How To Find Inspiration To Create A Book Cover You Love By WBR’s Designer Jen Burbridge
Ever judged a book by its cover? Who hasn’t?!
It’s essential to create a cover design that stands out for two reasons:
- You’ve invested months crafting inspiring content and you want to feel amazing when you look at your book and feel proud to present it to the world.
- You want your ideal clients to flock to it in their droves; a brilliant cover will compel them to do that.
It’s common for new and aspiring authors to feel a bit “lost” or “clueless” when it comes to a book cover design, in part because it’s bringing the book creation process to an end; there’s an air of finality to it!
We ask all our authors to complete a design brief so that by the time you have sight of the three draft versions you’ll be telling us you feel “a smidge emotional”, or that you have “all the tingles”, like so many of our existing authors do.
The design brief
In an ideal world we’ll create two bespoke covers based on the detailed information that you give us, and we’ll magic up a third “wildcard” cover that we think could work well. The final choice is yours and we will take you through a review and cover edit process so that you are over the moon with the final version.
Here are five top tips to help you (and help us) design a book cover you love.
- Think about your current brand. As a starting point it’s worth considering whether you want to use similar colours or fonts to replicate or complement your current brand, or if you want it to contrast and stand out from the background when it’s featured on your website. Do you want to include your business logo or not? It helps assert a degree of authority and increase brand awareness, but there is more to consider.
- Get into the feelings. Imagine yourself holding your newly published book in your hands in less than a year’s time. How do you want to feel when you look at that book? The feelings you want to experience will help guide us to design the right cover. Repeat the process with your ideal readers (your target audience). What feelings do you want to bring up in them? Share these words so that we are clear on your intention.
- Research. Actively go and pay attention to book covers. Go to your bookcase, into a bookshop (or online), and look at book covers. Notice what you pick up. What cover appeals to you? What style of cover do you think would appeal to your target audience? Why?
- Provide examples. Send us links or images of the covers that appeal to you. You don’t have to love the whole cover, you might like bits and pieces of different ones which will still work well together. You might like the font on one cover, the colours on another, the use of images or quotes on a third.
It’s useful for you to share examples of covers that you really love and also ones that repel you; this helps us know which styles to avoid (which saves you time and effort). When you’re providing examples it’s useful to think about a broad range of books on any subject (they don’t have to be business books).
Please note that if you want us to use an image from a site such as iStock photo, we cannot guarantee that your book will be the only one that uses it, but with the right title and font and all the personal touches we can design a bespoke cover that represents you and your work in the best possible way.
- Be specific. Give us as much detail as you can; if you like a certain font because it’s modern, traditional, funky or cartoon-like then tell us because that information helps us design what’s right for you. You might love a bold, dominant image, or you might prefer an image that fades into the background. You guide us and we’ll work the magic! Likewise you might be drawn to a book because of the colour of the cover but think it’s a little bit cold or too warm for you; when you share that information it helps us colour match.
Ultimately the cover we design is the face of your book; it’s one of the first things potential readers will see. We want you to love it and be excited to own it and share it with the world, and we want it to speak loudly to your target market (or softly if that’s more appropriate!).
When you give us a detailed brief we have a great resource to get started so that when you come to review our initial designs we’ll be making small changes rather than starting over (which saves all the energy you need for your book launch!).
10 second takeaway
Designing the book cover is a really exciting part of the book creation process. Have you got some ideas for a design? A design challenge or a question? Hop into the Facebook group and tag us (Rebecca Tinworth or Jen Burbridge), and we’ll reply.
Does thinking about the cover for your book give you all the tingles? If so, why not book a brand and content strategy session?