If you’re an author publishing your next book or an aspiring author writing your first book, here are 8 compelling book cover design trends you’ll see in your local bookstore and online.
Book Cover Design
Book covers matter. A lot.
Designers from around the world will submit high quality cover designs for your book based on the criteria you provide, and you pick the professional book cover that best tells your story.
Why crowdspring is your best choice:
- 100% money back guarantee
- Dozens of unique designs in 7 days or less
- Original, editable design file
- Digital, print, web files (RGB, CMYK, PNG, JPEG, PDF)
- Award winning customer support
- Free legal contract protecting your intellectual property
- 220,000+ professionally screened and reviewed designers
How important is a great book cover?
A great book cover fuels sales...
When it comes to books, book covers matter. A lot.
But finding the right designer for your book or ebook cover can be a daunting experience.
But, forget about using generic templates for your book cover designs. A book cover that looks like tens of thousands of other books will get lost on Amazon and and simply gather dust on bookstore shelves.
Crowdspring puts the power of professional cover design in your hands. Experiences book cover designers from around the world will submit high quality book cover designs for your book based on the criteria you provide, and you pick the professional book cover design that best tells your story.
We make sure you have everything you need in one place (project management, designer discovery, feedback, file transfers, IP protections for the work you’re buying, award-winning customer support, and more).
Crowdspring is trusted by thousands of the world’s best self-published authors and the most successful publishers for book design. In fact, for a number of years before it was folded into KDP Print, crowdspring was CreateSpace’s only outside vendor helping self publishing authors with custom book cover designs for their books and ebooks.
Thousands of the world’s best authors love and trust crowdspring for professional book cover design.
Talented designers, lots of choice.
Stop wasting your valuable time elsewhere. Over 220,000 talented designers from 195 countries work on crowdspring.
Designs you’ll love, guaranteed.
Beautiful cover designs that drive book sales. If you’re not 100% happy with your book cover design, we’ll promptly refund all your money.
Award-winning customer support.
All the support you need, when you need it. Our dedicated support team (99% customer satisfaction) is available by phone, email, and chat to ensure your success.
Protect your intellectual property.
Powerful intellectual property protections, made simple. Every project includes industry leading customized, dynamic legal contracts and policies that protect your intellectual property.
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Tips to help you create amazing book covers
Many people use the idiom 'don’t judge a book by its cover' to remind others that people should not prejudge the value of something based solely by its outward appearance. Yet when it comes to actual books, few heed that advice.
The simple truth is that today, nearly everyone judges a book by its cover. Book covers matter. A lot.
Be sure the design looks professional
Whether you create your own book cover design or get your book cover professionally designed on crowdspring or elsewhere, the most important element of a high quality book cover design is that it looks professional.
Great book covers are easy to read – typographical elements are distinctive and clean. Images on the cover are connected to the story and audience.
A book cover for a thriller shouldn’t be confused with a romance novel.
When starting out, get inspired by the beautiful book covers of other quality books in your genre. What color palettes do they use? What kind of imagery do they have? How are they using type in the design?
Design for large and small screens
The book cover image will be reproduced on large monitors and mobile devices. In fact, when you’re searching for books on Amazon, you see just a small thumbnail of the image. That makes it especially critical that the book design is simple.
Simple designs are more memorable and less confusing, especially when viewed on a smaller screen.
Take the iPhone, for example (or any comparably sized phone), a typical book jacket will be about 1/2 inch wide by 3/4 inches tall. That’s not a lot of space.
Focus on one image
It’s tempting for some authors to get carried away by trying to represent all the symbolism in their story. But when it comes to professionally designed book covers, less is definitely more for good book covers.
Remember that the cover will be typically seen as a small thumbnail and you want your reader to understand what they’re seeing. You don’t want to confuse or overwhelm the reader with conflicting or busy imagery.
While you may have three storylines, five characters, twenty scenes, and several plot twists, pick one strong theme for the cover. Is there one constant to your story? One lesson? One value? One message?
Good design is about balance. Pick one constant and tell it visually through the book cover design.
Pick colors smartly
Colors are important because colors create emotional reactions. The colors you pick should be connected to the story and mood. For example, a book best suited for the beach should consider incorporating cool blues and jade greens to give a tranquil feeling. Dramatic books should consider using black, bold red, and similarly dramatic colors on the book covers to underscore the mood of the story.
Text is important. Don’t ignore it
Colors and a great image are critical to effective book cover design, but you also need text and an effective font that matches the cover and the story. For example, if your audience is mostly women, you might prefer fonts that have more feminine flairs, such as scripted fonts.
