Writing Done Right
Five Book Cover Tips
Summary: This article looks at my tips for creating a book cover.

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Whether your book is a printed edition or an eBook, you will need a good cover. This article gives you five tips to consider when creating your covers.

 I have made many mistakes in creating my book covers, so today want to give you a few tips to consider while designing your cover.

Use Easy to Read Fonts

I know that some fonts look really nice or funky, and that can draw one's eye, but if the cover is hard to read, or takes more than a quick second to discern the letters, it may be too late for your reader's attention. The fix this problem, use fonts that are easy to read. That does not mean boring fonts, but head on over to the free site FontSquirrel to find some fonts for your book. Don't forget to understand font licensing.

Don't Overuse Effects

Effects, particularly on fonts can look fun, particularly for a non-graphic designer, but the proper way to use effects is subtly. A book cover with tons of bevels or clearly obvious drop shadows starts looking like a middle school project rather than a professional cover design. Be cautious with overusing effects, and the secret is to only use the effects needed to bring out the design. Do not use effects to make the design extravagant.

Add a Barcode

Most of the book distributors will add the barcode for you, but when they do, it will not contain the EAN-5 code required by most bookstores. While you may not be seeking to sell your book to a bookstore, the pricing information in the barcode looks more professional than the codes slapped on by the book printers.

Stock Image Licensing

Book covers often need images, and it is important to know where your images are coming from. It is generally a violation of copyright to use an image found on the internet for your book cover. Learn about the licensing required. I like to browse public domain sources like pexels for free images, or you can purchase them from companies like Shutterstock that sell royalty free images for your book cover. You can also use your own personal photos, but if a person appears in the book cover, you need permission to use their photo.

Author Name Size

A lesson I learned too late is that your author name should be large! Vanity press companies often put the author name pretty small, but traditional companies have the author name prominent on the cover. Follow the example of the big dogs, and put your name prominently on the front of the book.

These tips should help you create your book cover, but if you get stuck, reach out to me for a quote on designing your cover.