How Smart Authors Achieve Standout Covers
The first cover I designed for a full-length book was incredibly rewarding, both in lessons and in outcome. But perhaps the most telling phase was when I got my client on the phone and suggested that we scroll through Amazon together to get a feel for which cover elements—colors, typography size and style, graphics—grabbed her attention and which ones turned her away. This exercise, I knew, would give me direction in designing a concept for her particular cover, one that would make both her and her target audience happy.
What I didn’t anticipate was how quickly her impressions would be made. Within seconds, I heard: “I hate that one,” “That one’s okay, but … (fill in the blank),” “That one’s really cool,” “That one’s BOR-ING,” and so on. Wow, I thought, I never timed my first impression of a book cover before, but I realized that for me too, it was instant. I've bought many books because I first loved the cover … then read the description to find the content appealed to me too.
Now, let’s be honest: art is subjective no matter how you slice it. Colors are subject to personal opinion; photos can delight or diminish, depending on the observer. There is no creating a piece of art that everyone will love, and a book cover is indeed a piece of art.
So how does a self-publishing author go about creating the best cover for their book?