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Tips for Designing a Successful Book Cover

With countless books vying for readers’ attention, a catchy cover can spell all the difference. So now the question is, what makes a successful book cover?

If you’ve decided to self-publish your book, here are pointers to help you in the cover design process:


Give the cover focus – this is the most important. Your book has a subject, and the cover should to reflect that one idea loud and clear. Avoid stuffing your cover with so many elements.

Picture your book cover like a billboard, trying to capture people’s attention while they speed by. The maximum word count on successful billboards is 6. You must “get it” at 60 mph, in no more than 5 seconds. That applies to your book cover. In one glance, your prospect should be able to tell your book’s genre, general subject mater, and “ambiance” or tone.


Whatever you include in your design should have a role in your communication with the reader. Every element should be there for a reason.


Don’t consider a white background because it will surely disappear on retailers’ white screens. Something with texture or perhaps an illustration, should be safe. You wouldn’t want to lose sales because of something as trivial yet completely avoidable as this.


Reduce your cover design to about the size of an Amazon thumbnail and see if it’s still readable. It has to be readable.

Talking about readability, pick a simple font that will be easy to read despite a radical reduction. Also, stay away from those thin and lacy script typefaces – they usually become invisible when small.


Choose an image that clarifies instead of being too literal. For instance, it may convey the mood or the historical period of the events.


This can be tricky because your choice of colors will obviously depend on the overall tone of your book. As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t use too many so you don’t distract readers from your cover’s main message. Also check out some color palettes online and choose a selection of colors that you think will work well together.


The idea is not to copy what they’ve done, but just to observe their techniques and mimic them with your own cover. This is a very effective way of encouraging your mind to think and come up with its own concepts and ideas.

Book Cover Design Software

If you’re going to create your own cover, you can using book cover design software and be more efficient with it. You won’t have to worry about the technicalities because the software will take care of that for you. And with that, you can just focus on letting those creative juice flow.

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