Effective book cover designs draw the reader in so they want to find out what your book is about. Most people DO judge a book by its cover. So how do you pull people in visually?
Your book cover needs to:
1 Communicate clearly, quickly and efficiently to the reader by organizing the visual elements in harmony with each other
2 Lead the audience to the title
Pay attention to not only typeface, but styling, sizing and positioning. Organize the type and images with a visual hierarchy of importance. Some elements should stand out more than others.
3 Have a relevant visual theme and concept
It is important that your design convey the message and meaning of your book clearly.
4 Use simplicity
Your cover should work well and be attractive very small, as a thumbnail, and large, as in a poster. Detailed illustration is often difficult to differentiate when the book is small. It may be meaningful to you but not to your audience and can very well detract from its marketability. Reduce your cover design to the size of a thumbnail on Amazon and see if you can distinguish visual coherency and it is readable. If not, simplify.
5 Use a pleasant color palette consistent with your books style and era
Caution is needed when building a color palette. For instance, when using red on black there is little differentiation between the 2 colors which can make certain things become transparent to the eye from a distance. This goes for a light color on light color as well. Be sure there is significant color tonality distinguishability between your color values.
6 Work visually in black and white as well as color
Note that your cover changes dramatically without color. When used in, for instance, a newspaper ad, make sure it is still a readable and effective design.
7 Use a dramatic visual effect
Run the image and color right off the books boundaries. You will find it gives the illusion of expanding the covers visual space.
8 Create a good focal point to pull the audience into the cover visually
Dramatic perspective, angle, a visual explosion of color or a central area the eye is attracted to can do the trick.
9 Use a font that is easily readable
Some script fonts can be very attractive but, keep in mind, they are often difficult to read. Test them yourself. Use the five foot rule. If you can’t read the text on the spine of your book from 5 feet away….Neither can your readers.
10 Stand out
A helpful exercise for you would be to look at covers on Amazon or at your favorite bookstore. Determine which ones are the most eye catching. Why do you think they stand out on a shelf?
The bottomline is, a great book cover CAN help sell your book!