With the ever growing publishing industry heading more and more into the independent publishing area, book authors not only have to be creative with words now. They also have to find a way to promote their book in a way that appeals to the reader visually. Let’s take Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” for example. The book cover was a very simple black background with an apple in a set of hands. It made you want to know why this person was holding an apple in the first place.

Throughout the journey of publishing “Shadows: The Story of the Kayouta” I wanted the same kind of feel for my book cover. The book itself was light, cute and airy. However, the underlining tone of death of a mother and grandmother made the topic dark also. It all comes down to fonts and placement.

I’ve seen some really, really good self designed book covers over the past year or so. I’ve also seen some that could use a little work. Here are a few tips to making your book cover portray your story in the best way possible:

  1. Pick a font that matches the feel of your book. If your story is about murder and hardcore issues, don’t place a font that is airy, light and feminine. One of my biggest pet peeves in Old English text. Luckily I haven’t seen a book cover with that on it… yet. You want a font that is also easy to read, easy to pick up on and if you have more than one book in your series, one you won’t get tired of seeing.
  2. Pictures are a dime a dozen on Google and other places these days. Make sure you have permission to use pictures from those sites though. I’ve found websites dedicated to royalty free pictures that have a great collection. If you would like to spend the money, DeviantArt has a lot of talented artist available. All they ask for is credit and a small fee. When it comes to combining the picture with the font, make sure the font pops away from the picture and separates itself. I’ve seen my fair share of book covers where the font blends with lines or drawings and it is really hard to make out the name of the book.
  3. Watch your proportions. That is another pet peeve of mine. If you are designing your cover and the heroine on the cover has her face squished to the point of making her look like she’s standing in a funhouse mirror, that doesn’t look good no matter what you do. Check your cover and make sure it’s proportioned.
  4. There are a lot of services out on the internet that offer book cover designs for a fee. I only charge $30 for the initial setup with unlimited changes to the cover. Some other services can charge upwards to $150 and then also charge you for changes. Make sure you understand their policies when it comes to the designs. You will also need to know the size of your book to make the cover work.
  5. If you plan on epublishing your book, make sure you have a cover that will transfer over well to the digital look. I suggest sticking to black and white if you are planning on publishing to ebook. It transfers so much better than a color cover. If you are planning on publishing through Amazon, I would do a color cover but make sure it’s one that will transfer to black and white just in case someone does not have the Kindle Fire.

Like I said, books are coming out left and right now, especially with epublishing. You want to make sure that your book not only looks good but portrays your series in the best way possible.

If you have any more questions about epublishing or book covers, you can contact me at eliciaseawell@gmail.com. I’m always available for answers.