Cover Design

 

Cover Design

The main purpose of a book cover is to sell a book! Book covers are a marketing tool, so the right look is essential. Its design should inform, as well as attract, the reader.
     To compete with other self-published books on the market, good cover design is paramount. It requires eye-catching imagery; should be genre specific; use a good choice of colour and contrast; have legible typography, with a well-written blurb (the text on the back cover).
     I recommend using the services of a professional graphic designer. Although there are free-to-use cover design tools available online, these are limited in their scope.
     (If an ISBN is allocated to the book, it will usually appear on the lower-right of the back cover, usually with a bar code.)

How I work. When undertaking a self-publishing project, I contract out book cover design to a colleague who is a professional graphic designer.  The relevant page on her website can be found here. (Examples of her work can be viewed on her website, and on my Portfolio page: namely, Rupert's Diary, and The Death Certificate.)
I also recommend her for typesetting. Usually, she works directly with the client and may produce several mock-ups of a cover before the final design is completed.
This is generally supplied as a PDF file, ready for uploading to the client's self-publishing platform. The front of the cover becomes the display image for the e-book.
 
How long will it take? Cover design generally coincides with the first two editing processes: structural editing and copy-editing. The book cover is required at the typesetting stage of the process, in order to produce a proof copy of the printed book. (The cover can still be edited at this stage.) Also, professional book covers are bespoke: either photomontages or illustrative. It's not simply a case of the designer using stock images to quickly create a design, but of guiding the client through the process to achieve what they want, and for the best route to market.
 
How much will it cost? The fee for cover design is agreed directly between the client and the graphic designer. Costs vary, depending on what needs to be done. For example, a fantasy or science fiction cover will be more expensive than a crime novel, simply because any imagery is likely to have to be created as an illustration; therefore, more time consuming. For novels, cover artwork alone starts at £250.
 
What happens next? The final cover design and typeset document are uploaded to the client's self-publishing platform; after which, a proof copy of the book can be ordered. The printed proof copy is then sent to the proofreader for the third and final stage of editing: 3. Proofreading.
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