What Does A Book Cover Artist Do
In order to create the best and most compelling book cover, a book cover artist should first have an excellent idea regarding the contents and tone of the book. To do this, the artist will often need to read the book, or at least read a detailed synopsis. In some cases, a book cover artist might also confer with the publisher or author of the book as well. This allows the artist to design and create a cover that coincides with the authors visions for his work.
A book cover artist will then usually develop a few ideas for how the cover could look. These ideas are usually run by the publisher or author, who will them choose one.After a cover concept has been chosen, a book cover artist will then get to work creating the cover. As mentioned above, the artist will usually use mages, including graphics and photographs for the front cover, and possibly the back cover and spine as well. He will also need to choose a font for the title of the book and the authors name.
Once the elements of a book cover have been chosen, an artist will then arrange and assemble them into the perfect layout. This usually requires the use of advanced computer software, including imaging software and design software. While creating the cover, however, an artist should also leave room on the back cover for a synopsis of the book and a short biography of the author.
Related Artist Spotlight – Johnny Atomic, Concept & Cover Artist
Book Covers Should Introduce Your Protagonist
Whether theyre irritatingly perfect or tragically flawed, a model citizen or the definition of an anti-hero, readers have to feel connected to your protagonist in order to feel compelled to read their story. If you can establish a connection with your protagonist before they ever even crack open your book, youre ahead of the game.
Use your book cover design to start building that connection. Whether its overt or subtle , using your cover as a way to start building the relationship between your main character and your reader will help you attract the kind of audience thats going to want to hear your protagonists story.
The cover of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Nighttime by Mark Haddon incorporates multiple elements of a well-designed cover. The designer alludes to the plot with the graphic of the dog and pitchfork and the whimsical font is a great representation of the child protagonist.
Look For Book Cover Inspiration
You should first look for book cover inspiration, whether youre designing the cover yourself or hiring a designer. Some cover designers even ask for links to these inspirations.
As a bonus, heres my good friend, K.M. Weilands place for storing , like the ones below:
Stick to Genre Expectations
When making a book cover, you need to stick to genre expectations. These genre standards are standard for a reason they sell books.
Google the bestsellers in your genre and take note of the book covers, including their:
- Common elements
You want your cover to stand out by looking eye-catching and well-made, yet ensuring it naturally fits your genre.
Fiction or Nonfiction?
Generally speaking, nonfiction speaks to the brain, while fiction speaks to the heart. Any reader should be able to quickly tell if a book is nonfiction or fiction.
Fiction book covers do great when they send an emotional message congruent with the story that connects with the right kind of reader.
Nonfiction book covers sell well when they are witty and/or intriguing.
When deciding how to make your perfect book cover, check Amazons online marketplace for inspiration. Look inside and outside your genre. This is just for pure inspiration.
Although you may not need a book cover for that particular genre or topic, it can be advantageous to look at book covers you find inspiring.
Step 8: Create The Book Pages
Draw a shape to represent the front part of the book pages.
Give this shape a gray Color Overlay and a black Drop Shadow layer style.
Draw the shape for the top of the book pages and give it a white Color Overlay.
Draw vertical lines at the front part of the book pages to give the book pages definition. Afterwards, reduce the layers Opacity to 18%.
Similarly, create lateral black lines for the top of the book and reduce their layers Opacity to 8%.
Create a tiny detailing shape where the top and side parts of the book pages meet . Give this shape a white Color Overlay layer style.
Look At Lots Of Book Covers Both In Your Field And Out
The first thing to do is get an idea of what other books in your field are like, and maybe get some ideas from them.
Once you spend some time looking at a lot of book covers in your genre, youll be shocked at how repetitive they are. Thats common.
Dont feel bad about using some of these tropesthey exist for a reason, and they will help you, actually. It is a good thing for people to be able to identify your book as being in the genre you want to be in.
Its also important to look at books in lots of other fields to get ideas as well. Just because your book is about psychology doesnt mean you have to use the same tropes as all psychology books; you can use some ideas from business or self-help books, or even novels.
Also, dont feel bad about taking inspiration from your favorite books. Great art and design dont magically appear in a vacuum. They have to be born of some inspiration point.
