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Designing an Effective Book Cover

Even a great book may never depart from the bookstore if the cover doesn’t capture the reader’s eye. Bottom line, the way your book cover looks is likely the most crucial part of the entire book design and marketing process.

The following are some tips to help you make an effective book cover mockup:

Check out similar genre book covers.

Visit local or online bookstores and scan books in the same category as yours. When you go to the area of the store where your book could be someday, what’s the first cover that caught your eye and for what reason? What made the cover stick out from the rest? In the same manner, take note of the covers you thought were the worst. Be sure to look into the said questions as you create your book cover mockup.

Choose the right colors.

Think of the psychological effect of the colors you intend to use on your cover. If your book deals with meditation, you may not want an orange or red cover as these colors tend to excite the senses instead of relaxing them. Use white or blue for your book cover mockup and you’ll end up with something more peaceful and probably more apt. Again, scan other books in your same category and notice the colors they use. How do you want your readers to feel about your book? What colors can give you that feeling?

Put your name and book title in the right places.

Unless you’re Stephen King, your name should be printed at the bottom portion of the cover. Your title should instead be on top, preferably bigger than your name or at least the same size. When you have established yourself as a writer, then you can make your name the top attraction in your cover. In any case, the letters must stand out and be easy to read. As you create your book cover mockup , you’ll see that plain fonts in basic colors are better, but ensure the text won’t lose itself in the color behind it.

Choose appropriate artwork.

Make sure the artwork is right for the content of your book and does not alter its message. After Agatha Christie’s death, her murder mystery books had covers that featured gory illustrations, such as needles sticking out of someone’s eyes and blood streaming out of someone’s mouth. The covers caught attention, but that’s it. Most people have an aversion to such gruesome images. So don’t be content with getting their attention – they should be inclined to dig deeper.

Keep it simple.

Be sure the cover is not chaotic. Try to do a distance test. Reduced your book cover mockup to one inch in height – the size it will be on the Internet. If your artwork cannot be distinguished easily at the said size, then it is too complicated. Also set the cover at the actual book size and view it from a ten-foot distance. If the artwork couldn’t be easily distinguished, it’s probably not the best choice for your cover.