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        Book Cover Design: An Introduction

        • calenderMar 11, 2021
        • calender 5 min read

        ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’. This is a saying that we’ve heard umpteenth number of times, and we take it to mean ‘don’t be shallow’. But for actual books, this is a matter of concern, because a good book cover is the thin line between buying the book and not buying the book. 

        The cover of your book is crucial to help the reader get a faint idea of what the central idea of your book is. An attractive book cover design will help it fly off the shelf in a jiffy!

        Anatomy of a book cover design

        If you think that your book cover is only all about the graphics, think again! These elements go into making one:

        1. Title: Your title should be the core of your book. Try to keep it short and simple, instead of aiming for a clever title, because remember, you’re thinking like a reader and not an author. 
        2. Author’s name: Very obvious. And if it’s your first book, a matter of pride. But it should not overpower the title in font and size. 
        3. Front cover: Your front cover is the main hook of the book cover design. Along with the title, it should conjure up what you want the reader to experience.
        4. Subtitle: Add a subtitle only if necessary. Most romance or thriller novels have subtitles which are two lines, a pinch of vague, and enough to intrigue the reader about the book. 
        5. Back Cover: The back cover offers a short summary of the book, the author’s photo, and details. 

        Things to keep in mind before giving your book for cover design.  

        1. Thoroughly understand what your book is about. Try and make a short summary of the book to get a clearer idea. Another thing that might work for you is listing down words that immediately remind you of your book, which indirectly means that you want the reader to feel the same way. For example, the cover design for ‘A Girl on the Train’ immediately invokes thrill and mystery, along with the subtitle.
        2. Finalize the title and the subtitle (if there is one). The title is the identity of your book for a reader who is going to pick it up for the first time. Make sure you discuss with hundreds of people, take criticism and feedback from your editors and closest friends, and carefully contemplate what exactly will the title be.
        3. Decide a budget. Cover design depends on the level of complexity and at a later stage, on the material to be used for the book cover. If you want to be a little flexible to ensure a stunning cover, decide on a price bracket instead of a fixed budget. 

        How does good cover design help your book reach a larger audience? (Why do you need a good book cover?)

        Think of your book cover as a movie’s trailer. If the trailer is good, packs a punch, and tells what to expect without revealing what the whole movie is, bingo! You have yourself an exciting wait. The same applies to book cover design. A good book cover catches the eye of the reader almost immediately, it’s like their peripheral vision is keeping an eye out for it. 

        Sometimes, a good book cover design becomes the identity of your book and can remain the same for multiple editions as opposed to a new cover for an anniversary edition, or 10th edition. Read about some iconic book cover designs here. 

        Why should you take the help of a professional cover design service instead of doing it yourself? (Designing a book cover yourself vs sending it to a professional)

        Your book’s cover design is very important, as we’ve established in the earlier sections. A lot of authors who want to know how to design a book cover themselves. And while designing one might save you money, it will most certainly eat up time; time that you could’ve used to do what you do best: write. 

        Another important factor is the insight that a creative mind brings to the desk. When you approach a professional book cover designer, they will dedicate their entire time to your cover, give you a variety of options, and also provide another perspective if you already know what you want your design to be. They are more skilled and trained in identifying how the visual really works for the story and the audience. 

        If you think that you will be wasting money by hiring a professional cover designer, think again and think of it as an investment on a good book that will immortalize itself in the eyes of your readers. Money is always secondary. 

        Why should you choose PaperTrue for cover design?

        Along with stellar editing and proofreading services, PaperTrue’s ‘TrulySet’ services offer services like typesetting, ebook cover design, and additional essential services like ISBN, for example. 

        When you choose PaperTrue for your book cover design, you get:

        1. 2 options that are professionally designed, keeping your specific requirements in mind. 
        2. Fast and timely delivery; we work weekends too!
        3. Free design revision (if required). 

        Also read:

        1. 7 essential elements of a perfect book cover design. 
        2. 8 pre-publishing steps to self-publish your book   

        But this is just the first cover of an inexhaustible bibliography of articles that will cover the nitty-gritty of cover design. To read more articles, subscribe to our Resource Center. 


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        Rishi Linkedin

        Rishi was a zealous student at IIT Bombay when he realized, firsthand, the power of good language in effective communication. As part of this belief, after a brief stint in a hedge fund, he co-founded PaperTrue in 2014.

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