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Key Elements Of Professional Book Cover Design For Self-Published Authors

Author: Karen Saunders

It takes just a few vital seconds for an editor or reader to decide about whether your self-published book is worth reading or not, so the design of the book cover is incredibly important. If the key opportunity for selling your book exists in one tiny glance, that glance had better be optimized by excellent design elements, wouldn’t you agree?

Publishers want their books to appear unique so that the book is hard to forget. An excellent cover helps to make that happen. An excellent book cover is like the striking pose of a model – stunning and creative.

Finding the Right Graphic Designer

Professionalism and experience as well as expertise are the main qualities you should look for when finding the right graphic designer to do an important task like the one-glimpse-and-it-sells-or-not test cover of your book. You don’t want your self-published book to appear amateurish or homemade. Your graphic designer should have a high level of creativity, skills, the right software, access to stock photography and be knowledgeable about the book printing process to make your book stand out from all the rest.

What Are the Key Elements in Cover Design?

The cover of a book must include all the elements in our list that are applicable. Not all book covers will have flaps.

* Front cover

* Spine

* Back Cover

* Inside Flaps

* ISBN and Bar Code

At a minimum, your front cover should contain the name of the book, its subtitle, and your name. Testimonials and endorsements can also be tastefully used on the front cover. Your front cover should be legible and easily read from a short distance. Use bold, contrasting lettering to make this element work right. On the spine, your name, title and publishing company name or logo should be listed and legible from a distance. On the back cover, you will want the book’s category in the upper left corner to help bookstores shelve it properly. The back cover should have a compelling headline directed to your target book buying audience, a brief description and a few bulleted benefits. Listing a few testimonials from recognized leaders in your field is very helpful. Your picture and bio may appear on the back cover, and these technical points need to appear as well:

* 13 digit ISBN number (buy from R. R. Bowker Co.)

* Price

* Bar code

* Credits for the cover designer and/or illustrator

What Other Important Elements Play a Role in Producing Excellent Book Covers?

Because your self-published book cover is critical for your marketing and branding, it will get you noticed either positively or negatively. Following are more elements that will help you catch the attention of your audience. A knowledgeable graphic designer knows all about these key elements and their proper usage.

* Chose the right font for the book and its audience.

* Don’t use ALL CAPS for headings, subheadings or Table of Contents. They are too difficult to read.

* Eliminate ‘rivers of white’ with proper word spacing.

* Be aware of ‘leading’ – the space between the lines. Font, type size, word spacing and length of line all come into play here.

* Line length should not exceed 65 characters for ease of reading.

* Paper samples for your book cover are available from the printer. 10 point C1S is the standard for soft covers. Ask your book printer for house stock, as it is more affordable.

There is a precise science behind the creation of a successful book cover, as I’m confident you are now aware. Since the cover is such an important tool, being penny wise and pound foolish should be saved for other elements of your successful book publishing and marketing. Let an experienced, skillful graphic designer help you design your self-published book cover. You can use the key points in this article to check for his or her skill level. To your success!

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About the Author
Karen Saunders is the owner of MacGraphics Services, an award-winning graphic design firm (888-796-7300). We help authors navigate the self-publishing process. View our portfolio, download a free Book Media Kit Check List, and sign up for our free eCourse: Learn How to Create a Best-selling Book Design from the Inside Out at .

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