My latest post at the Catholic Writers Guild Blog is entitled, “The Importance of a Good Cover:”
A book’s cover is the first thing a prospective reader sees so it is important that it be professionally created. If it is poorly designed or if it is too simplistic, it can turn your reader away. I know of some self-published books in which the story and writing were pretty good, but the covers screamed “Self-published!”
In these days of digital printing and e-copies, a good cover also needs to look interesting in thumbnail.
With traditional publishing, the author may not have much say regarding the cover. However, with self-publishing, the author has 100 percent responsibility for making sure the cover is professionally created.
I cannot stress enough the importance of hiring a professional cover designer. In my case, my husband (James Hrkach) is an artist and he has designed all my covers.
Some self-publishing websites also offer cover design services. However, if you want a professional looking cover and not too simplistic, it’s better to hire a cover designer. Ask fellow authors for recommendations. Do an online search. Cover designers are as diverse as authors. Look for a designer whose portfolio includes covers which are professionally done and thematically in line with your book’s topic.
Once you’ve hired a designer, it’s important to work with him or her to create a cover design which sets the mood for your book and intrigues a prospective reader.
Two things an author should realize with regard to good cover design is that:
1) one of the most important things about a cover design is the composition
2) artistic/visual composition is probably one of the things authors/writers know the least about
Look for books which have interesting designs and ask yourself:
What’s the theme?
Why does the layout work?
What’s the emotion?
What’s being represented?
Do the lines, color and composition support the theme?
A book’s cover is a marketing device. Professionally produced covers will not only enhance your book, they will also help in marketing it to prospective readers.