Knowing how to create a book cover that draws readers is vital if you want to build a loyal following. Recently Bridget wrote a book on how to write a novel. As it turns out, we don’t know everything about publishing a book (including how to create a book cover) and so had to call on the experts for some help. Luckily we have Peter Barlow, who amongst his other talents is Designer of Books at Now Novel, and he helped us out with our questions. We found Peter’s insights extremely helpful so of course we couldn’t withhold them from you. Enjoy!
The psychology of covers and the purchase decision
Some general thoughts approaching designing covers
Working with a designer and crafting a brief
The information which every cover design project needs to get started is as follows:
- The title of the book (is it final? Does the author need help coming up with one?)
- The genre and sub-genres of the book as perceived by the author
- The book’s intended audience and age group (especially important for books aimed at children and young adults)
- What is the book about? What are the major themes? (This may take the form of a bulleted list or a synopsis.)
- Is the book going to be part of a series?
- Will the book be an e-book only or appear in print as well?
- If the book is going to be in print, what size have you chosen? Do you need help deciding? (The size and format of the book can actually say a lot about it and affect the profit margin so this should not be an arbitrary decision).
- Are there any particular covers out there you like? (I throw this question in as it can create an interesting starting point for the initial concepts of the cover while also giving an insight into what the author may want for their book and whether or not they may need to revise this, given the various factors I discussed above).