Creating Your Book Cover
We are working on the new cover for the second edition of Moon Time – my #1 Amazon bestselling book in menstruation. It should be out in the summer from Womancraft Publishing. It’s getting there… but still a work in progress.
Getting to rework a book which has been much-loved, but was also my first is a beautiful challenge. I know the bits I don’t like, that I could do better, and that make me cringe. But as a writer and editor, I find that totally doable.
A new book needs a new cover. Its previous cover was the first one we’d ever done. We’ve learned a lot since then. But how the new one should look…
Arrggghh! Book covers have the ability to put my indecisive creative soul into agony – which font, which image, and what about the subtitle?
It has to be RIGHT… but what IS right?
It can be so stressful.
You can hire a designer, to take a lot of that stress away. And (hopefully) give you a cover you love. That sells like hotcakes. But it costs. And it takes away the creative control.
But at least coming up with decisions is THEIR job then…
Except it’s not.
They have to start SOMEWHERE… and where they get in their three or four shots might be a million miles away from your vision or aesthetic. So you have to approach with a clear vision… whilst simultaneously staying completely open to everything. It’s a very weird process. And you have to accept that the first idea you have, is unlikely to be the cover you finally have.
The trick to creating covers is:
1) Always keeping an eye on what sells and how it fits within your genre.
2) Whilst being true to your “brand” and the aesthetic and message of the book.
It’s a tricky balancing act. And brings many people out in a rash!
But it’s not just the images. No ma’am.
As a self-publisher you’re going to have to come up with the title… and subtitle… and backcover blurb.
And then there’s all the fine detail. Fonts, positioning…
It’s often the little tweaks that make all the difference.
Here are some of the things that help me in that process – whether working with a designer, or doing the cover in house ourselves at Lucent Word.
1) Brainstorm the major themes, ideas and messages of the book. What colours/ symbols are associated with it? Who is the main character?
2) Go on Shutterstock or another stock photo site, or Pinterest and create a board or lightbox of ALL possible images you like.
3) Pick out your favourites and go onto something like canva (if you want ideas and great templates) or GIMP and start playing around with placing the words over the image.
4) Try capitals and lower case. Try serif and sans serif fonts. Different sizes. Lots of different fonts.
5) Ask your social media tribes for feedback and input on your prototype ideas, and ask for suggestions. This can be overwhelming and confusing… but also very helpful.
6) Struggling with the title or subtitle? Write all the possible words onto pieces of paper and move them about, trying different combinations.
I always forget that after asking for lots of input the ONLY way I ever make a decision is by doing this. It just seems to work for my brain.
What are your top cover design tips, please do share them below…