Everyone ignores that advice to not judge a book by its cover. If it wasn’t for an interesting cover, you might completely overlook the engaging story. Book cover design, whether it is, for a printed piece or an e-book, is as vital to your marketing efforts as the content you seek to sell. No one wants to pick up a book that looks like it was designed by a kindergartner, especially if you are talking about something professional. There are several styles of book covers and many writers especially hire a designer or an illustrator to add life to their books. The attractive book covers not only attract readers but also built the curiosity about the content present in the book. Thus, if you want your book to succeed, you should follow these 5 important steps for designing a book.
1. Be the reader, not the writer
In other words, try to know more and more about your audience. You should keep an eye on their psychology, likes, and thoughts while purchasing anything. When it comes to books firstly you need to understand that every reader has certain criteria for buying books and book covers and design influence their criteria magically.
For example, if you are going to be creating an ebook, you need to consider how the thumbnail of the cover is going to look on the website. Cover images and the text has to be easily understood as a thumbnail because that is how books are largely being sold. If a potential reader cannot discern the important elements of the book—title, subtitle, and author—then they probably won’t be interested in what your work has to offer.
But the cover goes beyond just being an image. Just as words are creating to tell a story rather than showing you one, the cover works in the same manner. When you see a good cover, you immediately feel something, right? If the cover disconnects from the content, or if it is boring to the audience, it won’t attract the correct people (or anyone, for that matter).
2. Study up on good book design – exterior and interior
Think back to the last time you picked up and finished your favorite book. Regardless of the subject manner or length, there are obviously some things all great books have in common. You might vaguely remember what the cover looked like, the fonts used, and even some page elements, but chances are what sticks most is how much the actual content was enjoyed. Therefore, good book design is something that draws the reader in but does not distract them from getting lost in the book.
In other words, you can’t have the font be too large or too small, or use an unreadable font, because difficult to read prose is almost as unbearable as nails on a chalkboard. No one wants to hear nails on a chalkboard, and even just the thought of it probably sends shivers down your spine. To avoid creating that kind of repulsion in readers, you need to study up on exterior and interior book design.
Here are elements to consider:
Book cover design
Audience – although already noted, think about what kind of audience you are targeting. For example, you wouldn’t use pink for a book aimed at men’s health.
Avoid cliches – similar to paying attention to audience, you also should be aware of cliches aligned with the subject matter. For example, you shouldn’t put dollar signs on a book about finance. It looks cheap.
Focus – the cover should convey the same message as your written content, no matter how abstract or minimal it may be. Always seek to convey a message.
Atmosphere – use elements that will fascinate the reader. Think about colors, typography, imagery, and overall tone of the cover. You can draw inspiration from where you book is set, the subject matter, or the overall moral of the story or content.
Book content design
Chapter Start – there are three decorative elements that come into play: a large sans serif font for chapter numbers, a small sans serif for the chapter title, and a line separating the number and title that spans the page. The page number is also omitted.
Lead Paragraph – this usually isn’t indented. Drop capitals are often used. Also, watch out for sloppy hyphenation. Be sure to use professional layout software like Adobe InDesign to produce natural text flow.
Line Spacing – books are usually single-spaced, but wider leading can make a book easier to read, especially if the lines are long. But fewer words will appear on the page, making the book appear longer than it actually is.
Fonts – chapter headers are also modern sans. Body paragraphs are usually traditional serifs, like Times New Roman or Georgia. Serif fonts are more readable in print, while sans serif fonts, like Helvetica, or better for ebooks and web pages.
Several designers and companies offer services organizing your book in a proper manner. They efficiently design the cover, inner pages, adjust font and colors, and compile the material in a most appealing manner so that you book can rule the market.
3. Put together a number of designs
Never create a single cover and think that it will be okay. You should create multiple book designs for both inside and outside to see which ones have the best feel for the book. And know that these designs don’t all have to come from your own brain. If you already have a fan base, hold a contest and see if anyone comes up with decent designs or hire any professional for this task. As you create, use different fonts, colors, images, sizes, shapes, and textures. Try a variety of styles, such as abstract, contemporary, modern, and minimalist. Once you have a broad selection of book designs, it’s time to move on to next step.
4. Get input
Now, how you get input can be done a number of ways. This can involve posting the best designs that you received from holding a contest and having everyone vote, asking readers to judge your own creations, getting feedback from other graphic designers and artists, and running some thoughts by your editor or publisher (if you have one). Receive the feedback, analyze it, then make the necessary changes. If you must, you can repeat Step 3 and 4 as many times as you want in order to find the book design that best fits your needs and expectations.
5. Awards and reviews
Sometimes, you need to appeal to your target audience in more ways than one. Have you written previous books before? Do you have a specific title? Something that you can showcase and increase your credibility or reputation? Just like internet marketing requires the utilization of testimonials and comments from other people, a good book cover will use the same method.
Tastefully incorporating social proof into your book design will make even the most hesitant of readers give you a chance.
A book cover that uses reviews from previous works, bestseller status, and other awards will be much more appealing than a cover without. The reason? Reviews and awards validate the quality of the book. Perhaps your book is already in print, so a line-up of commentary may be widely available. Perhaps you work was showcased somewhere and won praise. Whatever honorable mention you might have received, it can be used as an element in book design.
However, you should always add this last. Why? If you have copies of your work being circulated pre-publication for reviews, you can collect input on both the book design and content, take the reviews that carry the most weight, and put them into the finalized version of your book.
When you hire any company to compile your book and to create its design they use the same method of taking reviews with several people of the same field or conduct a survey to prepare proper statistics then present some best designs to their clients.
Successful book design is as essential as the actual literature. Without thoroughly brainstorming and creating a thought-provoking cover, readers will never be enticed to pick up your work. Book design, both inside and outside, is prime marketing material. Thinking of it that way, if you follow these tips, you will be able to construct a stunning cover that wows the audience.