Step 1: Get The Stuff
materials/tools you will need some pencils or pens or a computer running something like paint some paper big enough to cover the book, or just to cover the front of the book some old magazines or you could print your favourite font on some glossy photo paper, that will work too some scissorssome glue, pritstick, pva etc…shapes to draw around like a bowl, tin or money.this clear sticky back plastics
Get Your Typography Right
Typography, or the use of lettering on the cover, is something almost all non-professional cover designers struggle with. We’ve got a detailed guide to it here, but to get you started, here are a few pointers:
- See how text is handled on popular covers in your genre. Is the font serif or sans serif? How heavy is the text?
- Find some variety. Avoid using the same typeface for the title, author name, and tagline but dont go crazy and use more than 2 or 3 fonts.
- Avoid fonts with a lot of baggage. Dont use Papyrus or Comic Sans or any other typeface that has its own meme.
- Keep your name relatively small. Unless you are really famous, the author name should not be larger than the title.
- Give the reader some credit. Dont feel the need to include written by or a novel by readers can figure that out for themselves.
- Keep it simple. One of the most common amateur design mistakes is to make the cover far too busy. Coco Chanel once said, before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take at least one thing off. This advice is something that more DIY designers can learn from: always see what it would look like with one less color or composited image.
Choose Graphics And Fonts
One of the great things about book covers is that there is almost no graphic style that cant work. Writers have wild imaginations, and its the designers job to create a cover that represents all of the wondrous worlds their pages create.
The downside of this is that narrowing down a style can be a challenge. Book covers can feature a photograph, illustration or abstract design. They can feature everything from cartoonish doodles to stark, modern typography.
Consider what message the graphic style sends to a book-buyers brain. A photograph of New York City shouldnt be used for a book not set in New York. Soft typefaces and natural settings are often used in womens fiction while vintage photographs imply a historical setting.
Also worth noting: think carefully about where you source your images. While lots of books on shelves feature stock images, you do run the risk another book could come out with the nearly same cover.
The same goes for fonts. Pick typefaces that are appropriate to the era in which the book is set. A bold sans-serifs might work beautifully for a book set in space 200 years in the future but fail entirely for a nonfiction book about the Civil War.
How To Make A Book Cover
- Open Fotor, click Create a design button on the homepage, choose the Book Cover template layout.
- Browse or search by genres or keywords to find the right book cover template for you to get started.
- Insert your book title and any other text you want to include. Select book cover backgrounds and play around with colors, fonts, typesets, illustrations and more to enhance your book cover design.
- Save and download your book cover design, selecting the format and size you desire.
- Make sure your book cover matches the genre
- Make your book cover is simple but eye-catching with a unique concept
- Highlight some elements, such as text, color, etc.
- Consider cover size
In regard to fonts, Sans serif fonts like Arial and Tahoma are considered a good choice for book covers and dust covers. These fonts are clear, clean, and legible.
Fotor’s book cover generator is the right place for you to get more inspiration for your own book design. It offers a set of book cover design templates for your reference. From novel to the magazine, you will find of book style you like in Fotors book cover creator.
Free book cover designs can be found within Fotors book cover creator. They are applicable to all types of free book cover layouts such as eBooks, paper books, kindle, and Wattpads cover design. Just use your imagination to get creating book cover now.
There Are Objectively Good And Bad Book Covers
Book cover design is not completely subjective. There are good and bad book covers, and a good designer can clearly tell you the difference between them.
This is because a book cover is a piece of art with a specific purpose:
Book covers exist to give visual form to written content.
A great cover makes someone in your intended audience say I need to read that, by showing them why the book matters to them in a way they can immediately grasp . It should help your audience realize that they should be reading your book.
Another way to think about it is framed by Chip Kidd, a famous book cover designer, who said that a book cover is a distillation of the content, almost like what your book would look like as a haiku.
That being said, a good book cover is not just an expression of the idea behind a book, its the way the audience first engages that idea.
Its marketing. And that is how you measure an objectively good book cover:
A good book shows whats in the book, and makes the audience interested in reading it.
What Is Your Cover Telling Readers
Your book cover should send a clear message and answer the following readers questions:
- What genre is this book?
- Is this book fiction or nonfiction?
- What age category is this book?
- What is this book about, generally speaking?
- What is the tone of this book?
- Is this book professionally made or thrown together?
Be honest. Figure out the most marketable elements of your book and display them on the book cover. If your steamy romance novel features a shirtless stableboy, put him on the cover, and the right readers will pick up your book.
Do not lie to your readers. Dont put a dragon on your book cover if there are no dragons. This may lead to a month of increased sales, then trigger countless negative reviews and a swath of readers who will tell everyone they know never to read your books because youre dishonest.
