A professional book cover designer is necessary if you'reself-publishing a book to increase the likelihood of success. This is so because a book's cover may make the difference between being a bestseller and barely selling 10 copies.
The big question is, what will a book cover designer do for you, and how to find one?
What is a cover designer?
As the name suggests, a book cover designer makes the illustrations, images, and text layouts for book covers.
Many book designers read the books they are creating before they begin a project in order to comprehend the message and pictures they need to communicate. After determining the concept, the designer visualizes concepts and drafts a cover. They create a final version of the cover artwork and design after receiving approval.
Potential readers get a first impression of a book from its cover. Therefore, one of the most crucial components of promoting a book is the book cover design. You will lose sales if the cover is poorly made.
Therefore it is essential that you understand what is required of your book cover to completely graps what the designer will do for you.
Types of book covers
You could have a unique and eye-catching idea for yourbook's cover, but if you don't know what category or type of design it falls under, it could really put you in a spin trying to figure out how to commission it and who to reach out to.
Here are the most popular types of cover designs used:
The key advantage of illustrated covers is the artist'sability to bring their own visual style into the artwork. Drawing techniques can range from deceptively basic to extremely complicated.
Certain genres of readers have come to expect illustrated jackets. Fans of Horror and Science Fiction, for example, are typically drawn to intricate visuals that inspire others to explore their universe. In recent years, fans of literary fiction have come to anticipate minimal, even abstract, artwork on their book covers.
It's crucial to remember: not all cover designers are artists—and more importantly—not all illustrators can create a cover.
The reality is that the great majority of your favorite book designs will include features from stock image collections. To transform a stock shot into an original cover, they may apply a colored tint, air brush off any visitors in the back drop, and apply some custom typography.
And there it is: an original, distinct cover design.
The primary advantage of utilizing stock photographs as the foundation for the cover design is affordability. They are low-cost, professional-quality photographs that can be downloaded in seconds.
This technique is often employed only when artwork or stock pictures are unable to represent what the publisher desires. Celebrity autobiographies are the first thing that comes to mind—think A Promised Land.
This is also a popular choice of cover for cook books or books about food, especially if they are written by someone famous.
However, as a general rule, book covers featuring original photography are rare. This is because they are generally more expensive than the first two-kind of covers we've discussed and can also be more time-consuming and require more coordination with the photographer, publisher, and designer—too many cooks.
Let's face it, we all make judgments about books based on their covers. The cover should be created to convey the book's genre and provide a brief summary of its subject matter. Since it's the first thing a
reader sees, it serves as your most effective marketing weapon.
Here are the essential elements all book covers should have:
The book's title
Every book needs to have a title. It is a prerequisite for all official and published publications. To grab the reader's interest, aim for unique and intriguing titles.
The author's name
The creator of the work needs to be acknowledged. On occasion, the book cover may also bear the editor's name.
The art element
A book cover's design is perhaps one of the most important considerations. It should not only be proper and pertinent to the book's subject, but it should also be interesting or intriguing.
The back cover
This usually offers a brief summary of the book's core idea,reviews from famous publications, or a short biography of the author.
Sizes of book covers
This may appear to be a last-minute decision, but choosing trim size affects the page count, weight, and overall appearance and feel of your book—and you'll want to pick your book's trim size before beginning your book cover design.
Here are the standard sizes used based on format:
Most fiction and general nonfiction books are trade paperbacks and measure 5 x 8" to 6 x 9". Shorter works, such as novellas, are almost always 5 x 8".
Hardcovers are typically 6 x 9" or 8.5 x 11".
Since these books are created for traveling, they are almost always 4.25 x 6.87".
How to hire a ghost bookcover designer?
If you're on the lookout for a book cover designer and want to work with someone who works as a ghost—does not assume credit for the work—it could send you chasing down paths that could leave you a little spun.
While hiring a regular designer is relatively easy—finding a ghost can be relatively harder.
However, fear not because we have an easy process for you on how to find a book designer:
Step 1: Set a budget
Remember: you get what you pay for. This is why deciding ona budget before you even begin searching for a designer is crucial.
Your budget can depend on the type of cover art you want orthe level of expertise you expect from the designer—a photography cover will cost more than a stock image, just like an expert will cost more than a beginner.
Step 2: Look for cover design companies or freelancers
Do you want to work with an already-established business that offers cover design services are do you want to explore project-based freelancers?
While both are equally viable options, we lean more in favor of design or publishing companies because there is more accountability and a greater level of commitment to project management. However, if you have your eyes set on a great freelance designer, we say: go for it!
Step 3: Sign a contract
This is an especially important step if you want to work with a ghost for your book cover design.
In order to ensure that all rights to the cover design belong to you, you ensure that the company or designer you're working with cannot claim credit for the work in the future.
Step 4: Offer a design brief
Once you have signed a non-disclosure agreement, you can now share your ideas with the designer.
Make sure to go into detail about each element of the book cover design and give clear and easy-to-understand instructions so you can get your desired results!
Work with your chosen designer to polish their design proposal after you've made your decision. Request a couple of different iterations from them. Finally, invite each of your ideal readers to choose one of one to three versions in a final vote.
Keep your audience in mind! It makes no difference if you like a different cover. The cover design is for your readers—and sticking to what they want is your best bet!