Readers do judge a book by its cover
Interested in having your book cover designed?
Believe me when I tell you– as a fellow author, I understand that is not something to be taken lightly, especially after all the time and effort you took to write, rewrite and edit your book! There is so much more to a cover than sticking some words on a snapshot to make a compelling cover. A book cover is basically an advertisement. It should catch someone’s attention, often from a small thumbnail, enough for them to click on it to find out more. The colors, the art and typography, the feel and mood all have to come together in an eye catching design that fit your unique book.
Let me share how I work, what is included in the design, what factors could increase costs during the project, ask some questions and see if we are a good fit.
For the image, I am better at photographing objects, scenes, or animals, rather than people. If you are local in Western North Carolina, I can recommend Paula Roberts for portrait or author photos. You do not have to be local for me to design a cover, or photograph cover images for you, as long as you are proficient in computer use.
At this time I am not offering consulting, interior layouts or other services in addition to cover design. I am not a copy editor and will use only the text copy you provide me with. I do not offer computer help and assume if you’ve written a book and are to the point of looking into having a cover designed, that you are familiar with basic computer task like uploading, downloading, sending and receiving attachments and emails. Your files will be emailed or made available for download to you. My services do not include working with third parties or uploading your files to the printer or publisher.
A cover designer not only understands graphic design, they know what is needed for book specs for your cover to go from an idea to being in print. Before hiring a cover designer you should take the time to view your competition online and in book stores. Do you want your book to look similar or do you want to stand out? Your front cover should be readable from a distance and as a low resolution thumbnail. Whether you choose me or someone else you should be able provide a brief summery that answers the majority of these questions. The more you can narrow down what you need, the quicker the design process will go, the less costly revisions will need to be made, and you will likely feel happier with the final results.
If you truly have no idea what would simply convey your book as a cover, I would be happy to come up with concept ideas after you complete the questionnaire and I hear your elevator pitch. YOU know your book, it would be better if you had an idea of what you are looking for.
To start the process please take a moment to answers these questions, and gather your ideas on a Pinterest board before we talk.
General questions for all covers
5 W’s—who, what, where, when, why.
What is your budget?
What is your “elevator pitch” - with the least amount of words tell me what your book is about.
Have you seen my work and do you like my designs?
Are you open to suggestions or allowing room for creative freedom or are you set on an idea?
Do you have an idea of what you would like that you can show me? Pinterest boards are great for this.
Is this for use only online or is it for physical print books also?
Do you prefer certain colors (for or against)?
Do you need a certain typeface or font on the cover (keeping with a theme)?
Is this book part of a series that you want to carry a theme or brand across?
What genre is your book?
Who is your reader base? What age and demographic is your book geared toward? Note– “everyone” is not an answer here.
What is the title and author name for this book?
Do you want ‘a novel’ or ‘a thriller’ etc. written on your cover? How about a teaser line?
Do you have sketches or other covers and images you admire?
What type (pdf, jpg, tiff) files will you need?
Do you know what size file you need?
Depending on the printer being used different file formats are needed. For example Create Space only offers a few templates that let you supply your own fully formatted front cover, or fully formatted front and back cover. For a full flat you’ll need to know your page count and paper color. If you do not have your own account set up with the printer you need to tell the person uploading the cover designs that changes to my work can not be made. I make each of my designs, illustrations and photos to the color destinations, ink limits, size and proportions provided by each printer or from what you’ve told me you need. For print books the platform is typically a pdf, for ebooks and audiobooks jpegs are often required. Just a side note here—it is wise for you to have your own account with companies like CreateSpace, Ingram Spark, or LSI so you are in control of uploading changes to your title and keeping up with your own sales and tax info.
Do you already have an image you want to use, and permission to use it?
Does this image need editing? Do you have the rights to edit the image?
If you would like me to photograph the image do you know what you’re looking for?
Print books, back covers and full flats
Are you doing a hardback, paperback, audiobook or ebook?
Do you know the color profile and color destination your printer needs?
Do you have your ISBN image from the printer, publisher or Bowker?
Do you want a price printed on the back cover?
Do you already have blurbs (testimonial praise endorsements) from names recognizable in your field that you can use for the back cover?
For the back cover– what is your headline, description/sales statement, facts, benefits, testimonials, unique author qualifications that set you apart in the field your book is about, and what is your call to action to make people want to buy this book over others?
Do you have an author photo you want on the back cover?
Do you know what size cover including bleed specs you need?
Do you have a subtitle or publisher logo that you want that on the spine?
What is your finished page count?
Have you looked up your BISAC categories and do you want that listed on the back cover?
Will you need?
A logo or brand image
A publisher imprint
Social media banners and headers
Bookmarks, business cards, postcards?
You can download the questions here or copy the text above and paste it with your answers in an email.
I uploaded related videos to this YouTube channel—Take a look!
Authors -category search list rank (reg speed) https://youtu.be/CPayiTjL2GA
Authors -category search list rank (slow speed) https://youtu.be/XD-WAgxWKaQ
Covered -book cover design modified presentation from Blue Ridge Bookfest 2015
Book Cover Questions