Want to design your own book cover? You can design your own book cover with intuitive programs like BookBrush or Canva. They both offer free and premium versions.
Creating Great Covers Even If You Can’t Draw For ****
If you are so lucky to be able to draw as well as write, then your battle is half won, and your set-up costs will be greatly reduced. If however, you can’t tell the tip from the eraser of your pencil and only use the Apple Pen to sing along with DJ Piko-Taro, you need to get creative.
Last week we looked at the importance of a book cover. Ideally you want a professional, but when the budget is tight, there are other acceptable ways around this.
1. Phone a friend.
Ask yourself: Do I know someone who wants to start their own business as a designer and needs help creating a portfolio for potential clients? Ask around: you’re in the same boat.
2. Offer what you can to your friends.
Tell it straight: I am about to release my self-pub book, and I am looking for a cover artist/designer. All I can afford to pay is £… and offer full accreditation and references.
Desktop publishing software, can be pricey. They run on monthly subscriptions, and if all you need are a couple of covers a year, then they aren’t worth the cost. However, there is free software out there, like Gimp, a free and open-source raster graphics and image editor, which has been around for donkey’s years and it’s perfectly capable of assembling a cover image for you. YouTube has loads of tutorials for Gimp – let them inspire you.https://www.gimp.org/
4. Invest in fonts.
Refine Your Book Cover
Check all items are aligned as you wish. If your cover image does not extend beyond the front cover of your book, blend the front of the cover with the base colour of the spine. As with the bleed at the top, the front of the book may bleed into your spine. In this case, you don’t want a razor sharp cutoff but a gentle transition.
Christian Fiction Book Covers
This kind of books become more and more popular throughout the world. They are pure, honest and depict a love thats worth fighting for, a love everybody wishes for themselves. Its the love Apostle Paul presents us in the Holy Bible, in the book of Corinthians. Christian fiction books are usually very easy to read and give us a happy ending every single time. If you ever wondered how to design a book cover for such a story, then search no more! Here come your answers. Keep in mind that a Christian book must feature a decent cover, so stick to simplicity and modesty. Choose a loving couple, or a happy family, or maybe a stunning landscape. See for instance these two brilliant examples: The Child from the Sea and More Than Words Can Say, both depicting adorable images.
Dont forget to use calligraphic or formal fonts, these are the most appropriate for this genre. Just like the cover of Love Unexpected looks. Perfect, right? Also, stick to a light and gentle color palette! Use white, pink, light blue colors that suggest a happy and cozy scenery. Keep in mind that everything that every element or color that you use when you create this cover has to recall the pleasures of simple living. Searching for You by Jody Hedlund has a great Christian fiction book cover and its a good example that you can get inspiration from.
Test Your Book Cover Design
Finally, you need to test your book cover design.
Remember Martin Lake, who I mentioned doubled his book sales multiple times with a simple change to his cover design? Hes not the only author who has used book cover design testing for a better final product.
You can ask family, coworkers, and friends on social media which cover they prefer between a few different designs. But I would recommend asking your local librarian or bookstore clerk, too. They know more about what sells.
Or you can ask the Internet.
I recommend using PickFu to split test your covers and see which one people like better. This gets you honest feedback from potential buyers , so you can more confidently make the final decision about your cover.
PickFu’s A/B testing is how Tim Grahl chose the best cover design for his uber-popular book marketing guide, Your First 1000 Copies.
Check The Small Version Of Your Cover
Dont forget to check the small version of your final book cover.
When designing a cover, you must look at your design in the size Amazon will show your customer when they are shopping. Your eBook has to make an impact, even if its thumbnail size.
One common book cover mistake is that the title blends into the background, or its just too small to read.
Before you upload your eBook, look at your cover in the size it will be displayed on the results page, and check that it still looks impressive.
How To Compose Characters On The Comic Cover
Composition is an important factor when designing the cover. It’s how artistic elements are arranged in terms of line work, texture, color, form, space, and so forth to create a balanced image. A nicely composed cover may be achieved by using these compositional tricks:
- Amusing angles: Low angle, overhead, flipped, twisted, etc.
- Askew compositions that place the subject away from the center of the page, adding a sense of motion and interest to the scene.
- Illusion of movement, motion, or action. To convey motion, line drawing is applied: speed lines, motion trails, or draw debris or sweat flying….
- Graphic design elements: Geometric or organic shapes, texture, borders, or frames
- Text Integration: Typography, letters, and lettering are an added value and create dynamic compositions.