Covering Your Book.

So you’ve written your first book and you are ready to self publish? Before you jump into your book upload one important aspect to consider, one that is quite often under-rated, is the quality of your cover.

With the increasing number of self published books appearing on sites such as Lulu and Amazon, we are also seeing a plethora of poorly designed, un-appealing book covers hit those sites. They say that “You can’t judge a book by it’s cover” which is a very true statement, but I believe that you can sell, or certainly boost sales, of your book by the cover you choose to use. I have been designing covers for Authors books for some time now and have received a lot of great and positive feedback for the work that I have done. It has been an interesting research trip to discover what sort of covers are out there and, what is and isn’t appealing about them.

The first things that come to mind for me regarding cover designing are;

1. The cover should have a strong and crisp image – (I have seen so many pixelated, poor quality images used on covers)
2. The cover should relate to the content inside the book – (You don’t want to create a negative feeling from your reader because you have a picture of a cat on your cover when your book is really about dogs. The reader feels cheated and lied to, even if it is subconsciously)
3. Titles and Author name should not be lost amidst the image – (There are some great images on books with small and hard to read titles that blend into the image far too much)
4. Maintain originality (Too often Authors are trying to ‘re-create’ covers that they love)

The cover should be an ‘over-all’ design. Image doesn’t do it alone. The relationship between the image used and the title are extremely important, and type font comes into play here. A font you find arty or attractive  may be that when used in a document, but combined with an image as an overall cover design may render the work awkward to look at or even read. Crisp readable fonts are important.

With the excitement of finishing a book and getting it ‘up there’ for everyone to read, over looking cover design can be an easy thing to do. As an Author you want what is best for your work, and over looking this area can be detrimental to your sales. There are websites out there that offer you a free online cover design feature, Lulu is one of these, however the online design software leaves much of the creativity involved in creating a cover behind. They are limited in functionality and quite often only allow you to place an image and text. This isn’t enough to create a winning cover which takes much more time and requires far more advanced software. A Google search will reveal many services that offer cover designs for as little as $25-$50 but again, these services are limited and it’s well worth noting that “you get what you pay for”. A good designer can charge anywhere between $200 and $500 to do a cover, the latter an extreme. What you get from investing that type of money into your cover is a good start to your books future, however, is it worth the investment? As an author you place care, effort and an un-imaginable amount of creativity into nurturing your words to life, and by ignoring the importance of the cover you wrap those words in you are not only doing yourself an injustice, but your work as well. If that isn’t worth the investment I’m not sure what is. So what do I think you should be paying for a cover design to accompany your book? I would say between $200 and $250 would be a safe estimate. This amount of money should get you an outstanding design.

Your $250 should cover the initial design and two changes you may request to the design. It’s important to remember that the designer may advise you that a change you want to make may not be a good design choice but it is ultimately up to you whether you follow that advice. When choosing a designer you will also need to make sure you are both clear on the requirements for your use of the design;

1. Do you own the design outright?
2. Does the designers fee only include the right for you to use the design as your book cover?
3. Is there some sort of royalty you will need to pay to the designer for every book sold with that cover?
4. Does the designers name need to be included in the first few pages of the book?

It is important to make the right decisions about your new book from the start and it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of getting it out there as quickly as possible. Keep in mind that skipping important decisions such as your cover design may decrease the sales and success of you books.

If you would like me to assist in the design of your next book cover, the formatting required to your manuscript to make it compatible with the eBook format requirements or for conversion to PDF, head to my contact page and hit me up.

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