But don’t go overboard – some fonts are easier to read than others. There are thousands of fonts and not all of them are clean and readable on a small screen. Use a simple typeface and be sure you’re not using many typefaces on the cover. It’s OK to use two fonts on a cover, but more than two fonts will make the cover look busy and less readable.
Consider a subtitle or a teaser
A short subtitle or a teaser could give readers a little more context about the book.
Remember that most readers looking at books online won’t have the opportunity to read the synopsis on the back of the book. A subtitle or teaser takes very little time to read but can motivate the reader to take a closer look.
Be sure that the subtitle or teaser doesn’t compete with your title – you need to have a hierarchy on the cover and the title should, in most cases be the most prominent text readers see.
Create a brand if you’re creating a series
If the book you’re publishing is part of a series, you need to also focus on creating the brand because people will more easily identify related books if there are common elements in the book covers (even if the images are different). These common elements can be tied together through colors, imagery, style, etc. This is impossible to do if you use a free book cover template or service.
Pay attention to intellectual property when using images and fonts
If you don’t have permission to use a stock image or font or you don’t know who owns it, you should not use it. Just like you wouldn’t want someone to steal your writing, don’t abuse the work created by others. That’s not a good way to create a beautiful book cover. Professional designers can help obtain royalty-free stock images (or can create original illustrations, where appropriate). If you must use free images because you don’’t have a budget for a book cover design, you can use a site like this one.
Don’t be afraid of white (empty) space
Some authors worry that they need to fill the entire cover with images or text. But when this happens, all of the elements compete for priority and nothing stands out. The best way to draw a reader’s attention to something is to help it stand out by giving it space to breathe.
Think about it – if you use too many complicated words in your text, or have too many adjectives, the text becomes confusing. That’s the equivalent of visual space.
Type size and placement matters
The author’s name doesn’t have to be in huge letters on the front cover. This is very common with self-published works, but far less common with works published by traditional publishers.
There’s a reason for this – people will remember your name based on your written work, not because you put your name in big, bold letters on the cover. If you’re James Patterson or Dan Brown, your name in big letters can help sell new books. But for most indies, the title and imagery are far more important.
How you can hire a professional book cover designer
We know you have many choices to design a professional cover for your next book. The most common method to create a professionally designed book cover and back cover is to hire a freelance cover designer, and you can work 1-to-1 with an expert book cover designer on crowdspring.
There are other ways to get your custom book cover. For example, you can design a cover by starting a book cover design contest on crowdspring.
Nothing makes us happier than connecting authors and publishers with talented designers.
Over 220,000 talented creatives from 195 countries work on crowdspring.
When you post your custom book cover design project on crowdspring, you’ll get custom designs submitted by designers from all over the world. You won’t have to waste your valuable time digging through bids and proposals. You’ll pick your favorite from actual designs. In fact, authors have told us that choosing their favorite is the hardest part of the whole process!
When using crowdspring for book cover design, you can focus on getting the best result possible. We take care of everything else with our book cover design services. With our award-winning customer service, hassle-free guarantee, customized legal agreements, strict intellectual property standards and fantastic project management tools, we know you’ll be happy.
Although the vast majority of the authors we work with self-publish their books, we regularly work with the world’s best publishers.
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Why are book covers so important?
Traditionally, when books were purchased at retail, a striking book cover was necessary to get the reader’s attention when placed on a shelf next to hundreds of other books. But because most retail stores displayed just the book’s spine, it was impossible for authors to differentiate unless the prospective reader picked up their book or the book was displayed in a more appealing manner.
Great book cover design has always been necessary to get the attention of retail merchandising managers if you wanted your book featured – and that remains true today.
Today, however, particularly for indies, the vast majority of sales occur online. This has allowed indies to compete against traditional publishers but has also made it clear that to get the readers’ attention, a great story must be matched by a great book cover design and to a lesser extent, a great back cover
A typical reader will do a search on Amazon and will look at a handful of books. Sure, content and reviews are important, but the book cover is the first thing a potential reader sees and the cover can either make or break that initial impression.
This is not surprising. Great images create an emotional reaction in people. Because images are processed by our brains 60,000 faster than words, a great cover is critical to make an amazing first impression. A poorly designed cover, like those you get from free book cover templates, not only fails to create the emotional reaction you want to create in your readers, but also implies that the contents of the book are also sub-par.
Covers can lead to more (or fewer) sales, can allow you to price your book higher (but underscoring the message of quality), and can lend you credibility as an indie author.
Don’t just take our word for it. Smashwords founder Mark Coker tells a story in his ebook, The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success about R.L. Mathewson, a romance writer, who went from selling five or six copies a day of her romance novel, to selling over 1,000 simply by updating her book cover image.