Home > The Publisher's Corner > Self-Publishing 101: Getting the Most Out of Your Cover Design

Tips for Creating Visuals to Reach Your Target Audience

A book cover is a key element in getting your book noticed by readers. Knowing what components to pay attention to while designing the cover helps you focus on your core audience and get your book to stand out on those crowded shelves. We have five tips that can help you get the most out of your cover design and attract target readers.

visual book covers1.Research Good Cover Designs

Start a search to look for good, effective covers. Notice how they communicate what the book is about. Critically dissect the elements (font, title, background) and see why the designers chose them to attract a reader’s attention. Everything from background color to your title should play a role in getting your book noticed.

2. Think Thumbnail

Sometimes a cover design does not translate well when scaled down. Ask yourself, is the cover too cluttered? Is the font readable? Even if your webpage has text describing the book, a good thumbnail-sized photo can pique a reader’s interest, but a bad one can prompt them to look elsewhere. A good design should function well as a book cover and in a Facebook advertisement.

3. Convey the Genre of the Book

Your biggest audience is going to be based on the genre of the book you’ve written, so appeal to those readers with your design. Let readers know if it is a mystery or a romance. Convey what your book is about, but don’t beat them over the head. Subtle clues threaded throughout the design will catch their eye and let them know your book is a great murder mystery or fantasy, asking them, why not take a read?

4. Select the Right Font

When picking a font, try to find one that is readable even when the cover is reduced in size. Script fonts may look great on a large book cover but generally get lost when seen on smaller Internet advertisements. This is where using a professional designer is a plus, since they know what works best to get the look you want. Avoid kitschy typefaces and stick to ones that project a polished, professional job. The font you choose should communicate the feeling and message of the book.

5. Spotlight Your Brand

Whether you have decided to publish a solo book or a series of books, use this opportunity to spotlight you, the author. Devising a standard style of presenting your name will provide readers with an instant way to recognize your books. Staying consistent is the point. Take, for example, bestselling author Sue Grafton, whose name is boldly positioned at the top of every book she writes. Fans know exactly what to look for, and where.

6. Design All Elements of Your Cover

Your cover includes the front, back, and spine of the book. Design your cover with the goal of communicating the content and ambiance of the book. Pay attention to each element of the design, and make them work for you. Spend time looking for the right stock photograph or font. Edit the copy on your cover, and look for typos. Though tempting, this is not the stage in the game where you should scrimp. You want the cover to reflect who you are as an author: professional, creative and someone to watch in the future. The devil is in the details.

book cover thumbnail

Why Dog Ear?

All aspects of publishing a book can be confusing and intimidating. Turning to a company like Dog Ear Publishing, with over fifty years of traditional publishing experience, gives you a competitive edge in the production of a professional-quality designed book. The friendly, knowledgeable staff at Dog Ear Publishing will guide you throughout the publishing process and help you achieve superior results. If you want your book to be a quality reflection of who you are as an author, visit our website at www.dogearpublishing.net today and take control of your publishing destiny.

Ray Robinson
Ray Robinson

When Ray first entered the publishing industry, authors relied on “vanity presses” to produce their work – many of whom would charge $15,000 or more and leave the author’s garage filled with hundreds of books. Ray, along with coworker Alan Harris, joined forces with Miles Nelson to create Dog Ear Publishing to provide the author community a self-publisher with a heart. The group’s application of new technologies and publishing on demand reduced the cost of publishing a book to a fraction of what it had been for previous generations; authors now have the ability to publish a book in as little as six weeks and print as few as a single copy.