Super exciting to let you know that one of the Child Writes authors was approached (via me) to be commissioned to do a book cover for a self published adult writer! I wasn't surprised in the least, especially given the calibre of the Child Writes students work.* It made me think about the importance of covers, and I certainly know I DO judge a book by it's cover.
The following A to Z considerations for cover design came from general discussions as well as Carmel Rowley's presentation at my local writers group meeting!
- a/ Good cover – we are all attracted to them!
- b/ Potentially more display time if good cover.
- c/ Book covers as ‘art’
- d/ Two seconds is the time required to judge ‘desirable’
- e/ Look for unique, blind to ‘same’
- f/ Attention span getting short – texting, Facebook, shallow reading.
- g/ Design fundamentals and rules of advertising relevant to book… emotional triggers, create desire to buy, capture attention. Keep in mind ‘less is more’…
- h/ Know your audience.
- i/ Once well-known, may be less need to ‘sell’ the story.
- j/ Tails Carried High – knew needed riveting picture of a horse because needed horse lovers to pick up the book…
- k/ Font is relevant.
- l/ Cover copy has to be active without discussing the plot.
- m/ Understand psychology of colour.
- n/ Emotions evoked influence purchase decision.
- o/ Keywords lend validity and cement the opinion the author is ‘right’
- p/ Research, research, research your audience. Use tools like Google Keyword Planner / Google Adwords.
- q/ Cover as art work so understand how the eye evaluates an image.
- r/ Copycat or knockoff – emulating design of successful images.
- s/ Psychology of portions of person, backs, half heads etc is relevant and considered.
- t/ Decide what own dreams and goals are…
- u/ Design for thumbnails for Amazon – simple and clear as possible.
- v/ Use all the resources at your disposal, for example, an orange cover to make it stand out…
- w/ Understand trends in colour and genre.
- x/ Brand yourself.
- y/ Test book cover - App called 'Thumb’ – upload a picture to different categories – thumbs up / thumbs down…
- z/ And if you are happy with it – then it is great!