu. But us indie authors need something more than a bare-bones, stock cover. And we don’t have the budget for a professional designer. And even if we do, we don’t have a publishing company helping us choose the designer. So we need to understand book-cover design, if not to design a decent cover ourselves, at least to know what to work on with our designer.

So what makes a good cover?

The cover is the first thing a prospective reader will see of your book. This is true whether she’s looking online or whether someone hands her a copy, or even if she happens to see a copy in a bookstore.

When someone picks up a new book for the first time, watch them. Here’s what they do:  Click to continue »

How to Design Your Book Cover


Cover for "From the Ashes of Courage," so that you can see how I made use of cover elements, and how I could have made better use of them. (Click for a larger view.)

As an indie author, you probably need to understand book-cover design. Traditionally published authors have their publishers’ experts to design their covers (whether or not those experts are worthy of the designation). Self-published authors, just printing up a few copies for family and friends, will probably be satisfied with the très kewl cover design tools at Lulu. But us indie authors need something more than a bare-bones, stock cover. And we don’t have the budget for a professional designer. And even if we do, we don’t have a publishing company helping us choose the designer. So we need to understand book-cover design, if not to design a decent cover ourselves, at least to know what to work on with our designer.

So what makes a good cover?

The cover is the first thing a prospective reader will see of your book. This is true whether she’s looking online or whether someone hands her a copy, or even if she happens to see a copy in a bookstore.

When someone picks up a new book for the first time, watch them. Here’s what they do:  Click to continue »

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